Choosing the Right Cable Jacket Material

You can find many different types of cables in today’s market with different jackets and other specific options. It comes as no surprise that it might be hard and sometimes confusing having to choose the right cable jacket for your specific application while juggling cost and lead times. The three main sensor cable jackets are PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), PUR (polyurethane), PE (Polyethylene), and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). Each jacket type has different benefits like washdown, abrasion resistant or high flexing applications.  Finding the correct jacket type for your application can extend the life of the cable and downtime on your machine.


PVC is considered a general-purpose cable and is widely available in the market with the best price point in the low voltage range (up to 1000V). It is a good choice for wash-down application since its material is resistant to moisture and salt water. These cables are very popular because of their high strength and good insulation properties and it is often used on production and assembly lines with medium stress applications.  PVC cables can be non-oil resistant and oil resistant depending on the compound.


PUR is known for being Halogen free, not containing chlorine, iodine, fluorine, bromine or astatine.  This jacket type does have limited temperature range compared to the other jacket types, 40-80⁰C. The biggest advantages of PUR cables are strength, flexibility, and chemical composition. They do not contain halogen which can prove to be toxic in the event of a fire or other unforeseen emergencies. PUR cables are most popular in the paint and automotive industry because it is best suited for those manufacturing environments.


PE has excellent electrical properties with a very high insulation resistance. However, Polyethylene can be stiff and very hard but there are lower density PE cables which are more flexible. These cables also have high moisture and weather resistance which make them excellent for exposed work applications and extreme environments. Though flammable, it carries exemplary electric qualities and is a very good option for cables requiring high-speed transmission. With cross-linking, polyethylene properties can produce high resistance to cracking, cut-through, soldering, and solvents. Its temperature range is -65°C to 80°C.


TPE is another halogen free cable which is flexible, recyclable and has excellent cold temperature characteristics, -50-125⁰C. This cable is also resistant against aging in the sunlight, UV and ozone It is a very flexible and high-quality cable which can withstand mechanical loads very well and resist external influences such as chemicals and extreme temperatures. Most TPE cables have a high flex rating typically up to 10 million. TPE cables are the most abrasion-resistant cables and therefore used in the harshest environments and high movement applications.

MISUMI offers a variety of cable jackets which allows our end users to choose the right product to meet their unique requirements for their applications. Though each cable jacket type can provide specific advantages and disadvantages in different applications, whether that be on the end of robotic arm or buried outside in a harsh environment, the cable jackets are interchangeable and cross-supportive. While time and demand take precedent when designing a system or solution, make sure to look at the wide variety of cable jackets that are available out there. To view the wide selection of cables that MISUMI carries, visit our website here.

About the Author

Patrick Teagues

Patrick is a Product Development Analyst at MISUMI. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science, a minor in Chemistry, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. He is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt and has worked in chemical manufacturing for seven years.

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