What Is the Difference Between Wire & Cable in Terms of Electrical?

In the electrical field, the terms wire and cable are often confused. There is a significant difference between the two that should be understood when determining your electrical needs.


Wire

A wire consists of a single strand or a group of strands of an electrically conductive material (conductor). This material is normally composed of aluminum or copper. Wires can come bare, or covered in a protective or color-coded sheath.

Types of Electrical Wires

There are two main types of wires: solid or stranded. 

A solid wire is a single conductor that is either bare or insulated by a protective colored sheath. It offers low resistance and are perfect for use in higher frequencies.

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When inside a covering there are many thin strands of wires twisted together, it is called a stranded wire. Stranded wires are used where flexibility is important because which the wire can be used for a longer period. This type of wire have larger cross-sectional area than solid wires for the same current carrying capacity.


Cable

A cable consists of two or more insulated conductors and can be either bare or covered. This term is also used in reference to a group of insulated conductors that are intertwined or twisted together.

Types of Electrical Cables

There are various types of cables, including twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, multi conductor cable and fiber optic cable.

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