Optimize your product by choosing the right conductor and Gauges for Custom Wiring and your custom cable assembly.
Make your product as effective as possible with these tips for designing custom wiring and identifying proper gauges for custom wiring.
The size of a wire’s conductor plays an important role in the functionality of the final product. The gauge of the conductor material impacts the flow of signal and electricity through a wiring system and can alter the cost of the wiring as a result of the amount of material needed to extrude a conductor of the specified size.
Determining the appropriate Gauges for Custom Wiring is fairly complex, and custom cable assembly manufacturers must gain an understanding of the final product’s uses and nuances such as the length of wire that will be needed to connect the terminals, the voltage or signal type that the wire must carry, and a variety of additional aspects.
After all of these details have been taken into account, the manufacturer will have to work through a series of steps and equations to properly determine which gauge will be most appropriate for your project. While it’s a complex process, there are a few factors that can be taken into account to help estimate the most appropriate wire gauge for your custom assemblies:
The Wire’s Resistance
The wire’s resistance is dependent, in part, on the gauge of the conductor. The larger the circumference of the wire, the less resistance the signal or electrical current passing through it will encounter. If the gauge is too small; the wire’s circumference is not large enough to handle the current passing through it and the wire risks becoming overheated. This is because of the high resistance created by the current as it attempts to pass through a wire that is too small to accommodate that many electrons. This could also prevent your product from working as effectively as possible because it is receiving the wrong amount of signal.
Resistance is Also Tied to the Wire’s Length
The longer the wire, the farther the signal will have to travel before reaching a terminal point. This creates increased resistance which can weaken the signal as it passes through the cable’s wire. Your manufacturer may have to use a wire with a larger gauge to ensure that the signal is able to travel across longer runs effectively without losing too much thermal energy.
A Note About the Way Gauges are Labeled
Gauges are a bit counterintuitive in that as the physical size of the wire decreases; the gauge is referred to by a larger number. So a 12 gauge wire is physically larger in circumference than an 18 gauge wire, despite the assumption that the 18 gauge wire would be larger. As one would expect, the larger the wire, the more signal it can carry with less resistance.
Why Not Always Use a Larger Gauge?
A larger gauge size does have several benefits, such as potentially reducing energy costs, but it can also increase the cost of your product and prove to be unnecessary past a certain extent. The additional cost results from the increased copper or conductor material that will be necessary to make the conductor. However, extremely small conductors will also increase the cost of your cabling assembly as a result of the extensive extrusion process that they must go through.
Custom cable assemblies are intricate and it’s important to work with a manufacturer who understands this and has experience producing custom projects. Ask your manufacturer about their production and sourcing process, as well as similar products that they have made or provided service for. This will help you to determine their level of experience in your specific industry.