Different Types of Electrical Wires Overview

The type of insulation plays a major role in deciding the names of wires. Based on the type of insulation used electrical wires are mainly classified into the following types:

  1. V.I.R Wires (Vulcanized Indian Rubber)

    These consists of a copper conductor covered with a insulation layer of Vulcanized Indian Rubber (VIR). A cotton tape covering is provided over this insulation layer to protect the wire from moisture and to provide mechanical strength to the wire. The thickness of the Vulcanized Indian Rubber depends on the voltage. These type of wires are used in 250V CTS wiring, casing or capping or cleat wiring and conduit wiring. VIR wires are available in sizes like 1/18, 3/20, 7/20, 7/16 and 19/16. Here a 3/20 wire means numerator 3 denotes the number of conductors used and the denominator 20 denotes the gauge of each conductor. Based on this gauge number count the diameter of any conductor can be determined.

  2. P.V.C Wires (Polyvinyl Chloride)

    These wires consists of a conductor over which an insulation layer made up of Polyvinyl Chloride is provided. These wires cannot resist much heat and they have relatively low melting points, so they aren’t used in hot places and also these wires are not used with heating appliances. PVC wires are available in almost all colors. These wires are applied in casing wiring and also used along with pipe wiring. These PVC wires are available in 1/18, 3/20, 7/20, 7/16 etc sizes.

  3. C.T.S (Cab Type Sheathed) or T.R.S Wires (Tough Rubber Sheathed)

    These C.T.S or T.R.S wires consists of vulcanized rubber insulated conductor. This insulation layer is covered by a layer made of tough rubber (or) tough rubber sheathed covering is provided over this insulation layer. This covering will be very hard and protects the wire from moisture and provides mechanical strength to the wire. These wires are available in single core, twin core, triple core etc. These are available in 1/18, 3/20, 7/20, 7/16 etc sizes. These wires are used for batten wiring. As these wires have tough rubber covering no additional protection or strength is required.

  4. Lead Sheathed Wires

    These wires consists of vulcanized Indian rubber insulated conductor over which a Lead sheath is provided which gives mechanical strength to the wire and it also protects the wire from moisture. These wires are generally used where there is chances of moisture like in snowy places. As Lead is a good conductor of electricity the Lead covering may give electric shock to us so to prevent this the Lead covering is provided with earth wire. These wires are available in single core, twin core, triple core etc size.

  5. Weather Proof Wires

    These wires consists of conductor provided with an insulation layer made up of hard rubber. Over this cotton sheathed and cotton tape covering is provided especially to protect the wire from moisture. These wires are used where the moisture is present. These weather proof wires are available in 1/18, 3/20, 7/18 sizes.

  6. Flexible Wires

    These wires generally consists of silk or cotton or plastic covering. Generally plastic is used as they are available in different sizes and almost all colors. As the name says these are very flexible and generally applied for home appliances, extension wires etc. Flexible wires application areas also include radio, TV, mixer, electric iron etc. Depending upon the capacity of the circuit, each wire may contain 14 or more strands. These are of following types – twin core, twin rubber insulated and twin twisted flexible wires.

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