AskDefine | Define cables

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of cable


  1. third-person singular of cable

Extensive Definition

A cable is one or more wires or optical fibers bound together, typically in a common protective jacket or sheath. The individual wires or fibers inside the jacket may be covered or insulated. Combination cables may contain both electrical wires and optical fibers. Electrical wire is usually copper because of its excellent conductivity, but aluminum is sometimes used because it costs less.


Electrical cables may be made flexible by stranding the wires. In this process, smaller individual wires are twisted or braided together to produce larger wires that are more flexible than solid wires of similar size. Bunching small wires before concentric stranding adds the most flexibility. A thin coat of a specific material (usually tin-which improves the solderability of the bunch-, but it could be silver, gold and another materials and of course the wire can be unplated - with no coating material) on the individual wires provides lubrication for longest life. Tight lays during stranding makes the cable extensible (CBA - as in telephone handset cords).
Bundling the conductors and eliminating multi-layers ensures a uniform bend radius across each conductor. Pulling and compressing forces balance one another around the high-tensile center cord that provides the necessary inner stability. As a result the cable core remains stable even under maximum bending stress.
Cables can be securely fastened and organized, such as using cable trees with the aid of cable ties or cable lacing. Continuous-flex or flexible cables used in moving applications within cable carriers can be secured using strain relief devices or cable ties.


In the 19th century and early 20th century, cable was often insulated using cloth, rubber and even paper. Plastic materials are generally used today, except for high reliability power cables. There are four types of plastic insulation used in telecommunications cables today: solid, cellular, foam skin and skin-foam-skin.
The leading global producers of wire and cable include (in no particular order): Canare, Draka, General Cable, Belden, Nexans, India, igus, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Furukawa Electric, Hitachi Cable, Southwire, Marmon Group, LS Cable, Leoni, Fujikura, Tyco, Prysmian, Lapp, Wonderful Hi-Tech, Walsin Lihwa and Wilms Group, and Jainson Cables - India.

Fire protection

Cables as a fire hazard

In construction, sometimes the cable jacketing is seen as a potential source of fuel for a fire. To limit the spread of fire along cable jacketing, one may use cable coating materials or one may use cables with jacketing that is inherently fire retardant. Teck cable or metal clad cables, may have exterior organic jacketing, which is often stripped off by electricians in order to reduce the fuel source for accidental fires. In Europe in particular, it is often customary to place inorganic wraps and boxes around cables in order to safeguard the adjacent areas from the potential fire threat associated with unprotected cable jacketing.

Interference protection

In applications powering sensitive electronics, keeping unwanted EMI/RFI from entering circuits is important. This can be accomplished passively with shielding along the length of the cable or by running the cable in an enclosure separate from any other wires which may induct noise. It can also be actively achieved by use of a choke designed to restrict the cables' ability to conduct certain frequencies.

Types of cable

Cables can be sorted into several categories and types. Generally it can by sorted into two main groups, structural and informatic.


they are good conductors,cheap and available every where


copper corrode easily and should be layered with Lacquer to help conserve the concluding

Cable type

Basic cable types are as follows:



Based on construction and cable properties it can be sorted into the following:
cables in Bulgarian: Кабел
cables in Catalan: Cable
cables in Czech: Kabel
cables in Corsican: Cavu
cables in Danish: Elektrisk kabel
cables in German: Kabel
cables in Spanish: Cable
cables in Esperanto: Kablo
cables in Galician: Cable
cables in Italian: Cavo
cables in Japanese: 電線
cables in Korean: 케이블
cables in Dutch: Elektriciteitsleiding
cables in Norwegian: Kabel
cables in Norwegian Nynorsk: Kabel
cables in Quechua: Yawirka
cables in Russian: Кабель
cables in Simple English: Cable
cables in Slovak: Kábel
cables in Serbian: Кабл
cables in Swedish: Kabel
cables in Turkish: Kablo
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