You may not need a welder to tell you this, but they almost certainly would anyway: the more flexible a welding cable is, the better. In fact, flexible welding cable is so critical to effective use that it’s one of the single most important attributes such cable can possess.
Don’t take that out of context. Of course, current carrying capacity and voltage rating are more important than flexibility in a welding cable, but the truth is that even a cable of sufficient gauge and rating would be impractical at best and useless at worst if it could not accommodate the location in which the welding was taking place.
What Flexible Welding Cable Really Is
To understand the importance of flexibility in welding cable, we need to cover two things: what cable is, and where welding cables are used.
First, let’s cover where welding cable is used. Welding cable is used to provide power for all different types of welding, from gas metal arc welding to flux-cored arc welding. More often than not, the materials on which the welding is being performed are fixed in location. The convenience of accessing that location is subject to variability, but let’s just say the welder needs to go there instead of being able to do it the other way around.
This brings up the importance of the term “cable.” The fact of the matter is that while terms like wire and cable are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A wire is a single-strand conductor, whereas a cable is a braided array of thinner electrical conductors.
Consequently, cable is significantly more flexible than wire. In fact, if welding cable was wire instead, meaning that it would have just one single conductor, it would be far too stiff to work into location, not to mention cumbersomely heavy (although welding cable is heavy as it is).
As a result, welding cable is made with as many strands of conductors as is feasible, given the gauge of the cable. Consider the 4/0 gauge welding cable available online at EWCS Wire, as an example. This flexible welding cable has a nominal diameter of .720” and is made of over 2,000 strands of pure copper conductors! (2014 strands, to be exact.)
Are There Any Other Desirable Traits in Welding Cable?
In addition to offering extra flexibility, welding cable should also offer a number of other traits in order to expand its utility and serviceability given the roles it fills. For example, welding cable should ideally be resistant to UV light, the weather, chemical and mechanical abrasion, and more.
For example, the welding cable mentioned above at EWCS Wire isn’t just highly flexible. In addition to ultra flexibility, it resists abrasion, cuts, tears, oil and gasoline, and more. Coated with a durable EPDM rubber insulation, their flexible welding cable offers the following:
● UV resistance
● Resistance to extreme temperatures and the weather in general
● Oil and gasoline resistance
● High resistance to mechanical abrasion
Why Are They Sometimes Colored Red and Black?
In your search for flexible welding cable that is suitable for use for stingers, whips, leads, and grounds, you may also notice that many commercially available welding cables are red or black.
The reason for this is that many welding cables are also useful as leads for batteries, and the red and black insulation helps mechanics and electricians keep the positive and negative leads separated. Thanks to its unique suite of features, the welding cable available online at EWCS Wire is also suitable:
● For use as photovoltaic cable and for inverters.
● Leads for motors and generators.
● For use as battery cable.
● And of course, as welding cable.
If you have any questions about the unique specifications of the flexible welding cable available online at EWCSWire.com, please visit their website via the previous link or get in touch with their customer service team at 800-262-1598 or at [email protected]