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Why do wires have a lower temperature rating?

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by David, May 20, 2007.

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  1. David

    David Guest

    What problems might I run into by not using wire rated for -40° in such
    an environment?

    I can see the insulation breaking (especially if flexed) if it is not
    rated for low temperatures and possibly the wire itself but is there
    anything else?

    I'm also wondernig how much the temperature rating would matter if the
    wire will remain stationary.

    I'm amused that after obtaining a BSEE I feel that I need a class in
    wire itself. I've read through primers on Globalspec and a few
    manufacturer's sites but if anyone has suggestions for an excellent
    educational resource please let me know.

    I've been collecting samples since I find it is helpful to actually
    see/touch it, especially after learning about the insulation material


  2. There's a factor of 3 difference in the thermal expansion of
    copper and PVC. The plasticiser will become ineffective below
    a certain temperature and further cooling will see the PVC
    shrink 3 times more than the copper it covers, which I imagine
    would lead to cracking without any movement being required.
    This is however just speculation on my part as I haven't tried
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