The 2017 Aluminum Conductor MC Cable Buyers Guide
Electricity has been one the greatest invention ever on the surface of the earth. The invention of electricity called for a means of power distribution and hence the need for cables. Cables evolved and more innovative ones are churned out every year to match specific needs. Electrical cables have continued to be utilized in and around residential buildings, industrial and commercial buildings. They operate by supplying electrical power an electrical box in your house and then distribute it in your entire home. Depending on the kind of connections installed, others will need small amounts of power for instance light switches while others will require larger amounts of power. Aluminum conductor MC Cable is a kind of electrical cable that is used in applications such as power lighting, branch circuits, and cable tray and service feeders as has been spelt out by the National Electrical Code.
What is an MC Cable?
MC is an abbreviation meaning Metal Clad due to the aluminum interlocked armor used as a jacketing material rather than the typical Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). An MC Cable is quite outstanding as compared to other electrical cables even in terms of structure. The metal clad in this case wraps around the conductors.
This serves as its own conduit for indoor applications and enables the cable to be used outdoors and in- conduit underground. You should note that using this cable directly in the ground is not possible unless you go for an MC Cable with extra PVC jacket. The move to go for one with extra PVC will cost you a lot as it is much more expensive. Differentiating the ground wire in MC Cable from other electrical cables is quite easy as it is insulated in the color green.
Why go for the aluminum conductor MC cable?
The reason why the 600 volts aluminum conductor MC cable for instance has continued to gain popularity is because it has great benefits in comparison to other electrical wires and cables. To begin with there are a number of savings you will make when you move to MC cables from pipe and wire for branch circuits. By moving to aluminum MC cable you get to cut down your entire installation budget by almost 50% on each task. This MC Cable comes with protection attached to it.
MC cables have their own armor and so the need to use electrical conduit is not necessary. The cable has been pre- assembled and pre- tested making it fast to install and safe for use. Installation will require you to move about carrying it around. If it is heavy, the installation process will be somehow slowed down. But the good news is that this one is of light weight nature and therefore saving the time spent on installation.
The aluminum used in the construction of this cables has unlimited bends. This in turn improves the flexibility of the cable during installation and termination process. Flexibility allows one to bend and cut the cable according to his or her needs. Bending conduit is one skill that one needs to learn and can be a very complicated one to master. With the unlimited bends you will find it easier to use the MC Cable as you do not need to bend a thing.
As there is no necessity to bend or install conduits, the need for special tools is not required. Standard cable ties are used to fix the cable to the wall. If need be, the cable can be routed in ducts.
When compared with other electrical cables, aluminum conductor type MC cable attracts very low material costs. When carrying out installations, be in the know that it is suitable for vertical applications only.
In the event you need it for encasement in concrete and for direct burial, you can get the cable availed to you with polyvinyl chloride.
Parts of an aluminum conductor MC cable
Just like any other cable, this one comprises of various parts making it outstanding when compared to other electrical cables. Lets us now look at the components that make up an aluminum conductor MC cable.
The conductor of any electrical cable is a major part. This is because it carries electrical current from one point to another. As such it needs to be constructed with the best material that is reliable and durable. The conductor of this metal card cable is made of compact stranded 8000 series aluminum alloy. It comes in sizes 6 AWG through to 750 KCML. The neutral conductor for 120Y/208 volts circuits is colored white while those with 480Y/ 277 volts circuits are colored grey. There is a binder tape that cables together all the conductors. This separator tape has an identification print to be easily noticed.
Insulation protects the conductor form getting physical and mechanical damage. Therefore a material with great resistance to physical and chemical damage is of higher likelihood to be used. Depending on the type of aluminum conductor MC Cable used, you might find some cables insulated with cross- linked polyethylene (XHHW-2) or Thermoplastic High Heat- resistant Nylon (THHN) or THWN- 2 insulation. The insulating material is normally color coded for easy identification. These insulation materials enable the cable to be used in both wet and dry locations. The insulation of the cable ground comes in either bare or green to be easily pointed out.
An armor works to protect the entire cable, both insulator and conductor, from all kinds of damage. The aluminum conductor MC cable has an overall aluminum armor interlocking over the assembly of the conductor.
Specifications and standards
Nassau National Cable manufactures all their cables while adhering to all the stipulated international standards. This ensures safety, reliability and confidence in their products. The international standards tests our products go through also help to improve the quality of our products. The following are the international standards the aluminum conductor MC cable complies with;
- NEMA WC70
- Federal Spec A-A59544 (formerly J – C – 30B)
- IEEEE 1202 70,000 BTU vertical flame test
- ICEA S- 95- 658
- UL 44, UL 1569 for type Metal Clad cables
- NFPA70 Article 330 for MC cables
- RoHS compliant
- Compliant with OSHA and HUD requirements
- Cable tray rated
- Environmental Air- Handling Space Installation
Type MC Cables are often used to replace conduit and wire. Generally aluminum conductor cables are ideal for vertical installations and above the ground installations. The uses of aluminum conductor type MC cable are quite versatile. It can be used in the following areas;
1. The cable is used in class 1 division2,class 2 division 2 and class 3 division 1 dangerous environments.
2. It is used as well in the distribution of power in service, branch and feeder in areas with high temperatures in residential, institutional, commercial and industrial facilities.
3. This Metal Clad cable is used in signal, power, lighting and control circuits.
4. It is often used as an aerial cable on a messenger.
5. When thinking of concealed or exposed installations this should be your go to cable.
6. It is used in under raised floors for IT equipment conductors and cables as per the National Electrical Code (NEC) 645.5 (D)(2) and 645.5 (D).
7. This cable is a household choice for the installation in approved raceways and in cable tray.
8. The MC Cable is applied in places of assembly as per the NEC 518.4 as well as theaters as per the NEC 520.5.
9. It is applied in environmental air- handling areas as per the NEC 300.22 (C).
10.The aluminum conductor MC Cable is suitable for fished or embedded in plaster.
Where to buy Aluminum Conductor MC Cable
As this is an electrical cable, you are likely to come around it in any electrical store world over. Because of its versatility you can be sure not to miss it. Most manufacturers will rush and flood the market with cables that have been manufactured carelessly. These kinds of products will quickly be off the shelf because they are cheaper.
But remember that often cheaper items have their quality compromised. These sorts of products have not been manufactured in accordance to all the international standards that we had earlier on mentioned. These half baked products are clearly of poor quality and of questionable reliability. Therefore, it is important that before making a purchase decision you ascertain that the cable is compliant with the necessary standards.
We at Nassau National Cable care about our customers and our reputation. For this reason we make sure that our cables are worked on by a team of experts with sufficient knowledge and years of experience. This way, our clients get to know that our cables are safe for use and will stand the last of time. We employ the latest technology and comply with all the required international standards regarding cables. You can therefore be sure to be in the safest hands when going for our Metal Clad cables and more.
We hope that this article has been of great insight. Get in touch with us today in case of any questions. Chat live with us on our website for further details.