What is a Cable jacket

Cable jackets protect the enclosed cable shielding and conductors from mechanical damage during and after installation.

Jackets can be made of different materials depending on the nature of the cable and the environment it is expected to be exposed to. In most exterior applications, a physically robust cable jacket will usually be necessary to protect against harsh surroundings. Jackets can also be modified to contend with a variety of other challenges such as moisture, flames, temperature, oil, deformation, chemicals, ultraviolet radiation and ozone.

A number of different materials can be employed. For example, thermoplastics are often used to make jackets. These materials react to temperature, softening when heated and hardening when cooled. There are many different types of thermoplastics, each with their own set of characteristics. Polyvinylchloride is a rugged, flexible, flame and oil resistant and usually low-cost substance that is suitable for a variety of environments and applications.

Thermoset plastics are a group of compounds that can be hardened or set by a chemical process, vulcanisation or irradiation in a process known as crosslinking. Crosslinking can be used to create a range of synthetic rubbers with varying properties. Chlorinated polyethylene elastomers and resins have useful physical and mechanical properties such as resistance to oils, temperature, chemicals and the weather. They also offer compression set resistance, flame retardancy, tensile strength and abrasion resistance.

Finally, fibre jackets are used in high temperature applications due to their superior heat resistance.