Complete Guide on Different Types of Cables with Names & Pictures

Overview of Types of Cables

In electronics, a cable is like a pathway for sending electricity or signals from one point to another. It’s essentially a bunch of wires bundled together to carry power or information. There are three main types of cables: Electrical, Power, & Computer Cables. Electric cables help electricity travel from one place to another. A power cable is a bunch of electrical wires grouped and covered with a protective layer. Its job is to carry electrical power. Computer cables connect things like monitors, keyboards, printers, and hard drives to computers, making them work smoothly. These cables have signals in digital or analog form and can also provide power to devices. This article includes all types of cables in the above categories, including their functions and uses.

Types of Cables Pictures

Different Types of Cables, Names & Pictures

Different Types of Cables

Electrical Cables

  • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable
  • Coaxial Cable
  • Fiber Optic Cable
  • Instrumentation Cable
  • Control Cable
  • Submersible Cable
  • High-Temperature Cable
  • HVAC Cable
  • Tri-Rated Cable
  • Fire-resistant Cable

Power Cables

  • Low Voltage (LV) Power Cables
    • Non-Armored Cable
    • Armored Cable
  • Medium Voltage (MV) Power Cables
    • XLPE Insulated Cable
    • Paper-Insulated Lead-Covered (PILC) Cable
    • Screened or Shielded Cable
  • High Voltage (HV) Power Cables
    • High Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF) Cable
    • Gas-Insulated Cable (GIC)
    • Mass Impregnated (MI) Cable
  • Extra High Voltage (EHV) Power Cables
    • High-Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) Conductor
    • Composite Core Conductors
  • Submarine Power Cables
  • Fiber Optic Power Cables
  • Solar PV Cables
  • Mining Cables
  • Wind Turbine Cables

Computer Cables

  • USB Cables
  • HDMI Cables
  • Ethernet Cables (RJ45)
  • VGA Cables
  • DisplayPort Cables
  • DVI Cables
  • Power Cables
  • Audio Cables
  • SATA Cables
  • Parallel & Series Cables

Types of Electrical Cables

An electrical cable is a bundle of wires twisted, bonded, or braided together. It helps electricity travel from one place to another. These cables are designed differently for specific uses and are used in many different areas.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cables are crucial for networking. It is made up of pairs of copper wires twisted together.

Unlike shielded cables, UTP doesn’t have a metal shield and relies on its twisted-pair structure to minimize interference and crosstalk.

This design promotes balanced signal transmission, eliminating needing a physical shield. UTP cables are widely used in Ethernet networks, ensuring reliable data signal transmission over short to medium distances without grounding.

With eight separate wires organized into four pairs, UTP cables allow for the attachment of RJ45 plugs for connectivity.

Their straightforward yet effective design makes UTP cables excellent for transferring data and audio signals at low speeds.

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable, or coax, is a special kind of copper wire with a protective cover. Inside, there’s a central wire, like the core of a pencil, surrounded by a shield. These parts are separated by insulation, like the eraser on a pencil. On the outside, there’s a rigid covering.

Cable TV companies use coax to link their antennas to homes. It’s also used for Internet and TV connections in computer networks. The cool thing is that coax can handle both Internet and TV signals at the same time!

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cables are special network wires with glass fibers inside. They’re a good choice for phones and the Internet because they can send data fast and for long distances.

A computer turns data into light pulses, which a laser sends through tiny glass or plastic strands called optical fibers.

Lots of data can travel through them at once, they can go far without losing signal strength, and they don’t get disrupted by radio interference.

Whether two strands or a whole bunch, fiber optic cables keep our Internet and phones running smoothly.

Instrumentation Cable

Instrumentation cables are essential for transmitting signals in industries like automation and control. They connect instruments to controllers and panels, enabling smooth signal transmission for precise monitoring and control of processes.

These cables are rugged and versatile, built to withstand challenging conditions. They come in solid or stranded forms, with conductor sizes ranging from 18 to 24 AWG. This design ensures they perform reliably in various situations.

Control Cable

A control cable is like the conductor of a symphony for electronic devices. It sends signals to different parts of equipment, making things work automatically.

These cables are bendy to fit various environments and often have a protective shield for safety, like a foil or braid shield. They’re like the choreographers of electricity!

Submersible Cable

Submersible cables power underwater pumps for irrigation and deep well operations. Their flat design makes them easy to install in tight spaces, even within water pipes.

These cables are popular due to their insulation and use of non-toxic materials. These properties give submersible cables good flexibility and strong protection, making them a good choice for submersible pump applications.

When connecting pump motors to supply lines, it’s important to use UL-listed Type THW submersible cables with a UL 83 rating to ensure top-notch performance.

High-Temperature Cable

A high-temperature cable is designed to bear temperatures of at least 150°C. These cables come in single-conductor or multiconductor configurations.

In practical terms, high-temperature cables are commonly used in the internal wiring of furnaces, cooking appliances, and industrial heating applications.

Tri-rated cables are a specific cable type with PVC coating and temperature tolerance of 150°C and beyond. Alternatively, cables insulated with silicon and fiberglass have an impressive rating of 180°C or more.

One of the notable qualities of high-temperature cables is their halogen-free and low-smoke characteristics.

HVAC Cable

HVAC cables are an excellent alternative to overhead lines in crowded areas, river crossings, and offshore settings. They’re helpful for offshore, subsea, and internal audio, transmission measurement wiring, and control signals with minimal interference.

These cables often use cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation, known for its electrical resistivity of 1.97 × 10^14 Ω·m at 30°C. XLPE can last 40 to 60 years at a 90°C rated temperature, which provides durability and reliable performance in challenging environments.

Tri-Rated Cable

Tri-rated cable/BS6231 control panel wire is a top-notch solution for internal wiring in electrical panels and equipment.

This specialized wire is widely used in power switchgear, electrical cabinets, panel building, motor starters, controllers, small devices, and various industrial installations due to its high-temperature resilience and flame-retardant properties.

The tri-rated cable meets BS 6231, UL 758, and CSA 22.2 standards. It features a flexible, single-core copper conductor and a heat-resistant Polyvinyl Chloride (HR PVC) insulated jacket. This precise combination makes it a good choice for demanding electrical applications.

Fire-resistant Cable

A fire-resistant cable/circuit integrity cable is a special cable that can keep working even during a fire. It’s built to maintain its functionality in certain fire conditions.

These cables can operate normally in temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius but have a limited time of operation once that threshold is surpassed.

These cables benefit critical systems where safety is paramount, like supplying power to emergency equipment such as smoke extractors, alarms, water pumps, and signaling devices.

Their ability to withstand extreme conditions makes them essential for ensuring continued operation during a fire emergency.

Types of Power Cables

A power cable is a bundle of electrical wires grouped together and covered with a protective layer. Its job is to carry electrical power. These cables can be permanently installed inside buildings, placed underground, hung overhead, or left exposed. If you find power cables bundled in a plastic coating meant for indoor use, they’re often referred to as NM-B cables.

Low Voltage (LV) Power Cables

Low-voltage power cables, known as network wiring, carry electrical signals under 50 volts. They have three main parts: conductors, insulation, and protective layers.

These cables use materials like aluminum or copper, covered with insulating substances such as fiberglass, PVC, or rubber. They’re used in data communication, audio/visual systems, security, lighting control, and data transmission.

Non-Armored Cable

A non-armored cable is like an electrical rope made by twisting multiple insulated conductors together. It doesn’t have a protective outer layer, so it can be used indoors or in places where extra shielding is unnecessary.

These flexible cables make them great for navigating tight spaces in buildings. They’re cost-effective because they don’t have extra protective layers. Due to that, they may not handle high temperatures or stress well, risking damage to their insulation.

Armored Cable

Armored cables have metal protection to keep them safe from harm. They can be wrapped in tape or wire. These rigid cables shield against chemicals, rust, and physical damage.

PVC armored cables are extra resilient in wet places, like basements or barns. Unlike regular cables, they can handle moisture well.

Steel wire armored cables, or SWA, are sturdy power cables that deliver electricity. They’re built tough to work reliably, even in tough spots. That’s why they’re often used in hazardous places.

Medium Voltage (MV) Power Cables

Medium voltage (MV) power cables have a voltage rating between 1,000 V and 45 kV. They deliver electricity to regions, supporting high-energy demand systems like cranes and conveyors.

Components of MV cables include a Conductor, Insulation, Metal screen, Water protection, Armor, and Outer sheath.

These cables are essential in regional energy transmission, connecting within larger local grids. They find applications in power stations, switchboards, and industrial setups.

XLPE Insulated Cable

XLPE insulated cables are special electrical cables that carry power or signals. The insulation is made of a rigid material called XLPE. This insulation is flame-retardant and free of harmful halogens.

XLPE cables are good because they resist heat, moisture, and chemicals. They can handle higher short circuit currents and temperatures than PVC.

It allows them to carry more current (about 5-10% more). These cables are ideal for harsh environments like underground or underwater installations.

Typical uses of XLPE include plumbing systems in buildings, insulation for high-voltage cables as an alternative to PVC, and water pipes alongside copper tubing.

Paper-Insulated Lead-Covered (PILC) Cable

Paper-insulated lead-covered (PILC) cables are power cables used in medium-voltage underground distribution systems.

PILC cables have been utilized in the United States since the late 1800s, and they are an essential component of most metropolitan underground distribution networks.

PILC cables are utilized in power distribution and other industrial circuits that need splicing into existing PILC cable networks.

They are usually installed in conduit or duct systems, with relatively little PILC cable buried in touch with the earth.

The everyday life of a lead sheath should be approximately 40 years under normal operating conditions, depending on the lead alloy used.

Screened or Shielded Cable

A shielded cable is like a protective jacket for electrical wires. It’s wrapped in a particular layer that blocks interference from messing with its signals.

The shield keeps the electrical signals clear and prevents them from getting jumbled up by outside disturbances.

These cables are handy in places with many electrical gadgets or where electric solid fields are at risk. They keep everything running smoothly by maintaining the signals clean and undisturbed.

High Voltage (HV) Power Cables

High-voltage (HV) power cables carry electricity at high voltage. They’re made of a conductor, insulation, and joints.

These cables are fully insulated, which means they have layers to protect against contact, control leakage current, and use automation like DCS and SCADA for safe transmission. They’re usually single-cored with separate insulation and sheaths for protection.

High Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF) Cable

A high-pressure fluid-filled (HPFF) cable is an underground power line. It is a steel pipe containing three high-voltage wires insulated with mineral oil to 200-300 psi.

This cable is also called high-pressure pipe type (HPPT). From the 1930s to the late 1990s, they were North America’s preferred mode of high-voltage transmission.

Gas-Insulated Cable (GIC)

A gas-insulated cable (GIL) is a modern way to bury high-voltage wires. It has an aluminum tube that carries electricity, surrounded by a sturdy metal tube filled with a particular insulating gas.

The inner conductor is inside a roughly 50 cm diameter pipe, supported by disc or epoxy resin insulators.
This pipe is filled with a specific insulating gas, like sulfur hexafluoride or a mix of nitrogen and sulfur hexafluoride gases.

GILs produce much lower electric and magnetic fields than overhead lines (OHL) and traditional underground cables. It makes gas-insulated cables a unique and efficient solution for safe power distribution.

Mass Impregnated (MI) Cable

Mass-impregnated (MI) cables are special high-voltage (HV) cables that transmit power over long distances and extreme depths in underwater projects.

They have a unique insulation layer made of oil or mass-impregnated cellulose paper. This insulation is a thick substance that doesn’t leak even if the cable is damaged.

MI cables are highly reliable for subsea HVDC interconnector projects requiring over 500 kV, and they rarely experience failures.

Extra High Voltage (EHV) Power Cables

Extra High Voltage (EHV) power cables are crucial for transporting large amounts of electricity over long distances.

They operate at voltages between 220 kV and 345 kV, serving as a backbone in the electric system. EHV cables, made with durable materials like aluminum or copper, minimize energy loss and ensure reliability and safety in power transmission.

High-Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) Conductor

HTLS conductors are a particular type of power line that can handle higher temperatures, up to 210 °C. Unlike regular conductors, they are made from aluminum materials that can operate at these elevated temperatures, allowing them to carry more power.

It makes them the top choice for upgrading transmission lines to meet the growing need for increased power transmission.

Composite Core Conductors

A composite core conductor is like a team of metal buddies working together. It has two or more metal strands running side by side, helping each other carry the load.

These strands can be made of metals like steel, aluminum, or copper and steel. It’s a tag team of metals making sure electricity flows smoothly.

Submarine Power Cables

Submarine power cables are special wires designed to carry electricity underwater. It is commonly used in projects like offshore wind farms. Unlike cables on land, these face unique challenges like strong currents and high pressure.

These cables must bear harsh conditions and seabed obstacles as they are installed on the ocean floor. They’re crucial for efficiently transmitting electricity across underwater distances.

Unlike cables on land, submarine cables use copper conductors for better strength and corrosion resistance. It helps ensure durability and reliability in harsh marine environments.

Fiber Optic Power Cables

Fiber optic cables are special network cables with glass fibers inside a protective covering. Unlike regular cables, they don’t carry electricity. Instead, they send data using light signals, making them super fast for long-distance communication.

They’re great for high-performance networks and telecommunications, traveling hundreds of miles quickly.

Solar PV Cables

PV cables are essential for linking power sources in solar panel setups. They’re flexible, durable against moisture, sunlight, and flames, and endure high temperatures.

These single-conductor wires facilitate electricity flow within photovoltaic systems to last the entire 30-year lifespan of solar panels.

With a 90°C wet and 150°C dry rating, most PV cables boast XLPE insulation and copper conductors, ensuring resilience against ozone, UV rays, sunlight, and moisture.

Mining Cables

Mining cables are robust, heavy-duty cables specifically made for harsh mining conditions. They endure rough treatment, like being dragged over rocks and run over by equipment.

These cables power and provide control signals and communication data to mining equipment such as drills, shovels, conveyors, loaders, and pumps in tunnels.

Flexible cables typically include ethylene-propylene copolymer (ePr) and terpolymer (ePdM) for exceptional thermal durability, corona resistance, and electrical performance.

Wind Turbine Cables

Wind turbine cables help in connecting different parts of the wind energy system. They transmit power from the turbines to the base and then link the wind farm to the electrical grid. These cables transport electricity, control signals, electronic data, and fiber optics.

Flexible aluminum, copper, and optic cables are used in their design. Copper provides elasticity, which is essential for tolerating vibrations in adverse weather. Aluminum is a cost-effective and dependable option.

In offshore wind farms, turbines transfer power through these cables down the tower and under the seabed to an offshore substation. The electricity is increased to a greater voltage before being sent onshore via high-voltage wires.

Types of Cables in Computer Network

Computer cables are like roads for information and power between devices. They connect things like monitors, keyboards, printers, and hard drives to computers, making them work smoothly.

These cables carry signals in digital or analog form and can also provide power to devices. In short, they’re the essential links that help our gadgets communicate and function properly.

USB Cables

USB, or Universal Serial Bus, is a widely used cable technology that facilitates connections between computers and devices such as printers and cameras.

It was initially created in the 1990s. A USB port efficiently transmits data between components. It transfers data bit by bit across a single cable to ensure proper communication.

USB cables are famous for their user-friendly design. It establishes them as a standard interface for linking devices like cell phones and PCs. They are popular because they are simple, inexpensive, and widely compatible.

HDMI Cables

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) sends top-quality audio and video from one device to another. It connects things like DVD players and set-top boxes to digital TVs.

It’s the primary choice for many devices, like PCs and Blu-ray players, because it handles standard, enhanced, or high-definition video and multi-channel digital audio—all through one cable.

HDMI is famous for supporting high-res audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. It means it delivers an immersive audio-visual experience, whether you’re watching a series or a movie.

Ethernet Cables (RJ45)

Ethernet cables, also known as network cables. These are physical cords that link devices on a network for data transfer.

They connect a laptop or desktop PC to a router, modem, internet hub, printer, and other wired network-capable peripherals. These cables are crucial for building a smart home or office and achieving maximum internet speeds.

Ethernet cables come in various types: an RJ45 connection, internal cabling, and a plastic jacket. For instance, Category 5 (Cat5) cables support traditional and 100BASE-T Ethernet, ensuring reliable connections for smooth data flow in your network.

VGA Cables

A VGA cable is like a connecting medium between your computer and its screen. It sends pictures from the computer to the monitor or TV. There are two types: male and female. The male sticks out, while the female has holes.

VGA cables were used in the 1980s but are less common now. Newer screens use HDMI or DisplayPort. But sometimes, like with old game consoles, VGA still works. So, it’s good to keep one around.

DisplayPort Cables

A DisplayPort cable connects computers or devices to monitors, handling both video and audio through one cable. It has a unique connector with 20 or more pins and comes in different lengths.

It supports up to 8K resolution, high refresh rates, and HDR content. Multiple displays can be easily linked without extra cables, simplifying multi-monitor setups.

DVI Cables

A DVI (Digital Visual Interface) cable transmits digital video signals between devices like computers and monitors or TVs. It’s designed to connect DVI ports commonly found in setups, such as a PC connected to a monitor.

DVI-I (Digital Visual Interface-Integrated) is a versatile type of DVI cable because it can carry both digital and analog signals.

This flexibility allows for easy adaptation. Using adapters, you can connect a DVI port to a traditional VGA port or a modern HDMI port. DVI-I cables are handy for bridging connections between devices with different interfaces.

Power Cables

A computer power cable connects the power source to the electrical socket. It is not limited to desktop computers; it also powers printers and displays.

This cable is crucial for powering the CPU, motherboard, and storage devices. It guarantees that everything works properly. The critical connection keeps your electrical devices operational by properly transporting power.

Audio Cables

Audio cables transfer signals between devices like audio sources, amplifiers, and speakers. They handle both analog and digital signals for clear sound. Quality matters because it affects clarity, volume, and balance.

These cables minimize noise to ensure top-notch audio quality. Use them to connect sources (like a stereo or microphone) to mixers or outputs (like speakers).

SATA Cables

SATA cables are crucial in computers, linking the motherboard to storage devices like HDDs and SSDs. They improve data transfer compared to the older PATA standard.

Since its debut in 2000, SATA has enhanced connectivity, boosted efficiency, and become the go-to choice for storage connections. These cables quietly optimize data transfer, which is vital to a computer’s overall performance.

Parallel & Series Cables

Parallel cables transmit data using multiple wires. They are commonly used for connecting monitors and printers. Due to the multiple enclosed wires, parallel cables have a rigid structure, making their connectors more complex.

On the other hand, serial cables transmit data one bit at a time through a single wire. This modern approach simplifies the cable’s design and improves efficiency. It has replaced parallel cables in many applications.

Read More-

Leave a Reply