Understanding Temperature Ratings

by | Mar 3, 2023

Understanding temperature ratings

While in the process of selecting wire and cable, temperature rating is undoubtedly one, if not the most crucial factor to take into account. Specific temp. ratings can be found not only on product spec documents, but in cable ratings created by companies like the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) International as well as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and lastly, directly branded onto the cables’ jacketing. Taking these factors into account should give us the scope of how paramount this is.

Unfortunately, on occasion some wire and cable spec. temperature ratings appear to be disregarded. Hence, in this blog we will examine the fundamentals of temperature ratings so that one can consider them during the wire and cable selection.

Temperature ratings, what exactly are they?

Temperature ratings inform us about the wire or cables’ effective temperature parameters. There are numerous kinds of ratings pertaining to temperature and each one provides the consumer with slightly more data about the range of temperatures in which the wire or cable will operate optimally.

Temperature ratings, how exactly do they function? What is their use?

Among the numerous kinds of temperature ratings you can find:

  • Maximum operating temperature
  • Minimum continuous flexing temperature
  • Minimum cold bend temperature
  • Minimum installation temperature
  • The emergency overload and short circuit temperature

These are only a few examples of the many existing temperature ratings. Evidently, although these specific temperature

ratings are simple, they are varied and provide us with a load of useful data. To guarantee oneself that the application’s temp. is within those limits, check the temperature ratings on the specification sheet or on the wire and cable themselves.

Image to display ul listed wire

Temperature ratings, how exactly are they calculated?

In most cases, temperatures are indicated in Celsius. The particular temp. ratings are established by a variety of lab examinations created by significant industry groups such as Underwriters Laboratories.

How do we take into consideration ratings when in the cable/wire selection process?

Let us examine the temperature ranges shown on the product’s specification page. If the wire or cable is intended to endure the desirable and purposed temperatures of abc application, the specification sheet will tell you. In the same manner, we advise one to assure their wire and cable is exposed to temperatures that are either lower or higher than those indicated by the specified temperature specifications. Whatever material is utilized to build you a wire or cable, may be influenced by these temperature requirements.

Why to care for temperature ratings.

Wire or cable composed of material with incorrect temperature rating won’t endure in the application if the temperature in the application is above or below the wire/cable’s ratings. As expected, wire or cable may dissolve leading to expensive malfunctions and a possibly unsafe hazard.

Consider the whole spectrum of temperatures your wire may experience as a last piece of advice as it may be able to endure more than you would think. For instance, in the aircraft sector, temperatures that cable and wire experience in the stratosphere are considerable compared to those on the ground. In the same manner, the car business experiences similar situations where cable and wire experience vastly varied temperatures depending on whether they are stationary out in a snowing setting versus driving across a desertic state(s) for numerous ours as it happens in the middle east. Taking into consideration the whole spectrum of temperatures is vital to knowing if wire and cable will endure.

As we have learned more about temperature ratings in this blog, choosing wire and cable with appropriate ratings should be easier in the future.