A steel wire armoured cable (SWA) is a power cable created for supplying mains electricity and can be found in cable ducting, underground systems and power networks. An SWA cable is also known as an armoured cable, mains cable and a power cable in Singapore. The standard construction of an SWA cable involves five steps:
Conductor: Where plain stranded copper or aluminium is used. The degree of flexibility is indicated.
Insulation: Insulation in electrical cables is essential to ensure that metal substances are not exposed to the conductor. Materials like the cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) are used due to its excellent electrical and water-resistant properties. Furthermore, it is also resistant to high temperatures and enhances electrical properties via its superior dielectric strength-providing characteristic.
Bedding: A protective barrier between the inner and outer layers of the SWA cable (the insulation layer and the armour)
Armour: Mechanical protection is provided via the steel wire armour, allowing the cable to withstand direct burial, higher mechanical stresses and thus is used in projects on external conditions or underground. While the armour helps to protect the cable and enhances the pulling load capability of the cable, it does not protect the cable from climatic conditions.
Sheath: A PVC sheath is used to hold together the constituent parts of the cable, creating an additional layer of protection from external conditions.
Although the above steps describe the typical construction of a steel armoured cable, the specific construction of the different types of cable differs depending on their intended application. Some cables may require additional steps like adding protective screens or replacement of particular materials to ensure the cable suitability to the installation circumstance.
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