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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

7 basic rules for a good cable

There are 7 key rules to ensure that cables are at their optimum. 
Ensuring that all of these rules or considerations are taken into account, the life time of the cables within your application should be considerable. These are:
  • Strain-relieving centre
  • Strands optimised fior movement
  • Core insulation
  • Stranding
  • Inner Jacket
  • Shielding
  • Outer Jacket
Would you like more information about chainflex® cables? Our experts will be happy to get in touch with you.
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1. Strain-relieving center

Clear space is created in the centre of a cable depending on the number of cores and the cross section of each cable. This centre should be filled, as far as possible, with a proper core element (and not as frequently the case with fillers or dummy cores consisting of waste material). These measures will then efficiently protect the braided structure and prevent the cores from wandering into the middle of the cable.

2. Strands optimised for movement

Several test series have helped to determine which combination of wire diameter, pitch length and direction optimises bending resistance in cables optimised for movement. Although very flexible cables can be made using very thin individual wires, these tend towards extreme formation of kinks.
Core insulation

3. Core insulation

The insulation materials must be made so that they do not stick to one another within the cable. Furthermore, the insulation is required to support the individual wire strands of the conductor. Accordingly, only the highest-quality, high-pressure-extruded PVC or TPE materials that have proved their tested reliability in millions of core kilometres are then used in e-chain® applications.
Core structure

4. Stranding

The braided or layered structure must be formed around a strong, high tensile strength centre with an optimised short pitch length. However, due to the insulating materials being used, this stranded structure should still be defined in mobile form within the stranding. Starting from 12 cores, bundle stranding should be used.
Inner jacket

5. Inner jacket

A gusset-filling, extruded inner jacket is used instead of low-cost non-woven fabric, filler or tracer. This ensures that the stranded structure is efficiently held in the longitudinal direction. Moreover, the stranded structure cannot fall apart or move around. Hence, the inner jacket serves as solid foundation for the shield.

6. Shielding

The shield should generally have a taut structure with an optimised angle of twist about an extruded inner jacket. Loose open braiding or wrapped stranding reduce the EMC protection considerably and can fail very quickly due to shield wire breakage. A tightly braided shield also has a torsion protection effect on the stranded structure.
Outer jacket

7. Outer jacket

An external jacket made of PVC, PUR or TPE can meet a wide range of specifications: from UV resistance through low-temperature flexibility and oil resistance to cost effectiveness. However, they should all have the following in common: a jacket material should be highly resistant to abrasion without sticking and highly flexible while still supportive. In addition, all external jackets should be extruded at high pressure (gusset-filling).


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igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsubishi, NUM,Parker, Bosch Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mention on this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH