Conductor Stranding: Solid vs. Stranded Conductors

Solid vs. Stranded Conductors in British SWG

Solid Conductor

Solid conductors, as the name suggests, consist of a single, solid strand of metal. They are typically used in smaller cables (usually below 6 SWG) and are known for their mechanical toughness and low cost. Additionally, solid conductors are easier to terminate compared to stranded conductors. However, their major disadvantage lies in their lack of flexibility.

Stranded Conductor

Stranded conductors, on the other hand, are composed of multiple metal strands twisted together. They offer significantly more flexibility than solid conductors, making them ideal for applications that require movement or flexing. The higher the number of strands, the greater the flexibility of the conductor. While stranding can increase the cost of the cable, it is essential for applications where flexibility is crucial.

Types of Stranding

When selecting a stranded conductor, it is important to consider the type of stranding used. The most common types include:


Strands are gathered together without any specific arrangement, resulting in the most cost-effective and flexible type of stranding.


Strands are arranged in a circular pattern, with each layer alternating direction and increasing in lay length. This type of stranding provides good mechanical strength and crush resistance.


Strands are arranged in a circular pattern, with all layers twisted in the same direction and sharing the same lay length. Unilay stranding is lightweight and allows for a smaller cable diameter.

Rope Lay:

Strands are arranged into cabled groups, typically consisting of 7, 13, 19, or 27 strands. This type of stranding offers the highest level of flexibility and is commonly found in larger cables (10 SWG and above).

Bunched, unilay, and concentric are the most widely used types of stranding in British SWG cables. It is important to consult spec sheets and relevant standards for specific stranding regulations.

4 thoughts on “Conductor Stranding: Solid vs. Stranded Conductors”

  • Maria Rodriguez

    Another suggestion would be to include a section on the testing methods used to evaluate the properties of solid and stranded conductors. This would provide readers with a better understanding of how the performance of these conductors is measured and verified.

  • David Johnson

    Overall, this article is a valuable resource for anyone working with electrical wire and cable. It provides essential information on the selection and use of solid and stranded conductors, ensuring accurate and safe electrical installations.

    • Emily Davis

      One suggestion for improvement would be to include a table summarizing the key properties of solid and stranded conductors, such as their flexibility, strength, and cost. This would allow readers to quickly compare and contrast the two types of conductors.

  • Alex Walker

    This article provides a clear and concise explanation of the differences between solid and stranded conductors in British SWG. The inclusion of information on the types of stranding and their applications is particularly useful.


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