Allied Encyclopedia – Cable Construction Basics: Insulation

Allied Encyclopedia

Insulation is an important cable part. Surrounding the conductor, it prevents electrical leakage and contact with other conductors. Insulation also protects the cable  from environmental hazards like heat and water.

Insulation consists of non-metallic materials that resist the flow of electric current. Because insulation material doesn’t move electricity the way the conductor does, it protects the flow of electricity, keeping the signal of its own cable in and signals from other cables out. The atoms in insulation minimize signal/electricity overlap because they simply aren’t built to conduct energy.

Different kinds of insulation also protect against environmental threats. They can defend against water, heat, chemicals, oil, and even abrasions, tears, and cuts. Some insulation is also flame retardant or self-extinguishing, so it can be used in places where fire is a concern.

There are many different materials used as cable insulation, from different plastics and rubbers, to silicone, nylon, and fiberglass. Choose insulation materials based on where the cable will be installed, and what it will be used for. With so many choices, it is easy to find insulation that will keep your cable working well and efficiently for a long time to come.

To read more about the different types of Insulation materials and about the advantages and disadvantages of each kind, check out these Technical Papers:

Plastic Compounds –

Fluoropolymer Compounds –

Rubber Compounds –

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Phoenix, AZ; Bedford, NH; Pewaukee, WI; Rochester, NY, Tampa, FL; and Mt. Juliet, TN. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

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