Manufacturing AUTOMATION

White Paper: Selecting the right cable system

September 20, 2010
By Mary Del

A new white paper from W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. presents a systematic approach that design engineers can follow to ensure that a cable system will provide reliable performance in demanding environments and mission-critical applications. According to author Paul Warren, W. L. Gore & Associates’ lead design engineer, cable reliability is based on both durability and signal integrity, and a cable system needs to withstand any environment in which it will be used, regardless of how challenging it may be. Some industries have defined safety, environmental and performance-related standards, but many applications in harsh environments require cable systems that go beyond those standards, such as aerospace, cleanroom and geophysical environments.

In Selecting the Right Cable System for Your Environment, Warren discusses the electrical, mechanical, environmental and application-specific constraints that will affect cable performance. He describes the advantages and disadvantages of typical materials used in cable construction, including an explanation of the testing and data analysis a manufacturer should perform in order to verify that its cable will perform in a specific application. He also discusses cost considerations and the ramifications of cable failure.

Warren summarized the purpose of this paper: "The environments in which cable systems are being used are getting more complex, and we have found that some customers are uncertain about what materials and constructions work best in their applications. One of the added complexities in designing a cable system is that electrical, mechanical and environmental performance are interwoven. For example, selecting a material that improves mechanical performance may have an adverse affect on the electrical characteristics of the cable assembly." 

To read or download a copy of Selecting the Right Cable System for Your Environment, visit


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