Today, polyvinyl chloride or PVC coated wire is the most common type of wire that is used for electrical applications all over the world. There are many reasons why these wires have become so popular and the most important reason is that they are highly effective as a non-conductor of electricity and are really easy to use. In terms of durability too these wires are quite long lasting as they are said to remain strong and robust even after four decades. Many of the wires with PVC insulation nowadays don’t burn even if exposed to fire. With that kind of strength it is but natural that such wires are preferred over all other types of electric wires and cables.
A safe and robust material for insulation
As an insulation material for electric wires and cables, PVC is the safest that is presently available. It is not just non-toxic but has very little impact on the environment compared to any of the other materials available for insulation of electric wires. Considering its much lower weight polyvinyl chloride is mechanically quite strong and tough in addition to its capacity to resist abrasion. Besides, the material has been tested over a long period, across different conditions, absorbing all the improvements that came along. Today, it easily meets all the guidelines with regard to health and safety standards worldwide.
The dielectric strength or the capacity to resist volume, in PVC coated wire is the metric for measuring its properties that enable electrical insulation. The electrical resistance per unit volume of the testing sample indicates the capacity to resist volume. On the other hand, a specific unit of voltage is applied on the testing sample for a pre-determined length of time to obtain the dielectric strength of the material. Such strength is reflected in the quantum of voltage that the testing sample has been able to withstand without any damage to its structure. In both the measurements, it is the higher value that proves the strength of the material for electrical insulation.
Increasing applications of PVC insulation
Prior to arrival of the PVC coated wire, soon after the World War II, the insulation on wires used to be of rubber, which has almost entirely been replaced by polyvinyl chloride today. Of course, high voltage cables still use clay for insulation because the temperatures on these high voltage cables can go up to a maximum of 250 degrees Celsius while the threshold for PVC is 105 degrees Celsius. For lower and medium voltage application though, polyvinyl chloride has already captured a large segment of the market.
Tests and experiments on different other compounds of PVC are going on to raise its resistance to electricity. The major advantage with PVC is that it is lightweight and easy to use. If the threshold levels rise enough to resist 250 degrees Celsius, high voltage cabling will undergo a major change for the better. It will not just improve project completion times but also bring in the durability factor which is missing in clay insulation. The other important factor that the introduction of PVC insulation in high voltage cables will bring about is cost effectiveness.