The jacket or sheath physically protects the internal components of a cable, improves the cables appearance, provides flame, mechanical, thermal, chemical and environmental protection to the conductors and components.
Most extruded insulations are also used as jackets. There are some compounds and combinations of compounds used exclusively for jacketing. Often a combination of compounds will be sandwiched together to form a jackets.
Common jacket compounds such as Thermoplastics and Thermosetting include polyvinyl chlorides, polyethylene's, neoprene, CPE, TPR, CSPE, polyurethane, fluorocarbons, Hypalon, Halar, FEP, TFE, Tefzel, EPR, silicones.
Specifying a Jacket
Do you have a UL style, a CSA type or an SAE type? If "YES", this should answer most of your questions. If "NO", listed below are some simple questions that should get you to the proper product.
1) What is the approving body? (UL, CSA, CE, SAE, ISO)
2) What is the application? Will there be abrasion, chemicals, oil or flexing?
3) What voltage is required?
150, 300, 600 Volts are most common in the OEM sector.
1000 to 35KV products are more normal to MRO applications.
4) What temperature is required?
There are very few products rated over 105C.
-55 to -65 is the general limit for low temperature. Silicone, Halar, FEP, TFE and TPR possess the best low temperature potential.
5) Is cost a major concern?
Most thermoplastics are cheaper than thermosetting.