A multi-strand cable is a type of electrical cable that consists of multiple smaller strands of conductive material (usually copper) twisted or braided together to form a single larger cable. This design offers several advantages over a single solid conductor cable:
- Flexibility: Multi-strand cables are more flexible than solid conductor cables. The individual strands can move independently, allowing the cable to bend and flex without breaking. This makes them ideal for applications where the cable needs to be moved or flexed regularly, such as in robotics or portable electronic devices.
- Durability: The flexibility of multi-strand cables contributes to their durability, as they are less prone to fatigue and breakage when subjected to repeated bending or movement.
- Higher Current Capacity: Multi-strand cables can carry higher current loads than solid conductor cables of the same overall diameter. This is because the multiple strands increase the effective cross-sectional area of the conductor, reducing resistance and allowing more current to flow.
- Reduced Skin Effect: At high frequencies, especially in applications like RF (radio frequency) or high-speed data transmission, a solid conductor cable can exhibit a phenomenon called “skin effect,” where the current tends to flow more on the outer surface of the conductor. Multi-strand cables can mitigate this effect to some extent, improving the overall performance in high-frequency applications.
- Ease of Termination: Multi-strand cables are often easier to terminate (connect to connectors or terminals) than solid conductor cables, especially in situations where flexibility is required in the connection.