Allied Encyclopedia – Coaxial Cable

Allied EncyclopediaIt is used in household applications from appliances to televisions to security systems.
It is used in industries from manufacturing and industrial to automotive and aerospace.
It is one of the most basic, widely used cables around.
It is coaxial cable.

Almost all of us use this cable on a daily basis, so let’s take a closer look at it:


Coaxial cables transmit electrical energy or signals from one point to another. It is as a result of this important job that they are found in so many applications and in so many diverse industries.


Usually coaxial cables are named using either their RG number (RG6), their impedance (50 ohm coax), or their military number ( MIL-C-17).


Coaxial cables consist of two distinct conductors separated by insulation. They are arranged to form concentric cylinders sharing a common axis.

Because there are so many applications and industries that rely on coaxial cable, countless variations of the product have been created. For this reason, coaxial cables are available in a wide range of materials and constructions.


Solid or seven-stranded conductors are most common in coaxial cables. Generally, solid conductors are used in applications which require little flexibility while conductors with increased stranding provide more flexibility for other applications.

Common materials include bare copper, tin-coated, silver-plated, or nickel-plated copper as well as copper-clad steel or copper-clad aluminum. Copper clad materials are great for high frequency applications while plated copper is a good choice for applications in which soldering and corrosion are concerns.


Some of the most common insulation materials used in coaxial cables are Polyethylene (PE) and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Some common examples of coax with these types of insulation are:

Both PE and PTFE are materials chosen for their stable electrical characteristics.

Outer Conductor

This is usually composed of several small aluminum or copper conductors which have been woven into a braid around the insulation. Additional braids can be used as shielding.


Coaxial cables may or may not be shielded. Shielding helps to keep the cables signal intact and uninterrupted by electromagnetic interference.


Polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Fluorinated Ethylene Polypropylene (FEP) are common jacket materials used in coaxial cables. Some examples of coaxial cables that have PVC and FEP jackets are:

These jacket materials help to protect the cable from environmental hazards and may even add fire retardant characteristics.

As you can see, coaxial cables come in a wide range of materials and constructions, but they all share one thing in common: the important job of signal transmission. They’re in a lot of things we depend on every day, like computers and radios. Now you know a little more about what makes them tick!

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 Merrimack, NH, Tampa, FL, Pewaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: