Difference between Solid vs Stranded Copper Cables

Posted by Tom Niswander on

Knowing what the advantages of solid or stranded cables in your installation is an important step in the success to your network. Solid copper cables are some of the most popular cables in the field today because of its overall better performance. You will find a majority of this cable inside the walls of your house or in the risers of your building. Stranded cable comes in when flexibility is needed. You will find a majority of stranded cables in between computers and keystone jacks, switches, rack mounts and the final 10 meters of your channel length. Before we jump into what the advantages of each are its important to understand what exactly a solid or stranded copper cables is. When we talk about these types of cables we are actually talking about the conductors inside the cables which make up the pairs of wires. These pairs of wires can be solid or stranded. Solid conductors are made of a single piece of metal wire. Stranded conductors bundle together a number of small-gauge conductors to create a single large conductor. Usually you might think more is better but in conductivity terms you want your wires to be solid with no spaces or gaps for better flow of electrical signals. With that said stranded cable does have its advantages where solid cable doesn't so lets get into it.

solid vs stranded copper cable wires conductors


Advantages of Solid Conductors

  • Less overall cost
  • Less complex termination systems
  • Better transmission performance at high frequencies
  • Less resistance

Advantages of Stranded Conductors

  • More flexible
  • Longer flex life
  • Less susceptible to damage during crimp terminations

 

 


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