There are numerous instrumentation cable types available, with each of them having a varying level of resistance to heat and cold. When it comes to operating and maintaining your equipment in extreme temperatures, choosing appropriate heat- and cold-resistant cables is necessary to ensure their reliable performance and longevity. But what do you need to take into account when looking for the most excellent low- and high-temperature cables?
Most of the time, it can be quite challenging to balance the various needs or requirements of extreme temperature applications. Read on to find out how application specifics, material type, and flexibility can influence your cable and wire selection process.
1. Extreme Temperature Applications and Industries
Environments and application specifics play a significant part in the best cables you require for extreme temperatures. Cables need to endure temperature extremes in applications like industrial ovens, foundries, furnaces, freezers, food and beverage machines, or outdoor machinery. It is common for cables to be subjected to environmental conditions to constant-use temperatures as high as 356°F or as low as -58°F.
However, it is essential not to miss the potential for cold or heat that the application may generate. For instance, if a cable is used on a combustible application, it can only be exposed to high heat for short periods or in flashes. It is crucial for cable components to withstand fast and abrupt changes in temperature without compromising quality.
2. Cable Materials for Extreme Temperature Conditions
Finding the most suitable material for your cables is one way to ensure they maintain their durability and high-quality performance. Extreme high temperatures have the ability to soften, melt, or even burn tubing, insulation, conductors, or shields. As such, selecting the right high-temperature conductor materials and insulation compounds is vital to help prevent cable and wire failure and minimise expensive downtime for repairs.
These materials include silver and nickel-plated copper, Teflon, silicone, PTFE, acrylic-coated fibreglass, polyurethanes, and more. Luckily, the majority of cable materials that have good performance in high heat also have a tendency to perform well in cold environments. However, the most essential thing to take into consideration for cold temperatures is flexibility.
3. Flexible Cables Have Better Performance in Low Temperatures
When it comes to extremely cold temperatures, flexible materials and cable construction are vital since low temperatures naturally cause components to become brittle or harden, thereby resulting in breakage when the cables are flexed or bent. Materials with greater flexibility essentially help ease the strain and prevent excessive damage to the cables.
Solid conductors are also likely to be more rigid in cold environments, which is why it is usually recommended to choose a conductor that comes with a strand count. Traditionally, cables are rated to endure lower temperatures if the application requires no movement or flexing. They may carry two ratings of cold temperature, one for stationary applications and one for flexing.
Generally, providing generic temperature limits for specifically challenging applications or complex cables is hard. Not only do you have to take into account how extreme cold or high heat can possibly damage the cable material, but you also need to factor in bending requirements and a variety of application-specifics. It comes as no surprise that harsh environments place much stress on equipment like cables.
When a cable is being pushed to its limits, it is highly advised to communicate with a specialist first to ensure that you choose the best cable and wire solutions for your application. Among such specialists you can trust in Singapore is Cable Source, which offers an array of top-notch and reliable cables for different applications, ranging from rubber-insulated cables and flexible control cables to marine cables and flame retardant and fire resistant cables. Visit our website to learn more about our cables.