Solid and stranded wires have distinct advantages for different markets. Choosing the right one depends on the specific requirements of the project, such as weather resistance and flexibility.
Check out these important factors before making your choice.
Stranded wire vs solid wire
This brief list might help you understand the key differences between these two types of wire:
- Has a solid cable core
- Is heavy and thick
- Is resistant to extreme environmental conditions
- Better electrical conductors
- Is ideal for outdoor applications
- Is made of individual strands of thin wires twisted into a bundle
- Is compressed and insulated with non-conductive materials
- Is more flexible and malleable, fit for intricate geometries
- Require no de-rating
- Often used for indoor applications
However, there are many other factors that play a role in determining which is best for your project.
- Current capacity: Because solid wire is thicker, it has less surface area for dissipation. The thinner wires in strand wire have air gaps that provide a greater surface area, which means more dissipation.
- Routing: Strand wire is more flexible, making it easier to route around obstacles than solid wire.
- Flexibility: Solid copper wire may require more frequent replacement in applications with significant movement.
- Distance: Solid wires are the better choice for long runs because they have less current dissipation. Strand wire is better suited for shorter distances.
- Corrosion: Solid wire can withstand corrosion better than a stranded wire because there are fewer spots for corrosion to occur.
Stranded and solid wire both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on their application. Your selection should take into consideration multiple factors. For better durability, solid wire might be better than stranded wire, since it consists of a single solid conductor covered in insulation and is thicker and heavier.
Stranded cable might be the better choice for short distance, projects that require more flexibility, and that are not exposed to corrosion, very popular for electronic devices and electronic components.