What is a control cable?
Control cables are designed for automation control, for sending signals to control equipment, and for measuring and regulating. Due to the nature of the environment in which they are used, these cables must be flexible or bent.
Control cables are used in automation systems, transportation, building, construction, mining, and industry. These are multicore cables. Copper conductors are more common due to their excellent electrical conductivity.
Control & Instrumentation & Signals
The terms control, instrumentation, and signal refer to cables that are not used to transmit power. However, there are subtle differences between these terms.
Signal cables include coaxial cables, twisted pair cables, and fiber optic cables. Control wires are similar to signal cables in that they both carry signals.
However, signal cables transmit data. Therefore, they require shielding to prevent electromagnetic interference. Conventional control cables do not always have a shield.
Another term often associated with control cables is instrumentation cables. Cables meeting this definition also need to be protected against crosstalk and EMI. Sometimes the terms "control" and "meter" are used interchangeably to refer to the same cable. Instrumentation and controls are related functions.
Types of control cables
According to the primary classification, VDE standard, control cables are divided into three types: CY, YY, and SY. YY is an ordinary unshielded cable.
CY is a flexible cable that prevents EMI. It is either individually shielded or has overall shielding. SY cables have a steel wire braid and are suitable for control applications requiring additional mechanical protection.
Standard control cables on the market include SEOW control cables, sprinkler control cables, T-ray control cables, marine control cables, etc.
The difference between power cables and control cables
Both power and control cables are used in industrial, residential, and commercial applications. There are many differences between power cables and control cables besides their general purpose.
First, they differ in voltage. Power cables are typically 0.6/1kV or higher than control lines. Control cables run at 300/450/600/750V.
Since power cables are used in active environments and transmit large amounts of energy, they require excellent sheathing. In power cords, the jacket is durable and resistant to various external elements, including corrosion and temperature. Control wires do not require the same sheathing and usually have
plain PVC insulation.
Power cables require thicker insulation and sheaths than control cables when used in the same environment, such as in industry.
Control cables often have intricate color coding, while power cables are usually black and white.
Power control cable: between two functions
While the distinction between power and control functions is clear, some cables don't fall into either category. The reason for this is that they perform both functions. These include airport lighting cables, welding cables, different types of marine and marine electrical wires, portable power cords, and more.