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Armoured Electrical Cable vs. Flexible Electrical Cable: Key differences?

Updated: Nov 2

In our previous article introducing electrical cabling, we talked about how electrical cabling is fundamental to any functioning business. Since the environment varies between different businesses, there are different types of cables catering to various environmental conditions.

Electrical Cables are mainly classified into 2 types in terms of level of protection: Armoured and Unarmoured (AKA Flexible).


Unarmoured Cables

Unarmoured cables are commonly used in situations whereby mechanical damages are not of concern as the amount of protection to prevent damages to the cables are a lot lower. Usage for such cables are typically deployed in protected locations such as inside walls and used for control systems. Prices of unarmoured cables are also a lot lower than armoured cables as lesser materials are used to manufacture these cables as compared to armoured cables.


Armoured Cables

Armoured cables are the preferred choice when it comes to conducting power in harsh environments as it is crucial to protect the cables for safe and reliable industrial operations. Examples of usage are when cables are deployed to run in open and unprotected environments, or when underground whereby mechanical stresses are not anticipated.


As the name suggests, armoured cables usually contains a first layer of armour reinforcement featuring a sheath that could be made out of various materials (metal: copper or steel, polyethylene, and etc.). Armoured cables can withstand a higher amount of pressure in harsher environments whereby cables are exposed to fatal mechanical damages due to its protective layers.


However, the armour on the cables results in an increase in difficulty in handling the cables as flexibility and electromagnetic interference can come into play. Much skills are also required to bring armoured cables into panels or equipment as they require a special 2-stage glands.


In terms of pricing, armoured cables are usually more expensive than unarmoured cables. The prices increases depending on the level of protection that is required. As the thickness increases, more materials are required for the armours, hence the higher the price.