Unshielded electronic cables are those with multiple lead wires bundled together and wrapped with an overall jacket. A shielded electronic cable will also have a foil or braid shield between the lead wires and the jacket to block EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) when cables run side by side in an installation. The biggest difference between the various 600 volt unshielded cables lies in the type of protection the jacket offers which, in turn, describes where it can be installed without being damaged by its environment.
600 Volt PVC Electronic Cables
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) lead wires inside of a PVC insulated jacket is the most basic, low cost, electronic cable that you can purchase. Common applications for PVC cables are intercoms, public address systems, remote control circuits and related environmental applications. These types of electronic cables are most likely used indoors because the outdoor environmental conditions will be too tough for the basic PVC jacket.
600 Volt Fire Alarm Cable
Fire alarm cables typically come with a red jacket but there are various colors available depending on our inventory levels. They are commonly used to install fire alarms, security systems and other similar communication applications. These are manufactured with a PVC jacket or a Plenum jacket. The plenum jacket is used when the installation is in plenum or any type of above head duct for fire protection reasons.
600 Volt STJ PTFE Cables
Unfortunately, STJ cables only come in a shielded version because the amount of heat used to wrap the jacket around the conductors would melt the insulation of the lead wires during the process. Therefore, a shield is placed between the lead wires and the jacket to limit the amount of heat hitting the insulation of the wires. STJ stands for Shielded Tape Jacket and it’s an upgrade from PVC cables because it can handle applications with a temperature rating of up to 200ºC compared to 105ºC. STJ PTFE cables usually have a white tape wrapped jacket but also have the option of FEP extruded insulation which is not wrapped.
There are many different types of 600 volt unshielded electronic cables available in multi conductor, multi pair, higher voltage and higher temperature for each different type of installation. There are also jackets that are manufactured with more protection for severe weather and severe impact. Standard cables have been known to end up with cracked insulation and damaged conductors quicker than expected so it’s worth it to purchase a heavy duty cable when necessary for the application.
Written by: Chris Bell
ISO 9001 Certified