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Stranded vs Solid vs Plenum Rated Cables

Difference Between Stranded, Solid, & Plenum Rated Cables

Cat 5E, 6 and 6a can all be purchased in stranded or solid wire construction. The core of the Ethernet cable is comprised of insulated strands of copper so that it can be flexed repeatedly without the copper cores of the conductors breaking.

Solid Copper Cables

Solid copper cables are primarily used for situations where the cable is not going to be stressed, like in wall/permanent applications. The cable cores are comprised of one single solid strand of copper. This allows the cable to carry signals over longer distances but cannot be flexed too many times without the copper cores breaking.

Stranded Copper Cables

Unlike solid copper cables, stranded cables shine with their flexibility. They are primarily used to connect device to device, such as a phone to a wall jack or a laptop to a router.Since the cables will get moved around a lot, the copper strands are able to withstand frequent bending and movement.

Plenum Cables

Plenum cabling, just like solid copper cables, is primarily used for in wall/permanent applications where the local building codes require its use as the low smoke/flame retardant jacket reduces the amount of toxic fumes that are released into air when the jacket is burned. With this increases jacket protection (special types of plastic) these cables have a greatly reduced level of flexibility and are very rigid and hard to bend.

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