Using the 18/12 SOOW for Tough Applications
The selection of the right kind of cable is one of the most important jobs and one has to carefully consider the uses of the cable and the way it has been built to be able to select the perfect cable. However there are thousands of cables in the industry, most of them with similar or parallel specifications and that is when the choice becomes tough. Most of the cables can cover a wide range of uses and there are many that can do the job for you. However, when you buy the right cable, it is like getting the right man to do the job for you, and your wiring is sure to be good.
The 18/12 SOOW cable is one of the cables that have been widely used by electrical engineers and it has stood the test of time. It comes of the Thermoset family of cords and cables and as a matter of interest, Thermoset cords last longer than cords made from Thermoplastic materials as the latter becomes soft when heated and then becomes hard when cooled. On the other hand, you do not find such characteristics with Thermoset cords and they are more flexible than Thermoplastic cables.
As these cords are known for their flexibility, they are mostly used for portable applications and temporary power distributions. The cords are resistant to weather as specified by the W in SOOW and so they can be used for outdoors and indoors applications as seen in the UL listing and CSA certification. Most of the time, you will find these cables used for portable tools, portable lights, power extensions and industrial equipment. They are the ideal cord for use in small motors and machinery including mining equipment as it has been MSHA approved. That means these cords have been approved as safe for use in dangerous environments where the potential of explosions, fires and other hazards are a very real possibility.
Moreover these cords have excellent resistance to oils, ozone, moisture, sunlight and abrasion. They can undergo a lot of pressure and tension and not elongate or age under duress. These cords also have a good temperature range which goes from -40oC to 90oC. It adheres to the required industry standards, such as MSHA and RoHS. It also has UL flexible characteristics in accordance with UL Subject 62 and CSA Flexible features as in C22.2-49. This is a preferred choice when you want a light, flexible cord that is still strong enough to take in whatever the user puts it through and still give optimal performance.
It can work well underground and in water-based areas as well and so it will be a good idea to purchase one of its kind as part of your tool kit. Most people might think that working with these kinds of heavy-duty cords might give way for over-engineering but it is using cords that do not meet specifications that are dangerous. It might give rise to all sorts of hazards and can be dangerous not only to the people working in that area but also to the environment and passers-by.