What is shielded cable vs unshielded cable?

February 03, 2023

How to choose shielded cable and unshielded cable has become a common concerned point when electric users want to select a cable connecting electrical appliances. At this time, cost, flexibility, signal shielding effect, using environment, etc will become the main considerations. Electric industries frequently use these two electric wires, sometimes you may need them have strong protection agains EMI, sometimes you may need them cheap and easy to install, how to choose them to better meet using requirement? This is the main point of this article.

shielded cable

What is shielded cable

Shielded cables add individual shielding layer inside the cable, such as tin foil, copper braiding mesh, and alloy foil braiding mesh. Different material with different price. These shielding layers can well protect signal safety, prevents the cable from malfunctioning due to EMI or interference from electrical noise or electromagnetic radiation. It‘s installation is not easy, and cost expensive than unshielding cable, but it definitely can offer better protection against electromagnetic interference, that is EMI we usually meaning, EMI can slow down or disable electrical systems, this will make great loss for companies need high signal transmission protection.

The structure of shielded power cable also consists of copper conductor, PVC insulation, PVC outer sheath. Different with unshielded electric cable, it adds shielding layers inside.

What is unshielded cable

After explaining what is shielding electric wire, we can better understand what is unshielded electric wire. Unshielding cable is PVC insulating sheathed electric copper cable. It has simple structure, compare with shielded wire, it hasn’t the shielding layer, simple and easy to use, but it can’t protect the transmitted signal from interference. For occasions haven’t high requirement about the signal safety, electric engineers usually widely using this kind of wire.

shielded cable vs unshielded cable

Main differences between shielded cable and unshielded cable

  • Shielding layer is the first different point between these two options. Shielding wire include single shielding and double shielding. Choosing single shielding or double shielding depend on the using environment. Unshielding wire is just a simple PVC multicore copper cable, it hasn’t any shielding layer inside, it also hasn’t any function of protection against interference.
  • Cost is different. Shielding electric power wire is expensive than unshielding electric wire since the shielding layers.
  • Installation is different. Cable unshielded wire is easy to use and install. Multicore shielded cable wire is complicated to use and install, and it also need a ground wire to be connected to the underground.

Main types of shielded cable and unshielded cable

Shielding cables are usually used include RVVP cable, KVVP cable, RVSP cable, and SFTP network cable etc.

Unshielding cables are usually used include RVV cable, KVV cable, RVS cable, UTP network cable etc.

Both shielded cable and unshielded cable can bring convenience to our safe electricity use, choosing the right one and learning the knowlege of safety using is essential for electricians.

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