Nearly 49% of all electrical fires occur due to faulty and/or damaged wires. Wire failures, leading to short-circuits, can cause considerable damage to both life and property – in residential, commercial and industrial spaces. In addition, sub-standard electric wires also tend to get worn out or cracked or broken within a relatively short period of time – necessitating costly repairs or replacements. That’s precisely why buyers need to check all the key features of copper wires before making a purchase. We will here highlight some common mistakes you need to avoid while buying insulated copper conductors:
In order to eliminate worries over the longevity and performance of insulated copper wires, checking their mechanical properties is an absolute must. In particular, since electric cables typically have to be winded into coils for use in transformers & motors, they need to have excellent flexibility and elongation properties. When bent or stretched, the enamel coating should not get damaged in any way. By the same token, copper magnet wires should not be excessively rigid either (which can make wire winding difficult).
Since the insulation layer of enameled copper wires is generally very thin, it is important to check the adherence of the products. Make sure that the enamel coating of the wires/conductors is properly secured with high-quality adhesive, and there are no surface cracks or scratches. For varnished wires, the solderability of the cables has to be tested as well. As a rule of thumb, you should always go for insulated wires made from annealed and electrolytically refined copper.
The best enameled copper conductors – when set up and maintained properly – can last for several years. However, if the resistance properties of the cables you purchase are not robust enough, problems can crop up soon. Given that electrical wires are regularly exposed to extremely high temperatures, you need to check the heat-shock resistance and the dielectric breakdown voltage of the cables & conductors you are planning to buy. At elevated temperatures, the wire coating should not get fractured.
Buyers also need to clarify lingering doubts over the anti-corrosion and anti-deterioration properties of insulated wires, before making a purchase. Enameled copper wires of assured quality do not get damaged when they come in contact with chemical reagents, solvents and/or insulating oils (which are likely to be present in electric motors). Make it a point to select copper wires with smooth surfaces, and check for additional stickiness in the coating film.
When it comes to selecting magnet wires for electrical applications, the age-old ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula definitely does not work. Leading copper wire suppliers typically have wires & conductors of different sizes, shapes and dimensions in their portfolio. In order to avoid usability issues and probable electrical mishaps, you need to know the exact type of wires you need – and inform the supplier accordingly. That will help the latter to provide the ‘right’ wiring solutions.
Ask the manufacturer about the wire grades it offers. You also need to be aware of the different Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) values of wires – in order to decide on the wire type that would be ideally suited for your application(s). Enquire about the other wire specifications as well, including the thermal class (e.g., 130°C, 155°C, 180°C, or higher) and the insulation type (polyester (regular or modified), polyesterimide, dual-coated, or others). Selecting wires of incorrect sizes or with specification mismatches often leads to overheating, and increases the risks of short-circuits. Be wary, and choose wires with care.
If there are discontinuities or abrasions in the enamel coating of insulated copper conductors, the probability of ‘electrical current leakage’ and resultant short-circuits go up manifold. Such discontinuities are known as ‘pinholes’. Using electrical wires with pinholes above the permissible limit can prove to be highly risky – with cable failure being a constant point of concern. This is where the importance of pinhole testing of copper insulated conductors comes into the picture.
A salt water bath solution (with specific combination of saline, phenolphthalein, and sodium sulphate) is typically used for checking the number of discontinuities (or, pinholes) in copper wires. Always work with wire manufacturers and suppliers that have a proper pinhole testing procedure in place. Doing so will give you that extra level of assurance that there are no flaws in the insulation of the cables you have selected.
Selecting enameled copper wires from the very first supplier you come across is not a very advisable thing to do. Not all wires & cables are of the same quality – and you need to check the overall reliability, safety, and potential long-term performance of the type of wires you need. Apart from the general chemical & mechanical features of wires, make sure that your cables & conductors have top-notch tensile strength and yield-strength as well. Enquire about probable electric wire problems, and how the manufacturer you have selected safeguards against such risks. Consider the non-toxicity and environment-friendliness of the wires as well. Ideally, source insulated copper cables from a company with relevant ISO certification(s), that would underline its commitment to quality assurance.
Even when you carefully choose quality-optimised copper wires, problems can come up in the wire storage and transportation stages. That’s precisely why due attention has to be given on the packaging standards followed for copper cables. Look out for wire-makers that follow export-quality packaging methods – ruling out all possibilities of wire damages during storage and transit. The wire packaging has to be in adherence with the latest PT (PT 4, 10, 25, 45 and others) and DIN parameters.
For 40 years and counting, Vidya Wires has constantly delivered wiring solutions with a seamless combination of efficiency, longevity, easy usability and proper safety. The long-standing industry presence helps the company to analyse, understand and meet the ever-evolving buyer requirements – both in India & abroad. Working closely with its customers, Vidya Wires ensures that buyers can get customised conductors & cables that deliver value, and there are no mistakes to worry about. The ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certifications of Vidya Wires bear testimony to its world-class quality standards.
→ Extensive range of wires & cables.
→ Full quality optimisation
→ Pinhole-tested wires available
→ Export-quality wire packaging
→ Customised wiring solutions to meet customer needs.