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What Are the Components That Make Up a Cable?

by Felicia Priedel
What Are the Components That Make Up a Cable?

Despite cables being such a complex form of technology, we use them every day for many of the tasks we perform. Cables offer many uses and have numerous components that allow us to transfer data, pass on electricity, and pair devices. If we want to understand them better, we need to delve into the parts that make them function.

Conductors

Cables constantly send streams of information or power through electricity. Audio and visual data will move through them in electrical pulses while electrical currents are a steady stream that power devices. For cables to pass data and electrical currents to technology, they need some form of medium to help them, such as conductors.

Conductors are materials that can channel electricity through them. These materials come in many metals, such as silver, gold, and iron. Certain liquids, such as seawater or mercury, may act as conductors, such as the mercury used in fluorescent lighting and electrical switches.

A conductor is the essential component of a cable since the cable couldn’t pass any electricity through without it. The type of conductor will determine how much electric current will pass through the cable, with silver being the most conductive and copper being the second most effective and the most common. Although wires will bend and conduct electricity, you should still take time to protect your cables so that there is a smaller chance of impedance.

Insulation

Cables and conductors need insulation to keep them from losing any electric current that could spill out during transferring. Regardless of the material, the wires have a covering of insulation that consists of a material that won’t conduct electricity, such as polyvinyl chloride.

As wires sit tight within a cable, they would make contact while electricity moves through them, which would cause arcs of electricity to jump everywhere and potentially start a fire. With insulation, the wires will remain contained and are safe to be around each other without the possibility of electric leakage causing the cable to malfunction.

Jacket (Outer Layer)

The final component of the cable that acts as the outer-most shell of this technological nesting doll is the protective jacket. The protective jacket binds the whole cable together, and without it, the wires would be a loose mess with nothing to hold them together. The jacket, with its more rigid outer-most shell made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, will protect all other components.

The jacket will protect the cable from blunt force or chemicals that spill onto the wires. If it receives any damage, you should test the cable before using it to ensure it still works.

Cables are a helpful and exciting piece of technology that we use every day. Having a better understanding of how they work allows us to know how to treat them and preserve them to function correctly.

Despite cables being such a complex form of technology, we use them every day for many of the tasks we perform. Cables offer many uses and have numerous components that allow us to transfer data, pass on electricity, and pair devices. If we want to understand them better, we need to delve into the parts that make them function.

Conductors

Cables constantly send streams of information or power through electricity. Audio and visual data will move through them in electrical pulses while electrical currents are a steady stream that power devices. For cables to pass data and electrical currents to technology, they need some form of medium to help them, such as conductors.

Conductors are materials that can channel electricity through them. These materials come in many metals, such as silver, gold, and iron. Certain liquids, such as seawater or mercury, may act as conductors, such as the mercury used in fluorescent lighting and electrical switches.

A conductor is the essential component of a cable since the cable couldn’t pass any electricity through without it. The type of conductor will determine how much electric current will pass through the cable, with silver being the most conductive and copper being the second most effective and the most common. Although wires will bend and conduct electricity, you should still take time to protect your cables so that there is a smaller chance of impedance.

Insulation

Cables and conductors need insulation to keep them from losing any electric current that could spill out during transferring. Regardless of the material, the wires have a covering of insulation that consists of a material that won’t conduct electricity, such as polyvinyl chloride.

As wires sit tight within a cable, they would make contact while electricity moves through them, which would cause arcs of electricity to jump everywhere and potentially start a fire. With insulation, the wires will remain contained and are safe to be around each other without the possibility of electric leakage causing the cable to malfunction.

Jacket (Outer Layer)

The final component of the cable that acts as the outer-most shell of this technological nesting doll is the protective jacket. The protective jacket binds the whole cable together, and without it, the wires would be a loose mess with nothing to hold them together. The jacket, with its more rigid outer-most shell made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, will protect all other components.

The jacket will protect the cable from blunt force or chemicals that spill onto the wires. If it receives any damage, you should test the cable before using it to ensure it still works.

Cables are a helpful and exciting piece of technology that we use every day. Having a better understanding of how they work allows us to know how to treat them and preserve them to function correctly.

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