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Compare and Contrast: 6 AWG Welding Cable and THHN Electrical Wire

Many people get confused about the differences between THHN electrical wire and 6 AWG welding cable. Although these two products are created out of similar products, copper wire and insulation, there are very important differences concerning usage, flexibility, and durability.

 

  • Usage

THHN wire is typically snaked through interior walls and is never used outside. It’s one of the most common wires of its type and is often used quickly and effectively by contractors for permanent electrical work. 6 AWG is much more versatile, however. This form of cable is usually hooked up to a welding machine or a portable power cable. Cable like 6 AWG can be used inside or outside and is often used for projects where versatility is valued and the environment is difficult for normal kinds of cable.

  • Flexibility

Two factors affect wire and cable flexibility, namely insulation and copper strands. THHN wire has tightly bunched copper strands that give it a rigid and inflexible quality. Adding to this effect is a nylon coating which helps to prevent outside environs, like gasses and liquids, from corroding the wire as well as thick insulation to keep the wire protected.

6 AWG welding cable is made with thinner copper strands and rubber insulation. The rubber not only protects the cable from harsh environments, but also lends a flexible and bouncy quality to the cable. One of the main reasons that this type of cable has this quality is not only because of the many places 6 AWG is used but also because welders have to coil and uncoil the same roll of cable multiple times throughout a project.

  • Durability

THHN cable is highly durable for what’s it’s used for. This type of wire is meant to only be installed once and the same traits that make this wire inflexible is also one of the reasons it’s the most durable type of wire in its class. However, when looking at overall durability, the ability of 6 AWG cable to withstand a variety of environmental conditions and possible damage makes it the most durable cable between the two.

3 Things to Know When Buying Electrical Wire

There are several different aspects to consider when faced with an electrical project. However, most people tend to overlook one of the main concerns while shopping for their equipment; namely, the wires.

 

Know Your Ampacity

Ampacity is the word used by the National Electric Safety Code to describe the maximum electrical current that a conductor will allow. When an electrical wire goes over its ampacity, it causes either progressive or immediate damage and can cause serious problems like a fire. Generally, ampacity ranges from 10 amps, as with a low-voltage light, to 200 amps, which powers service doors at stores, and every variation between.

 

Get the Right Size

Electrical wires do a variety of things and it’s important to know which size is needed to handle the project. Size is generally determined by the wire gauge system, which correlates oppositely with ampacity. This is because the amount of ampacity that a wire will carry will grow but the size of the wire will shrink. For example, a service panel that has an ampacity of 100 amps will use a 2 gauge wire while an extension cord that uses 13 amps will have a 16 gauge wire.

 

Keep Wires Protected

In order to keep wires safe from damage and corrosion, it’s best to have them sheathed in some form of plastic. Non-Metallic Sheathed Cable, or NMS, are often considered ideal for indoor wiring because of their sturdy casing, and some outside wires are available as well. There are three different types of NMS wires available and each one has their own individual strengths. These types are known as NM, NMC, and UF.

  • NM- NM wire is commonly used indoors and is perfect for lighting and receptacle circuits.
  • NMC- NMC cables are ideal for damp areas inside of the home. This is because of the extra insulation that these wires are coated in.
  • UF- UF wire is meant to be used outside and underground. Although these wires are fairly hefty and insulated, it’s important not to use them above ground because the sunlight can destroy the strength of the sheathing.

 

Twisting PVC and PTFE Lead Wire

Twisting PVC and PTFE Lead WireBuilding a wire harness or twisting lead wires is considered to be a value added service offered by companies. There can be other products also added on to the twisted wires such as solder and terminals. Some companies do offer these services to their customers to make things easier, however only a select few are ISO9001 certified and I suggest you find those companies. This makes things easier for customers because it almost becomes one stop shopping. The customer doesn’t have to twist the wires themselves or even go to another business to get this done.

Twisting Wires

Usually twisting hook up wire is only done for smaller wire harness jobs. These jobs include anywhere from two to four lead wires total. Companies will offer this value adding service to their customers for jobs where the wires are not connecting to the same spot and jacket protection isn’t necessary. However twisting lead wires does give the application a more neat and organized look. This is beneficial because the wires will hold their form together as one.

Cutting the Wire

There are two times when the wire can be cut to length. The wire can be cut before it twisted for shorter lengths, or there is the option of twisting the wires first and then rolling the wires onto a spool to be cut to length later on. Once the wire is cut it is then stripped of its insulation as well. And there is also the option of having the strands tin dipped to keep them together as one instead of them getting bumped and frayed.

Additional Cost

Customers need to be aware that there is an additional cost associated with getting PVC and PTFE lead wires twisted together for a wire harness. Some companies will also offer to include a layer of heat shrink tubing over the twisted wires for better protection and a cleaner look. But the addition of the heat shrink tubing would also cost the customer extra money because it’s an additional step. The added heat shrink tubing not only helps to make the twisted wires look better but it is there for added protection as well.

These value added services vary based on the company you place your order with. There are different types of insulation to be aware of because each type comes with a different cost. Some companies will give their customers the option to add solder to the end of wires to prevent fraying while they’re being shipped. These are all things that companies can offer as an added service for their valued customers.

Written by: WesBell Electronics Inc
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Cutting and Stripping Lead Wire | ISO Certified

In the eyes of the customer it is easier to trust a company that has the ISO9001 certification. This means that the company adheres to strict quality standards. Customers can be sure that the company is making their products properly and not taking and short cuts in the manufacturing process. It’s also beneficial to the company to have this certification.

ISO 9001 Companies

Certified companies are compliant of the standard because they’re audited annually to be sure of it. Failing the audit revokes the certification which means trust is automatically gained by ISO9001 certified companies. By being ISO9001 certified it gives customers some security that the company is both trust worth and high quality. By adhering to the high ISO9001 standards the companies are showing their customers as well as their potential customers that they are a trustworthy company with high quality products.

Value Added Services

WesBell’s value added services include cutting, stripping, spiral striping wire, twisting wires, soldering, wire harnesses, cable assemblies. These are all extra added services companies can offer their customers. This way the customer not only can get the wire or cable they are looking, but if the company were to build a wire harness as well it’s one less step the customer has to do themselves.  Certain companies will also offer to tin dip or even solder hook up wires for their customers. This is just one less thing a customer has to do themselves. It’s convenient and can save a customer both time and money.

How to Become ISO9001 Certified

In order for a company to become ISO9001 certified they first need to find and hire an ISO consultant to help with all the initial paperwork. Talking with the consultant can be beneficial. You as the company and the consultant can discuss all the added benefits of getting certified. It can help to improve the day to day operations of your business and continue to make improvements in sales. Having the ISO9001 certification can be the deciding factor for customers when they are considering buying your products. The certification gives them a sense of security that the product they are about to buy is good quality and it can be trusted.

When it comes to cutting and stripping lead wire make sure you as the customer go to an ISO9001 certified company. With the regular audits there is no way that the certification can be out of date. One failed audit and the company loses the certification. This way any company that is ISO9001 certified can be trusted and is selling high quality products. This means that as the customer whatever value added service you pay for will be done correctly the first time.

3 Welding Cable Options in Order by Price

3 Welding Cable OptionsGenerally all welding cables are used for very similar applications. However not all welding cables have the UL or CSA approvals on them. Now that does not make these cables unsafe. It just means that as a consumer you need to make sure you trust the manufacturer. This way you’ll know you are getting a safe and quality product. The three main variations of welding cable are the Class K, the Class M and the Super Vu-Tron.

Class K

The Class K welding cable is made from 30 AWG copper strands. This is also known as the standard welding cable. It is not UL or CSA approved like some of the other classes of welding cables you can find. The cables come in black and red. Although there are other colors available upon customer request. Because of the copper stranded conductor as well at the rubber insulation of the cable they have good flexibility. They are used mainly for secondary voltage resistance welding leads as well as for power supply applications that do not exceed 600 volts.

Class M

A Class M welding cable has 34 AWG copper strands. This is to make the cable more flexible. The Class M cables are both UL and CSA approved. This kind of welding cable also comes in the same colors as the Class K welding cable. This variation of welding cable just like the Class K cable is very flexible. The Class M cable however is more flexible because it is made with even smaller copper strands. The cables have very similar temperature ratings as well as the exact same voltage ratings. What makes this cable more expensive is the fact that the copper strands are smaller making it more flexible. And the fact that this cable is both UL and CSA approved, while the Class K cables are not.

Super Vu-Tron

The super vu-tron welding cable is a Class M cable. It is a slightly different version made of the same 34 AWG copper strands. The super vu-tron has an orange colored jacket for safety. The orange color is a trademark of General Cable. The welding cable has a good abrasion resistance and is also weather and ozone resistant because of the special jacket that the cable has. The cable comes in sizes ranging from a 6 AWG all the way up to a size 4/0. The super vu-tron cables also have a temperature range of -50°C up to 90°C.

The welding cables are listed in order of price. The Class K welding cables are the cheapest and then working your way up the Super Vu-Tron cables are the most expensive. That leaves the Class M cables in the middle. Each cable is slightly different even though they are all intended to be used for generally the same thing.

Written by: WesBell Electronics Inc

Difference Between Type W and Type G Power Cables

The Type W and the Type G power cables are very similar. They are used for nearly the same applications. These are industrial strength power cables. The cables can be used on all kinds of job sites to give power to machinery. They can handle 2000 volts of electricity and have rubber insulation around them.  But there is in fact one main big difference between the Type W and the Type G power cables.

Both

Each of these cables is a 2000 volt rubber power cable. They have thick insulation for industrial job sites. Both are rugged enough to be run over by trucks and dragged across rocky areas of job sites. This makes the cables not only perfect for jobs at home where that much power is needed but also for job sites. Industrial sites that require a lot of power may also require their cables to be rugged and durable because of the demanding and dangerous environment.

Type W Power Cable

Type W Power Cables Type W cables have no additional ground wires. There is a same size green wire in 3 conductor cables and higher. The different colors of the wires help to easily identify each wire. The Type W cables are made ideally for industrial to light to medium duty mining applications because of it heavy duty and durable rubber jacket. It also can be used for AC systems, mobile and portable electronic equipment. This rubber jacket on the cable can withstands severe environmental conditions, as well as exposure to oils, acid, alkalies, heat, moisture and most chemicals. This shows that this cable really can handle anything, allowing it to be perfect for messy and hazardous industrial settings.

Type G & G-GC Power Cable

Type G Power Cables Type G and G-GC cables include additional ground wires over and above their conductor count. If there are 3 main conductors there are also 3 smaller size ground wires. And if there are 4 main conductors then there are 4 smaller size ground wires. The “GC” stands for ground check. The G-GC cables are known for having an excellent resistance to impact. They are made with a cable core bound for superior flexibility and toughness. They are also made with a rope lay stranding to maximize the flex life of the cable.

The difference between the Type W power cables and the Type G power cables is the ground wires. The Type W cables do not have additional ground wires. While the Type G cables do. The wires inside the cable are both colored and have numbers imprinted on them to be able to tell what a conductor is and what a ground wire is. Other than the ground wires these cables are generally very similar.

Written by: WesBell Electronics Inc

3 Types of XTRA Guard Multi-pair Cables

XTRA Guard Multi-pair Cables A multi pair cable has more than one conductor in them. Each of these conductors is also covered in a PVC insulation. This is to extend the life of the cable. The multi pair cables are most commonly used for high technology applications, medial electronics, point of sale equipment, computer peripherals and industrial controls.

Unshielded

The unshielded multi pair cable is the more basic version of these cables. It still does have the same temperature range rating. It is also approved to be able to handle 300 volts of electricity. The only difference between this and the shielded version is the shield. This cable has the conductors wrapped in a PVC jacket and then the conductors are all wrapped together in another PVC jacket. The cables also are made with a nylon rip cord to make it easy to get the jacket off.

Shielded

Shielded Multi-pair Cables The XTRA Guard shielded cable is approved for 300 volts of electricity. The cables come in a range of sizes starting at 24 AWG and going all the way up to size 18 AWG. They have all stranded copper conductors. The shield on this cable is made out of three layers, aluminum, polyester, and aluminum again. This gives the wire added protection against interference from other wires that could be in close contact. The temperature rating for the cable is between -20°C and up to 80°C.

SUPRA Shielded

The SUPRA shielded version of the XTRA Guard multi pair cords is very similar to the others. It has the same intended uses and it’s even made of the same materials. There is however a difference between the standard shield and the SUPRA shield. The SUPRA shield has even more added protection for the conductors. The SUPRA shield is made of layers of aluminum, polyester, aluminum foil shield with a 70% braid shield. The braid gives the cable added protection from EMI.

The XTRA Guard multi pair cables have devoted their energy to flame and moisture resistance, fast and easy stripping of the jacket and being used in flexible cable routing systems. Plus the cables are all both UL and CSA approved. Each cable has a different level of protection against outside interference. The cables with shields are better protected than the unshielded version. Then the SUPRA shielded cable is even better protected than the shielded cable. However each cable is approved for the same uses and they are all made with the same materials.

Written by: WesBell Electronics

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 Hook Up Wire Acronyms to Remember

3 Hook Up Wire Acronyms to RememberThere are so many acronyms that are used when talking about wire and cables. The three most common are PVC, PTFE, and THHN. Each acronym refers to a kind of insulation or jacket that is wrapped around the copper wire. For the most part each of these forms of insulation are pretty much the same. Each kind of insulation has its own unique temperature rating. And each wire can only handle a specific level of voltage.

 

PVC

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. This is the most basic and the least expensive kind of hook up wire. It is generally used indoors and in electronics. The wire has a temperature rating of 105°C. The wire is also approved and rated to be able to handle either 300 or 600 volts; this depends on the wire which you choose to purchase.

PTFE

PFTE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene. This insulation will do all the same things as the PVC insulation. The main difference between the two is that the PTFE insulation is approved for high temperature uses. The PTFE wire has been rated to be handle temperatures as high as 200°C. This insulation is slick and a non-stick so it’s easier to install than the average PVC wire. The PTFE insulation on the wire is resistant to a number of substances. They are resistant to solvents, greases, ozone, and most other chemicals. This allows the PTFE wires to be able to be used in all kinds of environments not just around the house.

THHN

THHN stands for thermoplastic high heat nylon. This wire is not flexible like the PVC and the PTFE wires. This THHN wire is used more in houses and buildings to connect electricity to lights, outlets and appliances around the home. The THHN wires are made with a soft drawn bare copper conductor and have PVC with nylon jacket. This allows the wires to be resistant to both gasoline and oils. The wires have been rated to be able to handle 600 volts of electricity. They also meet the UL listed standards and can be made with the CSA approval upon request.

Each of these acronyms refers to a specific kind of jacket or insulation that is wrapped around the copper conductor of the wire. These three are the most commonly used acronyms as well as the three most common forms of insulation for a wire. The PVC is the most basic and the cheapest form of insulation but it will get the job done and is protective of the copper conductor. Then there is the PTFE insulation that is intended to be used in places where there is a need for protection against high temperatures. Then finally there is the THHN insulation is not flexible. It is better used in giving electricity to appliances and outlets throughout the house.

Written by: WesBell Electronics

What Is Type SC Cable? Characteristics and Attributes

What Is Type SC CableType SC cables are also called stage lighting cable and entertainment cable. That is because of their typical applications. They are used in all kinds of entertainment industries including night clubs. These cables are UL and CSA approved. This lets the customers know that they are getting a trustworthy and high quality product every time. They are also approved for temperatures reaching 105°C allowing the cables to be used inside and out.

Application

These type sc cables are used usually in the theater or the entertainment industry. They are used in television, night clubs, motion pictures, mobile communication vans, spotlights and sound systems. This is where the cables get their names from. Because of these applications they are typically called entertainment or stage lighting cables. These cables are great for applications that only need temporary power. It’s used outdoors and can be coiled and uncoiled when needed because of their flexibility.

Insulation

SC cables have just one single conductor. They are a rubber cord generally used to hook up lights outdoors in the entertainment industry. The cables are made with a fully annealed stranded bare copper in the center. The insulation is made of the Super Vu-Tron in black. The Super Vu-Tron makes sure the wire is sunlight resistant. It is also designed to be able to withstand severe environmental conditions. The cable can withstand exposure to oil, acids, alkalies, heat, flame, moisture, and chemicals. Making sure so that no matter where you need to use this cable it can handle even the toughest conditions.

Their Importance

The stage lighting in a production is just as important as every other part of the performance if not more. How many people would really like to go see a play in complete darkness? The stage lighting is very important. And even more important than that are the cables that are used to hook up all the lights. The thick wires are used for large power surges while the thinner wires connect the lights to the controls. The lights need to not only be connected to the power supply but the controls as well as dimmers and more. The lights are an intricate part of a production and the entertainment cables are the perfect product for to get the job done.

The entertainment, stage lighting cords are both names for the Type SC Cables. These cables are important and often used in the entertainment industry. They are used to hook up lights to power sources as well as controls and to dimmers. They are extremely flexible so that they can be coiled and uncoiled as often as needed. They also have a very durable insulation around them so that they can be used both indoors and outdoors.

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