Types of Cables

You might have seen those thick electric cables that are used to transmit electric current to our homes from the power station. In this article, we will learn more about these electrical cables and their different types.

Table of Contents

What is Electrical Cable?

The cable that is used for the transmission and distribution of electrical power is known as the electrical power cable. It is used for the transmission of high voltages in places where overhead lines are impractical to use.

The power cable is made of three main components, namely, conductor, dielectric, and sheath. The conducting path for the current in the cable is provided by the conductor. The insulation or dielectric withstands the service voltage and isolates the live conductor with other objects. The sheath does not allow the moistures to enter and protects the cables from all external influences like chemical or electrochemical attacks and fire.

Types of Electrical Cable

Types of Cables

Various types of cables are used everywhere for various applications. Not all cables perform the same application. The function of a cable depends upon the type of cable. The electrical cables are made of aluminium or copper wires protected by an insulating coating which can be made of synthetic polymers.

Cables are classified into 5 types depending upon their purpose as follows:

  • Ribbon Electric Cables

    It consists of multiple insulated wires running parallel with one another and is used for transmission of multiple data simultaneously. For example, this is used to connect the CPU with the motherboard and is generally used for the interconnection of networking devices.

  • Shielded Cables

    It consists of 1 or 2 insulated wires which are covered by a woven braided shield or aluminium Mylar foil for better signal transmission and removing irregularities in the frequency of power and external interference in radio. These cables transmit high voltage electric current and are protected by a shield.

  • Twisted Pair Cables

    It has two or more insulated copper wires which are twisted with each other and are colour-coded. These types of wires are usually used in telephone cables and the resistance to external interference can be measured by the number of wires.

  • Coaxial Cables

    This consists of solid copper or steel conductor plated with copper which is enclosed in the metallic braid and metallic tape. This is entirely covered with an insulated protective outer jacket. These types of cables are used for computer networking and audio-video networking.

  • Fibre Optics Cable

    There are these types of cables which transport optical data signals from an attached light source to the receiving device. We are pretty much aware of what is optical fibre and its uses in a wide variety of applications.

These were some types of cables if you wish to know more, download BYJU’S The Learning App


Kirchhoff’s Law Current Coil

Frequently Asked Questions


What does underground cable mean?

When the cable is buried in the ground for the transmission and distribution of electric power, it is known as an underground cable. This is used in densely populated areas.


Name the factor on which the insulation layer thickness of the conductor is decided in the cables.

It depends on the voltage.


How to protect the cable from mechanical injury?

By using the process of armouring, the cable can be protected from mechanical injury.


What does the screening of cables mean?

Screening of cables means protecting cables with the help of earthed wire mesh to avoid electromagnetic interference from other signals.


Which cable is used by the telecommunication company to transmit telephone signals?

Fibre Optics Cable is used by telecommunication companies to transmit telephone signals.

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