As we know, bulk Ethernet cable can be divided into unshielded twisted cable (UTP) and shielded cable (STP) according to the structure of shielding. Apart from this, bulk Ethernet cable can also be divided into solid cable and stranded cable. These two types of bulk Ethernet cables have their individual features and advantages. As they can be easily found in Ethernet network applications, how much do you know about them? This article will mainly make a comparison between solid cable and stranded cable.
Solid cable is made up of a single and solid wire per conductor. That means in four twisted pairs cat6 cable reel, there are a total eight solid wires. This type of cable is used for home electrical cabling, cabling for breadboards and other situations where cables are not required to be constantly flexed. Stranded cable consists of multiple smaller-gauge wires wrapped around each other in each conductor. That is to say in a four twisted pairs Ethernet cable with seven strands per conductor, there are a total of fifty-six wires. This type of cable is typically used in situations where cables need to be routed into tight spaces or experience frequent flexing or vibrations. To better understand the difference of the inner structure between solid cable and stranded cable, here is a figure for you.
With different structural designs, both solid cable and stranded cable have advantages and disadvantages. Hence, the following part will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of cables.
Solid cable is often favored because of its cheaper production costs. It is simple but quite durable. With single and solid wire, solid cable is very easy to produce. Solid cable also has a much more compact diameter compared to stranded cable. Though the sized is reduced, it still has the same carrying ability as stranded cable. In addition, solid cable is less likely to fail due to the corrosion. However, one of the main problems with solid cable is that it is typically only available in small gauges. Also, if there is constant flexing or vibration, the cable would eventually wear down and break, resulting in the need for a replacement. Therefore, solid cable is not optimal for applications like robotics or vehicles that require a considerable amount of movement. The figure below shows the detail information about gray solid cat6 bulk cable 1000 ft from FS.COM and the price is about US$ 130.00, which is really a cost-effective option.
Stranded cable is easier to route in comparison to solid cable. It is very flexible. And stranded cable can withstand an incredible amount of vibrations and flexing without fatiguing and breaking. As a result, you won’t have to replace your stranded cables as often as will be necessary with solid cable. But stranded cable is more expensive. It is more costly to produce due to the more complex manufacturing process that is required to develop these intricate wires. Also, stranded cable is much more likely to fail as a result of corrosion from capillary action. In addition, stranded cable has a higher attenuation, so it is not suitable for long runs.
With the diversity and popularity of the bulk Ethernet cable, it is critical to choose the right type of cable for the network deployment. Like the two types of Ethernet cables mentioned above, the solid cable is less flexible but cheaper than the stranded cable, and it is less likely to fail due to the corrosion. If you want to make a permanent cabling, then the solid cable is a good choice for you which will save you a lot. But if your cabling network needs to move cables constantly, then you are strongly suggested to choose the stranded cable.