Electric cables come in very handy in either delivering electricity or connecting different electronic components in different networks. To fulfill these different tasks with different specification requirements, different electrical cable types exist. For any given task it is important that you use the cable adapted for that purpose to maximize on performance and ensure on the safety of both the user and electric appliance in question.
Regardless of the specific task for which a given cable is adapted, there are general specifications that will hold across the board according to Ian Jones from Aberdeen City Electrical. Cables mostly consist of at least two conducting wires and maybe an outer insulating and protective jacket. The insulation will vary depending on the amount of current the cable will be dealing with (the higher the heavier the insulation).
The first specification of the electrical cable types is the coaxial cable. It has a copper–plated core surrounded by a dielectric insulator and an external protective sheath. This cable differs in conducting power flexibility and most definitely cost. They are mostly used for signal transmission due to their high resistance to noise.
Another category is the ribbon cable also known as the multiwire planar electrical cable. It is made of multiple conducting wires running parallel to each other and allow for simultaneous transmission of data signals. Typical ribbons will contain 4 to 12 wires and are used to interconnect network devices. A good example is the bus wire bunch in a computer.
Thirdly on the list of electrical cable types is the twisted pair cable. This is made of a pair of color coded copper wires twisted together at different turn ratios. This cable type is flexible and cheap and is used for telephone and network connections.
The last specific cable type is the shielded cable which is made of one or more wires that are then insulated by aluminum Mylar foil or woven braid shielding. The shielding is to prevent external interference to the signal carried within making the cable very adapted to transmitting signals in areas that have a lot of external electric interferences.
Choosing electrical cable types should be therefore dictated by the purpose for which you are taking the cable and the general conditions of the area you are planning to put up your cable network in.