Electric cables. Typology

Following the previous post in which we focus on the definition and composition of electrical cables, today we see their classification according to different criteria:

Voltage level

  • low voltage cables (up to 50 V).
  • low voltage cables (up to 1000 V).
  • medium voltage cables (up to 30 kV).
  • high voltage cables (up to 66 kV).
  • very high voltage cables (above 770 kV).

Components used

  • conductors: Copper, aluminum or other metal.
  • isolations: Plastics, elastomeric, impregnated paper or fluid viscous oil.
  • protections: Screens, armor and covers.

Number of conductors

  • unipolar: A single conductor wire.
  • bipolar: 2 conductor wires.
  • tripolar: 3 conductor wires.
  • tetra polar: 4 conductor wires


  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Almelec (alloy of aluminum, magnesium)
  • Constantan, copper alloy

 Conductor wire flexibility

  • rigid
  • flexible

Conductor wire insulation

  • Thermoplastic insulation: Those where the material applied does not suffer chemical changes.
    • PVC: Polyvinyl chloride.
    • PE: Polyethylene.
    • PCP: Polychloroprene, neoprene or plastic.
  • Thermostable insulation: They are transformed upon extrusion, chemically. Therefore, they allow a higher service temperatures, thanks to they are more stable if they changes.
    • XLPE: Cross-linked polyethylene (up to 90 ° C).
    • EPR: Ethylene-propylene (up to 90 ° C).
    • MICC: Mineral coated copper.




Could you add any additional criteria related to electrical wires clasification, please? We would really appreciate your contribution.