Every type of wire and cable must go through an engineering, testing and approval process before it gets completely approved to sell to suppliers in the industry. Each one of the approvals will be stamped on the side of the cable to prove that it has been tested and approved to withstand certain things that relate to temperature, voltage and environmental conditions.
Standard welding cable is most commonly used in households and small businesses which mean not as many approvals need to be conducted. As a result, it doesn’t have a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or CSA Canadian Standard Association) approval. It does have a RoHS compliant approval which makes sure the manufacturer avoided using any chemicals that have lead in them.
In order to get a UL, CSA and MSHA approval on your cable you’ll have to upgrade to a more flexible and more rugged type called Super Vu-Tron welding cable. Instead of using 30 AWG copper strands it uses 34 AWG strands which is the reason why it’s more flexible than the standard type. The list of characteristics as to why it’s more improved can go on forever. The companies like UL and CSA put it through rigorous tests in order to see exactly what the cable can handle during its time in an application.
Again, the main difference between the applications of these types of electrical cables comes down to personal use compared to industrial use. It’s obvious that an industrial cable will need more engineering, testing and approvals than a personal cable for many reasons. An industrial welding cable will be dragged across a job site, walked on, driven over and all kinds of chemicals, oils and gasses will be in contact with it.
The cost of the more advanced 4 AWG welding cable is about 30% more than the standard type but if you need the approvals it’s well worth it to know the cable has gone through those tests. As a purchasing agent for a large company you will most likely get a specification sheet showing all of the approvals your cable will need. Some applications require one thing and some require another so if you don’t need all of the additional approvals a standard welding cable will work just fine.
Speak to your supplier before buying what you need just to make sure you’ve covered everything. It’s possible you will be required to get a cable with a UL approval which will force you to upgrade to all of the other approvals as well.
WesBell Electronics is an electrical wire and cable distributor of welding cable, portable cord, electrical wire, hook up wire and heat shrink tubing. Please let us know if you have any questions about your 4 AWG Welding Cable or any other type of wire and cable you’re installing. We offer Free Shipping on orders over $250 on our website and we cut most of our cables to any length you need.