Our cities are growing day by day in terms of population and infrastructure as a result of the rural- urban migration. The scramble for resources and innovation has as well been a major factor towards the huge influx.  Due to the consistently increasing populations, cable installation companies are finding it difficult to carry out installations and development as there is hardly any free space.And driving smoothly is almost a by- gone case.

To bring some bit of sanity to our cities signal gadgets have to be installed. This way all road users can and will get to move about their businesses smoothly.  The lack of such signal and communication gadgets brings about great confusion and even worse, accidents. To bring safety, maintain order and reduce the number of accidents on our roads, the traffic signals have to be obeyed to the letter. But what really comprises of the traffic signals? The traffic lights are made of a special type of cable called IMSA cables. IMSA are acronyms for Insurance Marketplace Standards Association.

IMSA cables are mainly used in systems that deal with public safety. These communications infrastructure cables transmit power and signal for controlling traffic and roadway signaling equipments, public emergency alarm systems and other applications used for communication. They are uniquely designed for outdoor installations. But what happens in the event of heavy rains or probably extreme temperatures? Well, no worries as these cables have been engineered to have maximum resistance to moisture and a number of attributes to operate in harsh environments. Safety and the well-being of individuals are ideals which IMSA doesn’t casually. Stringent guidelines need to be followed when controlling the lives of dozens of road users. The IMSA Wire and Cable Committee are entitled with the duty to publish standards and specifications that govern the manufacture, operation and use of IMSA cables. 

The next thing you might want to know is where you can purchase these cables. There are many suppliers out there who deal in IMSA cables but you can’t just trust in anyone. We glad to have a wide range of these cables at Nassau Electricals and we’d be glad to supply you with this and other cables. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the right cable but we’ll always be there to help you out.

What make the IMSA Cables for their applications?
For any traffic signal gadget, the delivery of quality signals should never be compromised at any one time considering that they have a direct impact of the safety of road users. These gadgets should thus possess outstanding features to enable them operate exceedingly well and meet the expectations of the users.

The insulation material used to make IMSA cables is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is plastic in nature. Thanks to the plastic, the cable cannot be affected by chemicals and other decomposing agents. It is for this reason why IMSA cables are ideal for underground ducts and aerial applications.

Construction sites are harsh environments as they experience a lot of crushing, mechanical damage, wear and rear, strong sunlight rays and much more. The polyvinyl chloride insulation enables the cable to be resistant to such environmental conditions. This in the long run enables the cables to be in operation for a long period of time.

A wide majority of cables are not designed to withstand high temperatures. IMSA cables are often used in areas where heat is a great concern. This again is thanks to the PVC insulation which heat and moisture resistant and thus making the IMSA Cable the ideal product to go for when looking for an outdoor cable.

When carrying out installations, you will definitely want to work with a cable that will give you easy time. The conductor of IMSA cables is made of copper which is a highly flexible material. With the copper conductor, the cable easily bends and cuts according to your needs. Moreover, the copper conductor comes in handy to ensure that signals are transmitted quickly and in the right way for users to understand their next step of action. Copper is among the best conductors and is readily available in all the continents for commercial use.

The copper conductors of IMSA cables come in different configurations depending on the area of application. This may include cabled conductors, single conductors, twisted pairs, Single Hard-Drawn Copper Conductor, single copper- covered steel conductor, “C” line wire (parallel) 2 hard- drawn copper conductors and “C” line wire (parallel) 2 copper- covered steel conductors.

How does IMSA cable work?
It is important to know that traffic lights do not just shift from one color to another. The resultant change is a response to some command somewhere. Otherwise known as Traffic Signal Cable, IMSA cable gets notifications from a traffic light and transfers it to the controlling station where coding of the signal is done. Once that is done the lights change in accordance to the command relayed from the traffic control station. One misunderstanding in the coding or delays in transmission of commands and you can imagine the kind of drama they may ensue. So the thoughtof working with just any cable cannot be entertained.

Types of IMSA cables
As hinted earlier in this post, there are several types of IMSA cables depending on your desired area of application. It is thus imperative that you get the details of the specific cable you want otherwise you might just get pick the wrong one and create a mess of everything. The following are the types of IMSA cables you can get at Nassau Electricals;

 1. IMSA 19- 1 signal cable : This cable has a polyethylene insulation which makes the cable to be resistant to chemicals and other decomposing agents. It is thus durable. The jacketing material is made of polyvinyl chloride and can transmit signals very fast as it is rated 600 voltages. It is ideal for application in underground duct system and aerial cabling supported by messenger or installation in raceway buildings as a traffic signal cable or as a fire protective signaling cable. The conductor is made of bare copper making the cable highly flexible.

2. IMSA 50- 2 lead in cable : The 600V cable is made of tinned copper conductors with polyethylene insulation making the cable durable. It is this feature that also makes the cable ideal for installation in underground systems or buried in soil. The shielding is made of aluminum foil with TC drain wire while the jacketing material is a black polyethylene. This cable is very flexible and this is due the tinned copper conductor. This is to say you can bend it and cut it as per your needs. The cable is used mainly in loop detector lead- in feeder.

3. IMSA 51-7 XHHW Loop Detector : Like the other two cables, this one also transmits signals at 600 voltages. The bare copper conductor will ensure your installation process is easily done as copper makes the cable flexible. It has a cross- linked polyethylene insulation and a polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene insulation encased in black or orange PVC or PE outer tube sheathing. You can use this cable for underground duct systems or burial installations.

Specifications
IMSA specifications are designed to offer each specification with specific detail. Specification starts with a scope section and followed by a general construction section. The scope section provides information about the material used for the outer jacket insulation, suitability of the cable for use, support method and voltage rating. The general construction segment gives basic information about the insulation of the conductor, the core requirements of the cable and layout of the conductor.

Each individual specification has a 7 digit number. The first two digits represent the outer jacketing material, the third digit denoted the design code of the cable and the last four digits represent the year of manufacture. According to IMSA specifications each cable should provide the name of the manufacturer, specification number from IMSA and the voltage rating of the cable. This information should be applied every two feet or less to the outer surface of the cable jacket by indent printing.

Compliances
 For the sake of the safety of everyone, it is prudent to work with products that have been tested and certified to be safe. This is more so if you are dealing with cables because a slight mistake can lead to a huge mess that might even cost the lives of people and loss of property. The following are the standards that IMSA cables from Nassau Electrical adhere to;

a. International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) Wire and Cable Specifications 1997 which stipulates all the standards that IMSA cables should adhere to.

b.UL 62 Electrical Wire and Cable. This specifies the standards for flexible cord and fixture wire.

c. RoHS and REACH compliant with materials list as of 08/01/2011. This standard limits the use of specific dangerous materials present in electrical and electronic items.

Applications of IMSA Cables
There are different of areas in which IMSA cables can be used in public safety and electrical construction industries. This is because of the different kinds of cables and their capability to operate in various environmental conditions. IMSA cables are majorly for outdoor applications, underground duct system, and aerial and straight earth burial. The reason why these cables are ideal for such application is due to the fact that they have been uniquely designed to be resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures. If you are thinking of control and communication cables to go for then you should consider IMSA cables. Examples of places where IMSA cables can be used include;

Traffic signal applications – without traffic lights our streets would be chaotic and disastrous as a result of accidents among road users. Thanks to their great performance sanity and order is exhibited by all road users. Signal indications are controlled from the control cabinet to signal displays and from inductive loops normally found in pavements to detect vehicles. The signals connect inductive loops from roadway hand holes to traffic control cabinets and provide a link of data communications between field control devices.

Fire alarm and public emergency alarm applications- fires are disastrous and in the event they break out whether in industrial, commercial or residential areas, the public in general needs Alarming Signals Cablesthat will notify them to take safety measures. IMSA cables are used to make alarm signals to imply to the public that they need to take safety cover.  Places where these cables are used include areas that are used for connections of fire alarm streets and connection of voice dispatch systems offering communications between the communication center and emergency response facilities such as ambulance and fire stations. Congestion in urban areas has led people to use these cables to interconnect fire alarm systems found between buildings may be in underground conduit or aerial installations.  This application may as well include master and emergency call boxes on public emergency alarm reporting systems to the public safety communications center.

Communication applications- communication systems play a huge role in ensuring people understand what they need to do and what needs to happen. It simply brings flow of events. Areas in which IMSA cables may be used for communication include radio circuits coming from dispatch centers to remote located receivers, base stations, government owned communications systems, closed circuit television systems and wide area data networks.

Conclusion
The world today cannot live without traffic light gadgets.  Otherwise confusion would be the order of the day everywhere. For safety precautions and order, people need gadgets and signals which when they make certain alerts they will know how best to respond. Having the right cables and wires such as the IMSA cables shared here today will go a great mile in maintaining safety world over. However, remember to get the details and specifications right for the ideal cable. This way you will achieve maximum satisfaction.

Where to get IMSA cables
Walk into any electrical shop and you will not miss an IMSA cable. This is because they are among the most important electrical cables in the world. However, you need to understand that there are manufacturers who do not fully comply too the standards and specifications we had mentioned earlier. For this purpose you should go for products that are manufactured by well known suppliers such as Nassau Electrical Supply. Nassau has a wide range of products including IMSA cables. Our products will definitely meet your specifications. In case you want custom made products that can be arranged. Contact us on this and more cables or chat live with us on our website.  

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