Types of Electrical wires and their Uses

What are Electrical wires?

Electrical wires are defined as electrical conductors used to conduct electric current from one point to another point and have a circular cross-section area.

Thus a wire acts as a conduit to carry the flow of electric current. A wire can be of various types such as insulated wire or strand wire, bare wire, etc. these wires are used in the various electrical systems as per the requirement.

Also, the electricians used various types of wires such as bare copper or bare aluminium wires, ACSR wire, Galvanized Iron wire (GI wire), Nichrome wire, Fuse wire, Eureka wire etc.

Types of electrical wires:

Bare Copper Wire

A bare wire is a conducting wire without any insulation covering.  If this wire is made up of copper then it is called bare copper wire and if this wire is made up of aluminium then it is called bare aluminium wire.

Bare wire is usually coated with tin to protect this wire from the various damaging effects of the atmosphere. Generally, 8 SWG wires are commonly used in overhead lines and 14 SWG wires are commonly used in domestic earthing.

Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced (ACSR) Wire

This type of wire is made by using steel wire surrounded by aluminium wire strands. ACSR wire due to its high capacity and high strength is used as a conductor for overhead power lines. Overall tensile strength is provided by the steel wire.

Galvanized Iron wire (GI Wire)

Galvanized iron wire is usually an iron wire and this wire is galvanized to prevent corrosion. This wire is used because the resistivity of iron is 8 times more than copper and also iron is cheaper and also present in abundance in nature.

6 SWG or 8 SWG wire of this type is used in telephone lines and earthing lines. Galvanized iron wires are also used as a stay wire.

Nichrome Wire

This wire is an alloy having 80 % of nickel and 20% of chromium. Nichrome wires have a very high Melting point and are also very strong physically. This Nichrome wire is used to make hot wire cutters, various heating elements, etc.

Fuse Wire

Fuse wire is a type of electrical element having a low melting point and high resistivity which is used in various electrical connections in the main circuit.

Fuse wire is generally made up of tin-lead alloy as it has high resistivity. Sometimes for home applications fuse wire made up of copper or aluminium is also used.

When the current pass-through this wire is more than the rated current then this wire melts.

Eureka Wire

Eureka wire is a type of alloy having 60% copper and 40% nickel in it. The melting point of this wire is high i.e of the order of 1200C. Eureka wire is used to make resistors, rheostats, etc.

Current Rating of Wire

The current rating of a wire is defined as the maximum amount of electric current carried by the wire at 40C without affecting the physical and chemical properties.

The current rating of a wire or the current carrying capacity of a wire depends on the conductor’s specific resistance, diameter and number of strands in a wire.

Wire thickness is directly proportional to the current-carrying capacity i.e if the thickness is more, the current capacity is more.

Fusing Current of Wire

The fusing current of a wire is defined as the minimum current required to melt the wire is called the fusing current of the wire. The value of the fusing current is directly proportional to the thickness of the wire.

The wire used as fuse wire is an alloy of tin and lead having 63% tin and 37% lead. For 1 Ampere fusing current 27 SWG wires, For 3-Ampere fusing current 23 SWG wires and for 5- Ampere fusing current 21 SWG wires are used.




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