WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Category: PTFE

Type ET High Temperature Wire Construction

Type ET High Temperature WireThere are many different kinds of high temperature wire. The type ET wire however has a silver plated copper conductor. Then there is the PTFE insulation wrapped around the wire. Between the silver plating and the insulation that is what allows this wire to be able to withstand such high temperatures. The fact that these wires can withstand such high temperatures make them ideal for use in electrical work as well as in electronics.

Bare Copper Strands

When it comes to a copper conductor the more strands of copper there are the more flexible the wire can become. If there is a solid bare copper conductor than there is not a lot of flexibility, then the larger the size of the wire, the harder the copper becomes to bend if it will even bend at all. The smaller strands make for a better and more flexible wire.

Silver Coating

The silver coating on the copper helps the wire to have a longer life. The silver on the copper helps to prevent corrosion in high temperatures. This is what makes the silver plated wire the ideal choice for high frequency and high temperature wire. The wire is rated to be able to handle temperatures reaching as high as 200°C. It is also rated to be able to handle 250 volts of electricity. The wire also meets all of the M16878/6 approvals.

PTFE Insulation

The PTFE insulation is what allows the wire to be used for high temperature applications. This kind of insulation is non-stick and feeling slippery, it is intended to be used for electrical or electronic usage.  The insulation helps to prevent thermal aging, solder iron damage, as well as resist flame and moisture damage. It is also very resistant to solvents, greases, ozone, and a lot of other chemicals. With the insulation being so resistant to so many different things this wire is going to work well in many different environments and applications.

The PTFE insulation is great. It protects the wire from almost anything that can be spilt on it. The insulation also helps to make sure that the wire can withstand the high temperatures of the environment it was intended for. The slick insulation also allows for quick and easy installation of the wires.  Type ET wire also has excellent, stable electrical characteristic with low power loss which makes it ideal for high frequency applications. The silver plated copper will last longer than a regular copper wire because the silver adds protection and prolongs the life of the wire.

Written by: WesBell Electronics

3 Types of PTFE Wire

1. Type ET Wire

Type ET wire is also known as 250 volt PTFE wire and M16878/6. It’s rated for 250 volts so it’s used for limited power applications. Type ET wire can withstand temperatures up to 200°C due to its high temperature insulation.

2. Type E Wire

Type E wire is also known as 600 volt PTFE wire and M16878/4. It has the same attributes as Type ET wire but it’s rated for a higher voltage. PTFE insulated hook up wire also has silver plated copper strands to limit corrosion in high temperatures. When designing copper wire engineers must first figure out what it will come in contact with in the field, then determine how to resist all of it. In the case of Type E wire it must resist water, oils, solvents and temperatures up to 200°C.

3. Type EE Wire

Type EE wire is also known as 1000 volt PTFE wire and M16878/5. The “M number” is a Military Specification part number which is a standard of how to construct PTFE Type E wire. A particular wire is not labeled M16878/5 until it passes inspection.

All of the versions of PTFE wire above are the next step up from basic PVC hook up wire. The main upgrade is the resistance of a higher temperature through its insulation. PVC insulation only withstands temperatures up to 105°C.

PTFE Wire Is Used For High Temperature Applications

What Is PTFE wire?

PTFE stands for Polytetrafluoroethylene. You might have heard the term high temperature, PTFE, Type E or M16878/4 to describe the basic hook up wire that reaches 200ºC. Standard PVC hook up wire reaches 105ºC so when wire assemblies are being placed in applications with higher temperatures PTFE wire will need to replace PVC wire.

Is it still manufactured with copper?

Yes, copper is still used as the main component that conducts electricity. However, there is a silver coating instead of a tinned coating which helps resist corrosion due to high temperatures. The main difference lies in the insulation because that’s the part that will resist high temperatures. PTFE is a compound created to resist higher temperatures and create a non stick surface to also resist moisture, water, gasses and oils when necessary.

What is M16878/4?

Wire and cable needs to be tested and approved to meet certain specifications, not just by the manufacturer, but also by a 3rd party source. The 3rd party sources are UL (Underwriters Laboratories), CSA (Canadian Standard Association) and the Military (Mil Spec). In this case, M16878/4 is the Military part number that defines PTFE wire at 600 volts. This specific number shows all of the tests completed to prove that the insulation can handle 600 volts, 200ºC and so on.

What is Type E?

Type E is the same as M16878/4, and possibly made with PTFE materials, without the approval stamped on the insulation. It’s a non-approved, cost effective approach for household projects that don’t require certain approvals compared to a contract assembly business manufacturing assemblies for the government. The contract assembly business would need M16878/4 approved PTFE wire instead.

All of these terms are used in the industry, basically, describing the same “PTFE wire” which stands for Polytetrafluoroethylene. Some use different compounds to manufacture it and some have additional approvals to further prove the specifications of their product.

Written by: Chris Bell

Pros and Cons of Using the PTFE 18 AWG Wire

For those who love fixing things or simply want to have things done on their own, knowledge about different types of hookup wires is very valuable. Not being able to use the most appropriate type of wire for each job will not only lead to waste of time and money. It can also be very dangerous and can pose a threat to one’s life and the safety of his family or workplace. For instance, it is important to know that for projects requiring high temperature wire, the best option is the PTFE 18 AWG wire. Let us take a closer look at its characteristics, as well as the pros and cons of using this type of wire.

There are different types of PTFE wire. The most typical types are Type E, Type EE, Type ET and the STJ or shielded tape jacket version. The difference between these types is dictated by the following: voltage, ampacity and appearance. In terms of voltage, STJ and Type E can accommodate 600 volts. Type EE is best for 1,000 volts, while Type ET is suited for 250 volts. The next point for comparison is ampacity, or the amount of current that the wires can conduct. Usually, this is directly proportional to the voltage, so higher currents would requires a wire that can also accommodate high voltage. The last identifier among these types is appearance. For instance, the STJ cables have two sub-types – shielded and unshielded. Choosing between these two types would be based on additional factors such as the probability of the equipment incurring a temperature higher than 200 degrees Celsius, thus needing more insulation for safety reasons.

The PTFE 18 AWG wire is a good buy because it is available in the different types mentioned above. In addition, it has a stranding of 19/30 or 19 strands of 30 AWG wires. The diameter is also good at 0.07 inches. It also has several approvals such as the UL 1213, VW-1 Flame Test, and Mil Spec M16878/4. It is also RoHS Compliant so there is no need to worry about any hazardous risks coming from using the wire.

The only downside of using this wire is the price. PTFE wires already cost more than other types of electrical or hook up wire, because of the need for a better insulation for the high temperature. This type of wire, however, is one of the priciest types of PTFE wire that is currently in the market. Thus, some people would opt for other PTFE cables that are less expensive, unless of course the particular job or equipment they are working on specifically requires the stranding and wire gauge that this wire offers.

Overall, the PTFE 18 AWG Wire is a nice catch and a wonderful option among the different types of high temperature wires. Its quality and durability can be helpful in completing work around the house or even in commercial locations. The only setback in using this type is its price. However, if you cannot compromise quality and safety over expenses, then this is the best option.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

PTFE Lead Wire and Shielded Cables

WesBell just added to our PTFE section from the standard high temperature lead wire to a few more types of PTFE hook up wire and two types of PTFE cables. PTFE is a brand name that designates a PTFE compound that allows wire and cable to reach temperatures of 200°C and higher.

For a few years now we’ve been selling Type E PTFE wire which is a 600 volt 200°C lead wire with a Mil Spec M16878/4 rating. Well, there’s also a 250 volt and 1000 volt PTFE lead wire that we added to our website. They aren’t available to buy online just yet, but it allows our customers and website visitors access to all of the specifications and approvals that they have to offer. We can supply these new PTFE lead wires within a few days.

The PTFE cables were also a great addition to our website since many of our customers order multiple Type E lead wires for the same wire harness or application. Instead of using 3 individual PTFE wires they can use a cable with 3 wires in it for a much better look to finish the application.

STJ stands for Shielded Tape Jacket which is the most common type of PTFE cable. They come in an unshielded version if needed but most times a shield is neccessary for the high temperature applications. The PTFE tape jacket is rated for 200°C and the wires are Type E 600 volt which is also rated for 200°C. STJ cables are manufactured with a braid shield which is better than the common aluminum foil shield in most PVC cables.

Type ET lead wire is manufactured with a slightly thinner insulation since it only needs to reach 250 volts rather than 600 volts. It’s a little bit cheaper but the level of competition on the Type E drives the price down a bit as well. Type EE is 1000 volts with a slightly thicker insulation to handle the higher voltage rating. All three types of PTFE wire are rated for 200°C with silver plated copper strands.

Please contact us if you have any questions about PTFE wire and cable or if you have any questions or comments about our website. We enjoy getting feedback!

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

PFTE High Temperature Wire Cost

As a wire and cable distributor we have large quantities of PTFE wire in our stock, so we understand the costs associated with each part of the manufacturing process. It’s becoming more and more difficult to get your hands on because of the high demand for PTFE compound, copper and silver.

Copper is the main cost driver of PVC wire and largers sizes of copper wire because the cost of the insulation is much cheaper leaving copper as the main ingredient. Since copper has been lowering over the last month (October 2011) customers expect pricing to be going down on all types of wire and cable which may not be the case.

PTFE wire has 3 main ingredients including PTFE compound, copper and silver that can drastically change the price of the wire you’re trying to buy. Also, since all three of these materials are very hard for manufcaturers to get, the lead time is as long as 10-12 weeks to get PTFE wire manufactured.

Since PTFE wire is a high temperature wire the insulation needs to resist almost twice as much heat as PVC wire which increases the cost. PTFE is a compound used in manufacturing PTFE insulation which our vendors need to make the wire. The problem is that a PTFE compound manufacturer in Japan was shut down due to the earthquake about a year ago making it more difficult for wire manufacturers to get their hands on the PTFE compound.

Copper has been lowering over the last month which lowers the cost slightly because the bill of materials is less for the manufacturer. However, PTFE is up, material is scarce and lead times are getting longer which are all reasons the price is going up in contrast to a lower copper price. Just because copper is down 20% doesn’t always mean your price will lower 20% as well.

Silver has been a roller coaster ride over the last year going up like a rocket and coming back down just as fast making it very difficult to price wire when the lead time is out 10 weeks. A price today could be 20% different in a week nevermind 10 weeks. It’s currently down compared to its high over the last few months but it’s still up quite a bit from a year ago.

If you have any questions about the cost of PTFE wire or why it costs so much to manufacture PTFE high temperature wire then please call and ask us. We list the current copper pricing on our website for your reference to previous months. This helps you understand why pricing is going up and shows our honesty when pricing is down because when copper lowers, so does your price.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400