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Posts tagged: m16878/4

Difference Between PVC and PTFE Cables

When our customers and website visitors ask for pricing on a PVC cable to compare it to a PTFE cable they’re completely shocked when they hear the difference in price, so we’re going to let you know the differences in order to justify the pricing. Once you understand the engineering, materials and commodities it will be easier to understand the price difference between the two.

PVC cables are manufactured at a much lower cost because they don’t have to meet the high temperature rating that PTFE cables do. PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride which is a compound engineered to be used in electronics and other indoor applications.

PVC electronic cables meet a 105°C temperature rating in 300 or 600 volts. They’re manufactured with flexible copper strands and PVC insulation on the inner conductors. They sometimes come with an aluminum overall foil shield and a tinned copper drain wire.

Now that you know the construction of a PVC cable you’ll probably understand why a PTFE cable is much more expensive. PTFE compound is used to manufacture a 200°C temperature material to cover the copper conductors. The engineering involved in creating a 200°C cable is much more involved than the process of creating a 105°C cable.

The inner conductors of PTFE cables also have a PTFE insulation called Type E or M16878/4 that also meet the high temperature of 200°C. They’re manufactured with silver plated copper strands which means the cost of high copper and high silver must be included in the pricing on PTFE cables.

The final reason for higher prices on PTFE cables is the fact that the earthquake in Japan affected an entire manufacturer of PTFE compound that was sending the compound to PTFE wire manufacturers. That created a huge shortage of PTFE wire in the market which drove up the pricing as well.

I wouldn’t want to say that a PVC cable is easy to manufacture, but when comparing it to a PTFE cable it seems like a walk in the park. Both cables have a UL and CSA approval along with RoHS compliance, but PTFE cables can be used outdoors, at higher temperatures and they resist water, gases, oils, solvents and much more. Just make sure you’re sitting down when you hear the pricing!

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