Few people tend to realize the importance of cables to the functioning of the world today. Undersea cables are responsible for the functioning of the global internet and financial markets.

Fiber optic cables play an indispensable role in transport, defense, and telecommunications. Shielded cables are responsible for the safe functioning of virtually every electrical application on Earth.

If you want to know more about the different types of cables in the world, and how different cable types are used, then read this guide to find out.

Let’s dive into it

1. Shielded Cables

Shielded cables are among the most widely-used and oldest types of cable wires in existence.

They are usually much thicker than non-shielded cables, owing to the fact that they contain a conductive layer that insulates the actual wires.

These shields are used for protective purposes, to both defend the integrity of the wire and protect people from being harmed by the cable, as they often transmit high-voltage electrical currents.

They also protect cables from EMI degradation, which is common in industrial settings such as data centers and robotics factories.

2. Fiber-optic Cables

Fiber-optics cables are similar to the more standard, copper electrical cable. However, they differ in that each one contains multiple optical fibers in each cable, that are used to carry light at incredibly fast speeds.

These cable types are therefore most often used in any application that requires speed, velocity, and capacity.

This includes high-speed data transfers that are increasingly common in household internet systems, as well as long-distance telecommunication.

3. Medical Cables

Medical cables are an emerging type of various cables that have biotechnology applications for health and wellbeing. They are typically very small and very thin, as they are often inserted into the body.

Typically, quality medical cables that are used for a wide variety of medical purposes contain silicone, as this is one of the single most biocompatible cable materials out there.

Although you may not know much about medical cables just yet, you are likely to see them mentioned a lot more in the coming years.

4. Coaxial Cables

Similar to shielded cables, coaxial cables are a type of cable that is defined by insulation and conductivity.

These thick cables consist of an inner conductor that is completely surrounded by a concentric conducting shield.

The conductor is often made of solid copper or steel and is enclosed with metallic tape. They are used to carry high-frequency electrical signals with minimum loss.

As such, you will most commonly see these cables in radio transmitters and computer networks.

5. Twisted Pair Cables

Of all the different types of cables, twisted pair cables might be the ones you are least familiar with. As you might have already guessed, twisted pair cables consist of two conductors from a single circuit.

These are twisted together in order to improve electromagnetic compatibility and reduce electromagnetic radiation and external interference.

Since this means that they can deflect external interference, they are used almost exclusively in telephone lines.

Now You Know All About Types of Cables

Now that you know about the main types of cables, it’s time to learn more.

Make sure to check out my comprehensive Architecture section for information on all of the components needed to build a functioning home, electrical or otherwise.

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