What is an MC Cable?
Metal-Clad (MC) cable, also known as armored cable, is a type of electrical wiring that consists of copper or aluminum conductors enclosed in a protective metal sheath. This metal sheath provides mechanical protection, as well as a grounding path, eliminating the need for a separate ground wire. MC cable is commonly used for both residential and commercial electrical installations.
Features and Characteristics of MC Cables
The conductors inside the MC cable can be either copper or aluminum, depending on the specific application and requirements. Copper is a better conductor but tends to be more expensive than aluminum. The metal sheath that encases the conductors is typically made of aluminum or steel. This sheath serves as a protective barrier, shielding the conductors from physical damage, moisture, and other environmental factors. MC cable connectors are often armored, providing enhanced protection against mechanical damage. This armor is typically made of interlocking metal strips or a spiral-wound metal tape. The metal sheath of a 12/2 MC cable serves as the grounding conductor, eliminating the need for a separate ground wire in the installation. This can simplify the installation process.
MC cable is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, depending on the specific type and rating. It is commonly used in various environments, including residential buildings, commercial spaces, and industrial facilities. MC cable support comes in both flexible and rigid varieties. Flexible MC cable is more pliable and is often used in applications where flexibility is crucial, such as in tight spaces or when routing through corners. Rigid MC cable is more rigid and provides additional protection in applications where the cable needs to be more stable. 10/2 MC cables are widely used for power distribution, branch circuits, lighting, and other electrical installations. It is a versatile and reliable choice for a range of applications due to its durability and ease of installation.
Types of MC Cables
Metal-Clad (MC) cables come in various types, each designed for specific applications and environments. MC-Lite (Aluminum Interlocked Armor) features aluminum interlocked armor for mechanical protection. It is commonly used in dry locations and is suitable for branch circuits, power, lighting, and control conductors. MC-HL (Aluminum Interlocked and continuously Corrugated Welded Armor) are designed for hazardous locations. They feature a corrugated and continuously welded armor for enhanced protection in harsh environments where the cable may be exposed to chemicals, moisture, or other potentially damaging substances.
MC-PCS (Power/Control/Signal) cables is specifically designed for power, control, and signaling applications. It is often used in settings where multiple types of circuits need to be run in a single cable, such as in building automation systems. MC-Stat (Hospital Grade) cables are intended for use in healthcare facilities, especially in patient care areas. They are designed to meet the specific requirements and standards for electrical installations in hospitals and other medical environments. MC-Quik (Quick Connect) cables are designed with connectors that allow for quick and easy installation. These cables are often used in applications where efficiency and time savings during installation are crucial.