Almost always you’ll find cables and wires as cable assemblies and wire harnesses inside electronic devices. Cables, but most importantly wires which end up making cables, come in two types. The first wire we’ll speak about is solid wires. Solid wire refers to the conductor style, in this case a copper conductor that is composed of only one copper hair/strand. On the other hand, stranded wire, is composed of many strands of copper wires braided/intertwined inside the jacket/insulation. Both have its own set of benefits, and the best option for a given application is determined by the requirements and specifications of the project. The following are some of the considerations that may impact your decision between stranded and solid wire: 

  • Amperage 
  • Type of Use 
  • Costs 
  • Type of Metal 
  • AWG (Wire Gauge) 

Understanding the variances between solid and stranded wire can and will help you choose the best option for your project’s application. The following data should aid in the decision making process. 

Stranded wire, what is it? 

Non-conductive materials are used to compress and insulate these tiny, bundled wires. Because stranded wires are more malleable, it’s great for building connections between electrical components in tight locations to meet complicated geometries. Stranded wire’s nature is elasticity and flexibility, hence will not break or split. Electronics, PCBs & speaker wires are all examples of indoor usage. 

Solid wire, what is it? 

Stranded wire is substantially lighter and thinner than solid conductor wire. It’s perfect for outdoor applications that demand increased longevity and stronger currents. Weather harsh climatic conditions, and constant motion are things this durable, low-cost wire are resistant to. It’s frequently utilized to transport strong currents through buildings’ walls, automobile controls and numerous outside applications. 

Critical Differences of solid and stranded wires 

When comparing solid and stranded wires, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of solid and stranded wires. Comparing wire types reduces the options based on individual qualities of the wire connect to its intended application and project specifications. First one must assess not only application requirements’ climatic resistance and elasticity, but also whether it is unsusceptible to splitting or severing. Subsequently, one can select the wire that best matches your requirements. 

Some of the critical differences between solid and stranded wires involve: 

Current capacity of solid and stranded wires: Because solid wire tends to be of a wider diameter, there is a decreased amount of area where dissipation of heat can occur. The narrower a stranded wire’s diameter is, the more cracks of air and surface exist, and the more opportunity for heat dissipation. When it comes to residential wiring, solid wire outperforms stranded wire in terms of current capacity. 

Routing: Compared to solid wires, stranded type wire, has a malleable nature, making them simpler to route around obstructions. 

Flexibility: The malleable nature of stranded wires allows them to withstand greater bending actions as well as continuous oscillation without cracking. In solid wire applications where lots of oscillation is present, frequent wire substitution can be seen compared to stranded. 

Cost: Solid wire has fewer manufacturing costs than stranded wire, making it a more cost-effective option. Stranded wire has an extra cost, that is the process of the stranding of the wire. 

Manufacturing made simple: Solid wire is much easier to fabricate due to its single-core design. When intertwining wires of thin diameter together, stranded wires require more complicated production procedures. 

Distance: Solid wires tend to be the best choice for longer distance applications due to the lesser dissipation of heat that occurs. For shorter lengths, stranded wire gets the job done. 

Superiority: There is no apparent winner when it comes to stranded and solid wires. In specific scenarios, each wire type has significant advantages. 

Solid Wire and Stranded Wire solutions from Z-Tronix Inc. 

For more than 35 years, Z-Tronix Inc. has provided many industries with quality, custom electronic wire and cable, and as a result wire harnesses, cable assemblies and power cords. Our experience is attributable to our versatile and dedicated nature in the strive for product and service development and methodology. Our dedication to not only quality but innovation is shown in our numerous certifications, which embrace: 

  • ISO 9001:2015 
  • RoHS 
  • IPC 

When teaming up with Z-Tronix, we become an extension of your company, meaning that our industry knowledge and engineers’ input is available for the success of your company. If you find yourself interested or with questions, feel free to not only browse our cable and wire catalog by clicking the button below and Blog Posts & News but also call and speak with one of our wire and cable experts to answer any and all questions you may have! Call 562-808-0800 now!