What Are The Typical Components of a Custom Cable?

The standard offering of insulation materials include polyvinylchloride (PVC), Fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP), Tefzel® ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, and thermoplastic elastomer (PTPE). Below is a short description of these common materials.

PVC: is most commonly available with a temperature range of -10 C and 105 C, it is a relatively inexpensive compound that can be made oil and UV resistant as well as flame retardant. However, the dielectric properties of PVC vary between different types of PVC.

FEP: is perfect for high temperature applications, has a maximum temperature range of 200 C, it also works well for plenum applications and situations where a small overall diameter is required.

Tefzel®:  is known for its mechanical toughness and outstanding chemical inertness. An interesting feature of this particular insulation material is its high-energy radiation resistance, which makes it another preferred product for high-temperature applications. Aside from that, military wire insulated by Tefzel® is recyclable and features a non-stick surface.

PTFE:  is Mil Spec Wire insulated with PTFE are some of the most reliable in the industry. They’re best known for their exceptional thermal stability, with a temperature rating of -60 to 200 degrees centigrade. Aside from that, the material features an equally exceptional resistance to chemicals. In outdoor applications, PTFE offers incredible weather resistance, able to last about 20 years unaffected.

Furthermore, there are also a number of options when it comes to cabling, which is how the conductors are organized within the cable. The possible options are pairing conductors, grouping conductors and even grouped conductors with individual shields. Moreover, there are different lay ups for flexing and torsion arrangements. After the cabling, it is necessary to consider shielding. Shielding options include foil, braid and spiral as well as any combination of the three. Foil shields are best at protecting against high frequency electromagnetic interference (EMI) and braid and spirals work best at protecting against lower frequency EMI.

Within the realm of military specifications and standards, there are two organizations that that play a role for these government projects, NEMA and QPL.  NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) develops technical standards and public policy, where the QPL (Qualified Products List) identifies materials and suppliers who are approved for specific government projects without further documentation or testing.

Remember, when working on projects with agencies within the Department of Defense, there are requirements and regulations that must be kept in mind when specifying wire and cable

Generally, the voltage ratings on multi-conductor cable cables are 300V, 600V, or 1000V. For temperature ranges, the high temperature standards are 80 C, 90 C, 105 C, 125 C, 150 C, 200 C., and 260 C.  For the low temperature range the standards are -80 C, -40 C, -20 C, -10 C, and -5 C.

To make it even easier to get a custom cable, SEA Wire and Cable, Inc. offers the Cable Design Center. The Cable Design Center can be found on our home page or on our website under the product wizard.  The Cable Design Center allows for the creation of a custom cable from scratch or the designer can pick a standard mil spec part number to work from. Once the design is submitted, within 24 hours our staff will review the design and then our sales team with contact the designer with a quote. This quote will come with a specification, so that it is easy to see detailed information for the cable that was quoted. If the special cable is ordered, there will be a more detailed specification provided for the designer to sign before the cable goes to production. This ensures that the designer is getting the perfect cable for their application.