Multi-Conductor Wire: What You Should Know Before Using It

Are multi-conductor cables fit for your application? Before answering that, you should know more about these setups. Today, this article offers a guide on a multi-conductor wire. So, you’ll find its types, features, and applications. Therefore, you’ll learn whether it’s suitable for your project. Here is what you should know about these cable assemblies!

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Multi-Conductor Cables: A Detailed Overview

Electrical power wire copper isolated on white background

Caption: Electrical power wire copper isolated on white background

A multi-conductor cable features a specific stranded wire construction. And,  it has a common jacket and multiple distinct conductors in each cable. Therefore, you can find up to 60 conductors in these cables. That includes stranded and solid conductors mixed in a single unit.

Here are the top types of multi-conductor cable available:

  • Riser cable. This is a non-plenum construction fit to run between floors. Therefore, it has a high-tensile strength. That’s necessary because you push them through open pipes. So, you’ll find riser cables in load-bearing applications.
  • Plenum cables. These go through HVAC systems and plenum areas of a building. They need to handle high and low temperatures. Therefore, their insulation is great. Examples of these wires include network communication and telephone cables.
  • Shielded wires. The jacket hides the common conductive layer. That ensures the wire acts as a Faraday cage. Therefore, the braid shields keep interference and noise remain minimal. Unlike the unshielded cable, the signal clarity is high, and there is low electromagnetic radiation.

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What Are the Crucial Features of a Multi-Conductor Cable?

Bare copper wire

Caption: Bare copper wire

Well, the great thing about a multi-conductor cable is its design versatility. As a result, you can adjust the construction to a wide range of application and device requirements. So, consider the following during the process!

Multi-Conductor Wire:What Material to Choose for the Conductor?

Bare stranded copper wires

Caption: Bare stranded copper wires

Metals are among the most common conductor materials. Therefore, you can pick between five options:

  • Aluminum. On the one hand, this is a budget-friendly variation. Therefore, it fits a high-voltage transmission. On the other hand, you can only use it for low-voltage distribution.
  • Silver. On the one hand, this element is very conductive. On the other hand, it comes with a high price. That’s why you won’t find it in many applications.
  • Steel. Not only it has a decent conductivity level, but also it’s fairly affordable.
  • Copper. Well, this is another element users choose frequently. Generally speaking, the industry appreciates copper for its impressive conductivity. Therefore, you’ll find it in various applications.

Annealed copper. In fact, it’s an adjusted version of the previous conductor. Furthermore, the industry accepts this as an international standard in electrical units.

Multi-Conductor Wire:What Material to Choose for the Jacket?

Macro detail of some cables

Caption: Macro detail of some cables

As the word suggests, this is an outside layer of the multi-conductor cable solution. Therefore, the jacket keeps the conductors safe from environmental factors. Furthermore, it removes the current leakage risk.

You can choose between these elements for multi-conductor jacketing materials:

  • PVC. It’s short for polyvinyl chloride. It is durable, flexible, and versatile for various applications. Furthermore, it’s budget-friendly and affordable.
  • PUR. Coil cord applications fit this element. Polyurethane keeps its shape for a long time. Furthermore, it’s abrasion-resistant and fairly flexible.
  • CPE. The chlorinated polyethylene is light. On the other hand, it’s rigid and has a low coefficient of friction. Therefore, it’s a good choice for harsh areas.
  • PE. This is the basic polyethylene jacket. It has a decent weather resistance. Therefore, you don’t have to use it only in dry locations.
  • TPE or TPR. This is short for a thermoplastic elastomer or rubber. It’s an excellent option for low-temperature applications. Furthermore, it’s durable and flexible for its low cost.
  • CPE and CSPE. These are thermoset polyolefins. They have a rugged substance that keeps its shape for long. It’s resistant to heat and melting. Furthermore, it has admirable UV stability.

Multi-Conductor Wire:What’s the Optimal Cable Size?

Steel wire cable – 3D illustration

Caption: Steel wire cable – 3D illustration

That depends on multiple factors. Generally speaking, you’ll find that the American Wire Gauge (AWG) serves for determining the gauge sizes. And it has a simple working process. That is, you get the cross-sectional area of each conductor and sum them up. Therefore, a gauge number might be high. That means a wire has a compact diameter. On the other hand, a big wire has a low gauge number.

Also, other characteristics affect the multi-conductor wire size. Furthermore, that includes the number of the conductors applied, jacket thickness, type, etc.

Which Applications Are Suitable for Multi-Conductor Wire?

A stranded wire

Caption: A stranded wire

You can use multi-conductor wire products in many applications. The range of industries using these cables is long. Let’s look at the common examples of these wires:

  • Communications industry
  • Power transmission applications
  • Broadcast applications
  • A/V systems
  • Data transmission
  • RC circuits
  • Medical and military electronics
  • On-machine control cables

Trust Cloom with Your Multi-Conductor Wire by the foot

Caption: 3D illustration of various cables

If you need custom cable solutions, you want to partner with a reliable provider. At Cloom, we have years of experience in designing coaxial cables and other wires for residential, commercial, and industrial use. Therefore, our team will ensure you get the exact cable you need for your application.

Here are the major benefits of working with us:

  • Ensure the assembly has the required certifications. It’s vital that your application meets relevant regulations. Therefore, you need a custom cable connection with a specific certification. That could be UL, ISO 9001:2015, CSA, etc. Our AWG 7/30 copper and other wires will come with the desired certification.
  • Years of experience. Our team has advanced knowledge and skills in the everyday applications of various cables. Therefore, we can tell you if you need PVC flame retardant insulation or another feature for your cable. Our experts will suggest the best solution for your project based on our extensive industry experience.
  • Maximum quality. We care about our customers and ensure the products we deliver feature maximum value for money. Therefore, we’ll use the family of materials that best fit your application and budget.

You can count on us for anything from custom wiring harness assemblies to another desired cable solution.


Is yours among the range of industries that utilizes a multi-conductor cable? If yes, you can’t go wrong with this assembly. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find the right setup for your application!

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Enjoy a free sample worth UP TO $100!
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Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

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