Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right Cable Conductor During Custom Assembly

Custom cable assembly manufacturers all have a whole host of things to consider during the manufacturing process. All custom cable assemblies utilize metallic conductors which can properly handle an electrical load throughout the product’s lifetime. It is vital for the appropriate conductors to be chosen. Conductors can differ for RF cable assemblies manufacturer when compared to a USB cable.

When the wrong type of conductor is applied, then oxidation and corrosion can occur which can interfere with proper functionality of the assembly. When oxidation or corrosion occurs, the electrical load cannot be carried effectively and the wire assembly will underperform.

There are several considerations to be addressed:

  • Environmental Conditions
  • Electrical Parameters
  • Application Requirements

If the application is a low voltage environment, then that would have much different requirements than those in a high voltage one. The same is true of the environment in which the cable will function. If it is in a high temperature environment it will require different specifications than those operating in a controlled environment.

Materials Used in Conductors

There are many different materials used as conductors. They each have their benefits and their drawbacks. It is important to marry the appropriate conductor material with the appropriate application.

The following metals are the most widely used conductors:

  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Nickel
  • Brass
  • Bronze

While silver is the most conductive metal available, it is also far more expensive than other metals. In the same group of highly conductive materials is gold and copper as well. They do a better job than zinc, nickel, aluminum, brass, or bronze.

Custom cable assembly manufacturers have to take into consideration the variations of each metal and its conductive properties. For instance, in situations where cables may be utilized near saltwater, corrosion is a concern. Obviously, bare copper would not be the best choice. For saltwater applications, tinned copper is used instead. Also, nickel-plated copper offers better oxidation resistance in high temperature situations than bare copper.

Stranded Conductors

Made up of multiple thin wires, stranded conductors are more expensive. They offer easier installation and a higher degree of flexibility.

Solid Conductors

This type of conductor has a single metallic core and utilizes thicker wires. They are less expensive than stranded conductors. They also are considered far more rugged and durable than stranded conductors. While they can also negate electronic interference, they are also far more rigid than stranded conductors. Because they are more rigid, solid conductors are not considered a good fit in environments with require frequent motion. If used in this way, solid conductors can wear prematurely.

Star Engineering is one of the leading cable assembly companies in the world. We can meet all of your custom cable assembly needs.

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