In today’s electronic and digital world, it is essential for wires to be protected from their environments, since these metal threads can quickly be torn, broken, or rendered unusable if they are exposed to heat or cold, or to pressure, tension, or other hazards from their environments. The opposite is also true; wires will have plastic sheaths and cables to protect flammable materials from hot wires, and many fires in American homes and businesses are electrical fires, meaning that they were started by an exposed wire that touched flammable carpets, drapes, or other materials. Wires in home appliances may need protection from heat or tension, such as extension cords or the cables on a TV or game console, and a cable will also protect flammable materials and human skin from hot, electrical wires. And in other cases, like in a space satellite or in the engine of an airplane or a car, tougher protection will be needed from heat, cold, and stress, anything from strong crimpers to an environmental splice to tight weave cables, silicone rubber fiberglass sleeving, and heat treatment fiberglass sleeving. How can wire projection be done right?
Where Wires Are Found
Often, a wire’s level of protection is based on where it can be found. In engines, for example, heat treatment will be needed for a cable, and if heat treatment is not needed, then protection from extreme cold may be woven into a hose cable instead, or protection from pressure or more.
Over 8,000 satellites orbit the Earth today, often for mass communication and GPS systems, and these satellites are orbiting in the extreme environment of open space, with extreme cold and a total vacuum to contend with, not to mention the fact that repair crews may need time to get there. A satellite’s wires may not need heat treatment, but their crimping will have to be done well, or the satellite may malfunction. What does this mean? A wire becomes crimped when the last bit of its plastic sheath is stripped off one end, and the bare wire is inserted into a metal crimp, which is an interface between the wire and an electrical component. A crimper tool, operated either by hand or a machine, will use pressure to fuse the bare wire into the crimp, and the job is done. A wire crimped this way may be connected to electrical components on both ends, and of course, the wires in a space satellite should be crimped well, since if a wire comes loose, the satellite cannot work, and these satellites carry out very important work and it may take time for a repair professional to reach the afflicted satellite. Regular sleeving for the wires may be all that is needed for the satellite otherwise.
The wires in a car or jet engine will need not just good crimp work, but heat treatment from the intense heat inside a working engine, and this often means making use of fiberglass, rubber, and/or silicone weave that contains the wires inside. These cables are like hoses, except they contain wires rather than water, and they are tough enough to endure not just heat, but also pressure from the engine’s components and moving air and liquids so that the wires inside are not compromised. And in the case of airplanes, wires throughout the aircraft will have to be protected from very low temperatures as well, for when the plane is flying very high where the air pressure and temperature are both low.
In the home, some wires may also need heat treatment cables, such as those inside an electric stove, a toaster, or other appliances that use heat for their function. Other times, wires in the home just need regular plastic sheathing, such as the power cords for anything electric from a PC tower to a flat-screen TV to a game console, and the same will be true for the wires inside, since extreme heat will not occur. Homeowners can practice good care of their cables and wires, by repairing or replacing any frayed wire whose plastic sheath is coming off, to prevent shock hazards or fire hazards in the home. The same can be done in any modern office.