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DLO vs. Welding Cable

In this post of This vs That, we compare DLO cable and welding cable. They are similarly categorized, but definitely have their differences in terms of usages and general construction. They are both used in power supply applications, but what exactly are they? Why are they frequently compared? To uncover their similarities and differences, let's take a look at the construction and electrical specs for both DLO cable and welding cable, as well as the applications they're used in.

What is DLO Cable?

DLO, or Diesel Locomotive Operations, the cable is a flexible, rubber insulated cable primarily used for applications regarding diesel-powered train locomotives. Overall, it's an extremely rugged cable. This makes it also suitable for use in oil and gas rigs, power supply systems, shipyards, and motor leads.

DLO cable has a voltage rating of 2000V, making it ideal for heavy-duty, high-voltage applications. It also has a maximum temperature rating of 90°C in both wet and dry environments. Allied Wire and Cable carries Diesel Locomotive Cable in gauge sizes 14 AWG to 1111 MCM. These cables always feature a finely stranded tinned copper conductor, insulation, and a CPE jacket. Common insulation materials include EPR and EPDM.

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What is Welding Cable?

Welding Cable is a portable cord typically used welder leads and power supply applications. Because of its rubber jacketing/insulation, it is resistant to abrasion, tears, and cuts. Welding Cable is also suitable for use in battery grounds, automotive starts, and marine applications because of its flexibility and versatility.

Welding cables have a voltage rating of 600V and a maximum temperature of +105°C. These cables also feature stranded copper conductors, but they come bare. This cable's jacket acts as insulation as well, instead of having two separate materials like in Diesel Locomotive Cable. Allied Wire and Cable carries Welding Cable from 6 AWG to 500 MCM.

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What's the difference?

While these cables are suitable for use in similar applications, there are some major differences to consider. Both cables feature stranded copper conductors, but Welding Cable's conductor is bare instead of tinned and has a higher strand count. This makes it more flexible, but harder to terminate. DLO's tinned copper conductors provide extra corrosion resistance protection against environmental conditions.

Welding Cable usually has a red or black jacket but is available in other colors upon request. When it comes with an orange jacket, this signals it's an extra durable cable construction. Diesel Locomotive Cables come only in black. They also carry some dual ratings that welding cable does not, including UL RHH/RHW-2 and CSA R90 approvals. Remember, voltage ratings differ for these approvals. UL RHH/RHW-2 is rated for 600V and CSA R90 is rated for 1000V.

When deciding between these two cables, it's important to consider what exactly your application requires. DLO Cable has tinned conductors, insulation, a jacket, and a 2000V rating. This makes it more suitable for heavy-duty and industrial applications. Welding Cable features finely stranded conductors and a single jacket, making it more flexible and suitable for tighter spaces. If you still have questions, call one of our knowledgeable sales reps at 800-472-4655 for more details.