INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT Wiring Harness News NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021 39
Proper Uses and Materials
Braiding technology has been around for more than 150 years . Originally developed for textiles , it became a great way to encapsulate wire harness , especially in aerospace and other high reliability arenas . More recent developments in braiding materials have expanded its use to other industries . Some more common materials used on harnesses are copper , steel , brass , Nomex , Kevlar , polyester , nylon , fiberglass along with many others . This brief article was developed through a conversation with John Tomaz of Wardwell Braiding . We discussed the various uses of braiding and the ease of bringing this technology in-house .
There are many reasons why one may choose to braid a wire harness . First and foremost is that braiding increases the tensile strength and durability of the harness . If you are building a harness for a bus or an airplane , for example , it would likely be very long and heavy . As the harness is installed , it can be pulled against various bulkheads and cavities and the connectors and wires could become damaged . Baiding mitigates this damage by providing a tight outer barrier that resists damage to wire and connectors . The most common material in this situation would be Nomex , especially in aerospace and military applications . This will also keep the wire harness from expanding .
High vibration during the normal operation of any piece of high-reliability equipment , such as an aircraft , can cause chaffing damage to wire or connectors . Braiding greatly lessens this effect . Some common materials to reduce chafing would be steel or bronze .
Another reason you may choose to braid a harness is to protect it in a high-temperature situation , as heat can damage the various components of the harness . To reduce heat-transfer , a fiberglass braiding material is often used .
Electromagnetic interference ( EMI ) is a big problem in both data and signal transmission . Manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to minimize it . Braiding provides superior protection from EMI . Typically , copper or tin-plated copper braiding materials would be used in this situation . Further EMI reduction can be achieved by installing the connector over the metal braiding , thus grounding it in order to drain static electricity .
Finally , braiding can be used to create a more aesthetically pleasing final product . Common materials for this would be polyester or nylon .
Braiding can also be used as a product identifier . Many producers include a color strand or strands to identify them as the manufacturer of the cable assembly . In a 24-strand braid , for example , a manufacture could choose one or more different color spools for contact tracing .
Braiding is an easy process to learn and integrate into an existing operation . The folks at Wardwell Braiding wish to remind people that once they have acquired a machine , they can teach any mechanically inclined person how to set it up , how to operate it , and how to maintain the equipment in two days . They can do this at the customer site or at their facility . They will also provide customers with lists of braiding-specific material suppliers .
About Wardwell Braiding
Wardwell Braiding is a world leading supplier of braiding equipment . Since its founding in 1911 by Simon Wardwell , the Company ’ s engineers have continually introduced advances in braiding technology that have made Wardwell braiders the industry standard for overall value .
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Contact us at : www . tri-star-technologies . com whn @ tri-star-technologies . com • 323-347-5767
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Modern Braiding Equipment ( Photo Courtesy of Wardwell Braiding )