Armoured cable is a heavy duty cable most commonly used in industrial applications, such as powering factory and warehouse equipment. It’s constructed with layers of insulation and metal armour that helps it better withstand and protect against wear, stress, and any potential damage. Learn all about armoured cable, what types are available, and how to properly install armoured cable in your home or business.
What Are Armoured Cables?
Armoured cables, also known as steel wire armoured (SWA) cables or metallic listed armoured (MLA) cables, are strong and secure electrical power supplies.
They’re characterised by the tough metal casing surrounding the wires or conductors, which keeps them insulated from damage whilst also providing protection from external forces such as fire or water. This makes them ideal for use in hazardous environments or in areas where physical tampering is an issue.
The Different Types of Armoured Cables
There are two primary types of armoured cables, SWA and MLA. SWA consists of wires bundled together before being encased in a flexible corrugated steel sheath.
On the other hand, MLA is composed of individually insulated strands that are covered with a plastic sheath before being surrounded by metal shielding. Both types provide superior insulation and protection compared to traditional non-armoured electrical wiring methods.
Benefits of using Armoured Cables
Armoured cables offer a number of advantages that make them a popular choice for use in industrial and commercial settings. Compared to traditional, unarmoured cables, armoured cables provide superior protection against physical forces, impacts, extreme temperatures, and flare-ups.
Additionally, their metal jackets help reduce the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI) which can cause issues with nearby circuits or networks. Finally, they can be installed in wet environments without the need for additional waterproofing measures.
Installation and Maintenance Guidelines for Armoured Cables
Before installing armoured cables, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Installing armoured cables in an incorrect manner can result in electric shocks, fire hazards, or a complete loss of power. Additionally, special tools may be required to complete the installation safely and correctly.
Once installed, armoured cable should be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear or damage that could compromise safety or performance. Regular maintenance is also recommended for cables installed in wet environments to ensure optimal protection against corrosion.
Common Myths About Armoured Cables
Many people are unaware of the safety features offered by armoured cables and therefore assume that they are no more secure than non-armoured cables.
This is far from the truth, however; armoured cables include layers of armouring around their inner conductors that provide superior protection against accidental contact with electrical current and other environmental factors.
Additionally, armoured cable performs better than non-armoured cables in wet conditions, meaning that it can be safely used in damp or humid environments without sacrificing performance.