What is an Armoured Cables?

What is an Armoured Cable?

Classification of Cables

An armored cable features a protective metallic layer, consisting of strips or threads, enveloping the conductors, shielding them from external forces. Notably, these cables serve as a bulwark against various external threats, such as rodent damage and inadvertent impacts, while mitigating the risk of hazardous energy release from internal irregularities.

Distinguished by their insulation comprising non-flame propagating thermoplastic compounds, with minimal smoke emission and toxicity, armored cables boast enhanced safety features. This insulation is further fortified by a robust metal armor, ensuring comprehensive protection.

The installation of armored cables offers expediency and cost-effectiveness, eliminating the need for rigid conduit pipes and associated tasks like threading, bending, and support structures. Moreover, the availability of armored cables in continuous rolls of convenient lengths minimizes wastage.

By providing an impregnable barrier against electrostatic, magnetic, and common modes of interference, the armor of these cables elevates their reliability and resilience in diverse operational environments.

What is the armoured cable?

The armored cable is fortified with an additional protective layer, strategically designed to safeguard it against unwanted cuts or damages. Comprising aluminum wires positioned beneath the sheath, this armor serves to shield the conductor and insulate the underlying layers.

Why are armoured cables used?

In outdoor installations or direct burial scenarios, ensuring mechanical protection for electrical cables becomes imperative. This is where aluminum wire armour (AWA) and steel wire armour (SWA) step in to provide the necessary fortification. With the armoured wire boasting higher tensile loads, it offers enhanced resilience against crushing, cutting, and wear, ensuring robust protection for the cables.

Classifications of Armoured Cables

Azmat Cables Industries can classify the armoured cables into steel wire, steel tape, aluminum wire and aluminum alloy.

    1. Steel wire armoured cables ( SWA)
    2. Steel tape armoured cables ( STA)
    3. Aluminum wire armoured Cables ( AWA)
    4. Braid wire armour cable

Now, we will discuss the types of armoured cables in detail.

  1. Steel Wire Armour Cable (SWA)

Steel wire armoured cable has a strong steel wire conductor assembled with a layer of insulation. The steel wire armour is abbreviated as SWA.

steel-wire-armor-cable

The Steel Wire Armoured cable (SWA) stands as a stalwart in electrical power distribution, renowned for its durability and resilience. Primarily employed in mains supply, it finds its niche in underground and cable duct electrical installations, particularly in the realms of 11 kV and 33 kV applications.

At its core, the shielded layer of steel wire armoured cable serves a dual purpose: enhancing tensile and compressive strength while providing crucial mechanical protection. This fortification not only prolongs the cable’s service life but also bolsters its resilience against interference, thanks to shielding protection.

Recognized for its ability to withstand substantial pull loads, the steel wire armoured cable finds extensive utility in multicore applications. Notably, the blue-sheathed variant of SWA cables emerges as particularly suited for instrumentation purposes, adding a layer of versatility to its robust design.

2. Steel Tape Armour Cable (STA)

Steel-Tape-Armoured-lWC

The incorporation of steel tape and wire armour layers signifies a meticulous approach to cable protection, boasting high permeability and exceptional magnetic shielding capabilities. This inherent strength renders them adept at repelling low-frequency interference, ensuring uninterrupted signal transmission.

Notably, steel tape armouring emerges as a favored technique for safeguarding fiber optic cables, owing to its proven efficacy and reliability. This method not only fortifies the cables against external threats but also reinforces their resilience in challenging operational environments, thereby safeguarding critical communication pathways.

3. Aluminum Wire Armour Cable (AWA)

Alu-Wire-armor-cable

Aluminum wire armoured cables offer robust defense against mechanical stress, rendering them ideal for direct burial and outdoor or underground applications where resilience is paramount.

In electrical systems, the flow of current within cables inevitably gives rise to magnetic fields. These fields, in turn, induce electric currents known as eddy currents within the steel armour, potentially leading to overheating in AC systems. However, the utilization of aluminum, a non-magnetic material, for reinforcement effectively mitigates this risk, ensuring optimal performance and safety in diverse operational environments.

4. Braid Wire Armour

braid-armor-cable

The braided armour cable features a meticulously crafted structure comprising numerous fine copper wires intricately interwoven into a tightly meshed tubular configuration that envelops the conductor. This specialized design serves a dual purpose: shielding against magnetic fields and minimizing electromagnetic interference, both within the cable and in proximity to other cables.

Primarily employed in environments where high-speed signal transmission is imperative, such as telecommunications and data networking, copper braided cables offer unparalleled protection against mechanical damage while ensuring optimal signal integrity and reliability.

Difference Between Steel Wire Armoured (SWA) Cable and Steel Tape Armoured Cable (STA)?

Azmat Cables Industries relies on steel tape armoured cable (STA) for applications such as direct burial, pipe laying, common ground installations, and tunnels. Compared to steel wire armoured (SWA) cables, STA cables offer a cost-effective solution. SWA cables, on the other hand, excel in scenarios requiring resistance to longitudinal tension, making them ideal for short-distance aerial or vertical installations. While SWA cables are more expensive due to their complex production process, they are versatile options suitable for network, power, and leaflet armoured cables, tailored to diverse environmental requirements and shielding needs.

Construction of Armoured Cable

The construction of an armoured cable involves several key components meticulously designed to ensure optimal performance and durability in various applications. Here’s a breakdown of its construction:

construction-armor

Conductor

The conductor serves as the pathway for electric current within a cable, facilitating the flow of electricity from one point to another. Typically situated at the core of the cable, it is essential for transmitting electrical energy efficiently and reliably.

Copper boasts superior conductivity compared to aluminum, making it a preferred material for conductors in many applications. However, both copper and aluminum are widely recognized as excellent choices for electric conductivity, each offering distinct advantages depending on the specific requirements of the application.

Insulation

The insulation of cables encompasses a variety of compounds, including PVC, PVC+NYLON, Low-Density Polyethylene, and XLP, chosen based on the cable’s intended usage.

Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) stands out for its widespread application in power cable systems, prized for its exceptional electrical properties and resistance to water. Ensuring that the conductive elements of the cable remain isolated from other conductors or metallic components is crucial. This insulation layer acts as a vital barrier, maintaining separation between the conductive and non-conductive segments of the cable, thus upholding its integrity and performance.

Bedding

The bedding serves as a crucial safeguard, shielding the sheath from potential mechanical harm. Its primary function is to establish a protective barrier, fostering separation between the inner and outer layers of the cables. This barrier not only enhances the cable’s durability but also ensures the integrity of its structural components, safeguarding against adverse environmental conditions and physical stresses.

Armour

Steel wire armour furnishes robust mechanical defense to the cable, enabling it to endure elevated stresses with resilience. This attribute renders armoured cables ideal for underground installations where resilience against external pressures is paramount. Moreover, the shield, typically grounded, serves not only to fortify the cable’s structure but also functions as a protective circuit conductor, commonly referred to as a “ground wire,” for equipment powered by the cable.

Sheath

The sheath, characterized by its commendable flexibility, serves the crucial role of bundling all cable components together. Beyond mere consolidation, it shields the cable from a spectrum of environmental adversities such as UV radiation, water intrusion, and diverse soil compositions, ensuring its longevity and reliability. Moreover, it offers supplementary safeguarding against external pressures. Among the array of sheath materials available, polyethylene (PE), Low Smoke Halogen Free (LSHF), PTFE, Rubber, and Silicone stand out as notable examples.

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5 thoughts on “What is an Armoured Cables?”

  • Ibrahim's Electricals
    21/02/2024

    Ibrahim’s Electricals provided excellent service! Their team, led by Ali, was professional and efficient. I highly recommend their products

    Reply
  • Asad
    21/02/2024

    Asad from Ahmad Cables was incredibly helpful in guiding us through our cable selection process. Great experience overal

    Reply
  • Mujtuba
    21/02/2024

    Highly impressed with the quality of cables from Usman Enterprises. Muhammad was very knowledgeable and provided top-notch customer service.

    Reply
  • Shuja
    21/02/2024

    I recently purchased cables from Bilal Industries, and I must say, their products exceeded my expectations.

    Reply
  • Saadam Aslam
    21/02/2024

    Excellent customer service from Hassan at Hafiz Electricals. The cables I received were of superior quality and delivered on time. Will definitely be a repeat customer

    Reply

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