Today, electrical wires are vital for keeping today’s grid of technology running, and cables and sleeving for cables are the safe vessels in which the wires are kept. Anything from airplanes to orbiting satellites to a home PC or game console or a car needs wires and cables to stay running, and having the right sleeving, maintenance, and crimping done for these myriad wires and cables is essential to maintaining these devices for years to come. How can wires be kept safe? How tough should cable sleeving be?
Cables and Wires All Over
It is safe to say that today, wires and cables are found nearly everywhere, even far above the ground. Orbiting satellites need wires to keep their delicate but vital components running so the satellites can do their job. In fact, only one of over eight thousand satellites has been struck by hazards such as meteors, so crimpers, and the work they do, are a more important aspect of keeping satellites running. Satellites also handle global communication ever since the 1990s, and in 1998, when a Galaxy 4 satellite failed, 80% of pagers on Earth were affected. A little closer to home are airplanes, another vital industry that needs wires and cables. FlightAware, a data company, believes that on average, 9,728 planes are carrying 1.27 million people through the air at any moment in time, and these planes have very hot and high pressure conditions in their engines. Having the right tight weave sleeving is needed so these wires survive. And anywhere else, from a laptop to a commercial building’s HVAC system, needs wires as well.
Keep Those Wires Crimped or Sealed
There is more to handling wires than lining them up between one component and another. The very core of a cable is the metal wire itself, which carries electrical pulses to transmit data or power. Over these wires will go a plastic sleeving, and for some wires in gentle conditions, this is all the protection that is needed. Opening up smaller home appliances, for example, may yield these wires. But sometimes, a wire needs more protection than that.
In an industrial setting, such as a power plant, factory, or the engine of a car or airplane, conditions are not agreeable for simple wires. Extreme heat or cold may remove the plastic coating or warp the wires and compromise their function, or intense pressure from machinery or air can have a similar effect. In this case, cable sleeving is needed. Such sleeving may be made from different materials, but a tight weave cable sleeving job will protect wires from heat, cold, and pressure. As long as these cables are inspected and replaced as needed, they can keep wires in good shape, even in a jet’s engine after hours of flight. Heat treatment on these sleeves is needed for hot environments such as engines or factories.
Sometimes, a wiring job can succeed or fail based on the crimping job done on it. A wire is crimped when a metal connector hosts the wire’s plastic-stripped end, and once the bare metal wire is inside the connector, a handheld wire crimping tool is squeezed, and the metal connector is fused onto the bare wire and they function as one. This way, the wire can be hooked up to other interfaces. However, this is delicate work, and in some cases such as an orbiting satellite, a shoddy crimping job means that wires may come loose or fail to transmit data correctly, which can compromise the whole system. Even if satellites are not struck by meteors or subjected to intense heat or pressure, bad crimp work can compromise them. However, routine inspection and maintenance can root out bad crimping jobs and correct the problem.