Wire and cable are two confusable but different terms in electrical and communication fields. For copper recycling, knowing the difference between wire and cable can greatly assist with your business.
Difference between Wire & Cable
Wire and cable are two terms that are used in electrical and communication fields. They are often
confused, but in fact, they are quite different.
A wire is a single conductor(material most commonly being copper or aluminium) while cable is two or
more insulated wires wrapped in one jacket. Multiple conductors that have no insulation around would be
classified as a single conductor.
Types of Electrical Wires
There are two main types of wires: solid or stranded.
A solid wire is a single conductor that is either bare or insulated by a protective colored sheath. It offers
low resistance and are perfect for use in higher frequencies.
When inside a covering there are many thin strands of wires twisted together, it is called a stranded wire.
Stranded wires are used where flexibility is important because which the wire can be used for a longer
period. This type of wire have larger cross-sectional area than solid wires for the same current carrying
Types of Electrical Cables
There are various types of cables, including twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, multi conductor cable and
fiber optic cable.
1. Twisted pair cable – A twisted pair cable has two cables that are twisted across each other. Twisting
can avoid noise that produced by magnetic coupling, so this type of cable is best suited for carrying
signals. It is generally used in telecommunication and data communication.
2. Multi-conductor cable – Multi conductor cable has two or more conductors that are insulated from each
other. Their purpose is to protect signal integrity by reducing hum, noise and crosstalk. Applications
include computers, communications, instrumentation, sound, control, audio, and data transmission. Both
multi conductor and twisted pair cables are called balanced line configuration cables.
3. Coaxial cable – Coaxial cable is composed of an inner solid conductor surrounded by a paralleled
outer foil conductor that is protected by an insulating layer. The two conductors are separated from each
other by an insulating dielectric. Coaxial cables are generally used in TV Cable. It is called an
unbalanced line as the signal on the two conductors is not same, which result in interference but the
performance is more stable than a twisted pair cable.
4. Fiber optics cable – This kind of cable transmits signals by a bundle of glass threads. Fiber optic
cables have a much greater bandwidth than metal cables, which means they can carry more data. They
are also less susceptible to interference. For these two reasons, fiber optic cables are increasingly being
used instead of traditional copper cables despite that they are expensive
Recycling Ways of Wire and Cable
For large amounts of thin wires of 1-20 mm, copper cable granulator is a best choice. It can crush wires
and separate copper from insulation, finally you can get pure copper granule. For thick straight wire and
cable, wire stripping machine is also a good choice. And its price is lower than that of copper cable