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#218419 - 04/18/17 02:55 PM Re: Why cables look like they do **** [Re: C-H]  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,393
Vienna, Austria
Stranded wire is only any good if your devices and connectors are rated for the use of stranded wire without ferrules or other terminals. Most designed for the central European market aren't, so using stranded building wire introduces additional labour costs. Coarse stranded wire as is common in Scandinavia is only used for sizes of 10 mm2 and larger here. In Germany cables up to 16 mm2 have solid conductors! I hate to imagine working with them, solid 6 mm2 is annoying enough in tight spaces!

AFAIK Britain and Norway are the only countries in Europe that still allow reduced-size earth conductors smaller than 16 mm2 and the only two that commonly use bare earth conductors in building wiring (Ireland started requiring full-sized isolated earth conductors a year ago I think but I'm not sure if that's already affected actual wiring practices).

Then there's the divide between flat and round cables for building wiring - the UK, Norway and a couple of Eastern European countries predominantly use flat, the others round cables. Not much harmonisation there to see.

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#218439 - 04/26/17 09:36 AM Re: Why cables look like they do [Re: Texas_Ranger]  
LongRunner  Offline
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 44
Albany, Western Australia
16mm2 solid core?! eek That's about 4.5mm in diameter of solid copper. Those Germans must be out of their minds!

In Australia our multi-core fixed cables have full-size earths up to 2.5mm2, then 4mm2 cables have a 2.5mm2 earth, 6mm2 through 16mm2 have earths two sizes smaller (2.5mm2 through 6mm2), 25mm2 through 70mm2 have earths three sizes smaller (6mm2 through 25mm2), and 95mm2 and up have earths four sizes smaller. (Given that the size steps get relatively smaller as the absolute size goes up, it's actually 25mm2 that gets the proportionally smallest earth there.) All modern versions have insulated earths, though bare earths can be found in older buildings.

We also get the options of flat or circular cables, the latter having tougher sheathing (usually coloured orange) and available in either 450/750V or 0.6/1kV ratings (up to 6mm2, above which it's 0.6/1kV exclusively). The flat cables are rated 450/750V (older versions were 0.6/1kV) and go up to 16mm2. Also worthy of mention are "twin active" flat cables (with red and white cores) commonly used for switch drops, and "SDI" (single-core double insulated) which contains just a single insulated and sheathed core (most often with red inner insulation, but occasionally also black or white). SDI is usually rated 450/750V up to 16mm2, and 0.6/1kV for 25mm2 and up. (Are cables similar to SDI used in other countries?)

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