Diesel locomotives are basically any machine whose prime mover is a diesel-run engine; it is mostly used for diesel locomotive applications. But as a powerful single conductor cable, it can work relatively well in multiple single phase applications. When you manufacture vehicles tailored for a harsh environment and pulling out tough assignments then you need to use a special type of wire; a type that can withstand the rough environment throughout the lifespan of the machine. Otherwise, you may be forced to replace the cables every now and then in order to attain uttermost performance. This is where the DLO cable comes in handy. The cable is intricately designed to withstand the punishing environments and comes in different sizes customized to meet the user’s needs.

DLO Cables come in a wide range of sizes from the standard 14 gauge which is widely used in the US to 1111 circular mil size meant for special applications. Conventionally, they are used in the manufacture of diesel engine power leads for use in diesel driven trains, oil rigs, wet cells, telecommunications equipment among other industrial equipment. The most common DLO cable can safely transmit power of up to 2000 volts at high temperatures of up to 900 making the cable very appropriate for heavy duty requirements. The maximum conductor temperature for normal operation is 90 degrees Celsius in dry areas and 75 degrees Celsius for wet locations.

The DLO cable has four ideal parts. Here’s a breakdown of the parts and how they work to enable the cable work at its best.

The Electrode
The Diesel Locomotive cable is a single copper conductor cable which is fully coated using tin. The conductor is a 10 AWG stranded tinned, annealed copper.  The copper is very strong and can withstand the rough environmental conditions over time to give good service for many years. However, like many other metals, copper easily corrodes in the presence of water and oxygen making it very vulnerable. That’s why it’s fully coated using tin. Tin hardly rusts so the protective coat will keep water and air from the electrode ensuring that the cable can last up to ten times longer than when it does not have the coating. Besides offering protection, tin also improves conductivity of the conductor and prevents abrasions with excellent impact.

The need for insulation on any cable cannot be exaggerated. Insulators improve the lifespan of the conductor by preventing corrosion and absorbing abrasive impulses to keep the underlying conductor safe. More importantly, insulation is a safety measure which prevents electrocution of cable handlers in case they have to touch the cable as it transmits power.   

The Nassau Electrical DLO cable is well insulated using a thermoset compound. A thermoset compound is basically a resin which is tailored to harden when burnt. The most commonly used thermoset insulator for DLO cable are ethylene-propylene-propylene-diene elastomer and ethylene-propylene rubber commonly referred to as EPDM and EPR respectively. In case of a fire outbreak, the insulator hardens to form a protective coating around the cable to keep it safe from the fire.

EPDM and EPR are both cross-linked insulators which are very flexible at very low and very high temperatures so the cable can be folded or bent without any negative effects on the insulation. They also offer considerable resistance to tension, compression torsion and tearing hence great resistance to abrasion and cutting. EPDMs and EPRs are neutral to acids and bases.

The jacket of a wire is a common way of identifying the wire. The DLO jacket is a standard black thermoset made of either a chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) or a chlorinated polyethylene (CPE). Both materials have a high resistance to alkalis, acids, oil, sunlight, flames, water and abrasion. Moreover, both thermosets materials are not adversely affected by exposure to low or high temperatures.

DLO cable lugs
When using DLO cables it is advisable to use cable lugs as connectors. The DLO cable lugs are made up of pure copper with tin plating with ensures there is maximum conductivity. These cable lugs have a flared end with an entrance chamber. The wide flare enables easy cable insertion even for stranded flexible cables.

Presence of a tinned annealed copper as a conductor per AAR 589. It has an incredible insulator which is thermoset compound mentioned earlier in the article. Presence of a stranding which is made up of flexible tinned copper. It has a CPE jacket which is black in color and in addition can withstand heavy tasks. Can withstand -40 degrees Celsius in wet areas and can go up to 90 degrees Celsius in dry areas. It has excellent abrasion resistance with excellent impact; resists oils, alkali, acids, flame and heat. Transmits power of up to 2000volts. The product is proudly made and found at Nassau electrical. Cable lugs which as mentioned early can be used as connectors for easy insertion which furthermore makes the cable much easier to use.

Approvals of the DLO cable
It is advisable to use a product that has been tested and approved by international standards.The DLO cable is approved by the following standards:

  • UL 44/ CSA RW90  Thermoset-Insulated Wires and Cables: requirements for single-conductor and multiple-conductor thermoset-insulated wires and cables.
  • CSA FT4   Vertical Flame Test: a vertical-tray fire test for determining values of cable damage height and smoke release from electrical and optical-fiber cables when the cables are subjected to a flaming ignition source.
  • RoHS compliant.
  • CT rated on 1/0 AWG and larger according to NEC (National Electric Code)
  • National Electric Code(NEC)
  • MSHA Accepted
  • By the following industrial approvals you can be confident working with the DLO cable since this implies that it is reliable for use by the consumer to give top notch results.

The DLO cable has various application areas where it is used as a power cable in wind turbine generators for up to 2000volts. It’s also used in diesel electric locomotives which as mentioned before are diesel-ran machinery. Due to its capability to withstand harsh environment and pull out tough assignments the DLO cable is commonly used in mining and earth-moving equipment.Another area of application its can also be used generally as a flexible power lead and can also be used as a flame resistant. It can also be used as a portable cable for drilling rigs either offshore or onshore. It can be used in both wet or dry areas and where superior electrical properties are required. Can function as telecommunication power supply. Apart from being referred to as a Diesel locomotive cable it can be used in various industrial applications whereby it can be used as supply leads for arc welders. Can also function as a power and control jump cable. Other applications may be in the railroad and transit cars. In addition it works in a shipyard machinery and equipment.

Why go for the DLO Cable?
There are many cables available at Nassau Electrical which can be used in place of the DLO cable. A good example is the welding cable which uses a copper conductor just like the DLO but is not coated with tin. If you were to choose between the two, the tin coating makes a big difference. It makes the DLO more suitable for the harsh environmental conditions than the welding wire. The other considerations you’d look into are the attributes of the insulation; go for EPR or EPDM over EPRs.

For light duty installations, go for the welding cable which has a rating of 600 volts. For bigger projects the DLO Cable is the best option giving a wider range of up to 2000 volts. Other than purchasing the DLO cable for its high voltage rating you may want to purchase it for its flexibility and durability. The welding cable may be a cheaper option of the two but that’s because it’s light duty and lacks the tin coating, the jacketing and insulation all of which have a direct bearing on the safety and durability of the cable. For the DLO cable the ampacities required for the job depends on the size for instance if 420 amps is required to power a machine you will require a DLO as large as 4/0.

Nassau Electrical is a well-known and leading supplier of high performance, durable and high quality wires and cables which can withstand harsh industrial environments. Each DLO cable we produce has high quality standards and durable. This in turn keeps your overall cost relatively low. We serve a variety of markets. Come visit us today to find some of this exquisite products at Nassau Electrical.It is our delight that you have read this article. We hope you got help from it. Kindly scroll through the Nassau Electrical Resources Section. In case you have questions, don’t hesitate to join us via live chat available at the bottom right hand side part of our website. We care for our customers, we will respond to your questions promptly.