What Is PTFE Hook-Up Wire?
Allied Wire and Cable’s PTFE wire is a single-conductor hook-up wire with polytetrafluoroethylene insulation. PTFE is a tough, non-aging, abrasion- and weather-resistant material with excellent high-temperature resistance. It’s often called Teflon™, which is the brand name given to the material by the DuPont Company that discovered this product in 1938. You can get this wire in various styles, including UL 1199 and three National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) HP3 styles.
Why Is PTFE Good for Hook-Up Wire Insulation?
PTFE insulation is chemically inert and unaffected by most chemicals, oils, alkalis and moisture. Additionally, the material is non-toxic and resistant to mold and mildew. It’s extremely flexible and has a smooth surface with a low coefficient of friction that facilitates installation in conduits and difficult-to-reach places. PTFE has excellent temperature resistance and does not degrade or become brittle at high temperatures. Its melting point is 327 degrees Celsius. You can immerse PTFE cable in oil, water or gasoline.
PTFE Wire Construction
PTFE hook-up wire uses a solid or stranded conductor. The most common conductor material is silver-plated copper. Silver plating, sometimes called silver-coating, improves corrosion resistance and limits oxidation of the copper wire strands at high temperatures or in the presence of acids and alkalis.
Manufacturers of PTFE insulation use special high-pressure ram extruders to make PTFE insulated hook-up wire. Heavy-walled PTFE insulation manufactured according to UL 1199 standards has an insulation thickness of between 20 and 40 mils. Wire manufactured to NEMA HP3 standards typically has thinner insulation, with wall thicknesses between 6 and 28 mils, depending on the standard.
Different Types of PTFE Hook-Up Wire
UL 1199 Hook-Up Wire
Wire manufactured to the UL 1199 standard has a maximum usable temperature rating of 200 C. It’s suitable for the internal wiring of appliances and electronic equipment to a maximum voltage of 600 volts and a peak voltage of 2,500 volts on electronic equipment. Insulation thickness is from 0.02 inches to 0.045 inches.
NEMA HP3 Military Specification PTFE Hook-Up Wire
The NEMA HP3 standard replaced the military standards M16878/4, /5 and /6 for Types E, EE and ET wire.
Type E Wire
NEMA HP3 Type E wire has a maximum voltage of 600 volts and a usable temperature range of -55C to 200C. It has thinner insulation between 0.01 and 0.015 inches thick (10-15 mils). This wire complies with the requirements of UL 1213 and military specification M16878/4.
Type EE Wire
Type EE wire has slightly heavier insulation of 0.015 inches to 0.028 inches. You can use most types at 1,000 volts, although some have a lower rating of 300 volts. Usable temperatures are from minus 60 C to 200 C. This wire conforms to UL style 1180 and M16878/5.
Type ET Wire
This type of PTFE hook-up wire has extremely thin insulation of 0.006 inches and is rated for 250-volt applications. It's suitable for use at temperatures from minus 60 C to 200 C and conforms with UL 1371 and M16878/6.
PTFE Hook-Up Wire Specifications
- Conductor: Silver plated solid or stranded copper wire
- Insulation: Extruded PTFE insulation of varying thicknesses depending on type and diameter
- Available conductor sizes: UL 1199 between 30 American Wire Gauge and 8 AWG, NEMA HP3 between 32 AWG and 10 AWG
- Maximum temperature rating: 200 C
- Minimum temperature rating: UL 1199 not specified and between minus 55 C and minus 60 C for NEMA HP3 types
- Temperature rating in oil and gasoline: 80 C
- Voltage: 600 volts for UL 1199 wires and between 250 and 1,000 volts for NEMA HP3 hook-up wires
PTFE Hook-Up Wire Standards
- UL1199: CSA Approved
- NEMA Type E: UL 1213 and military specification M16878/4.
- NEMA Type EE: UL 1180 and military specification M16878/5
- NEMA Type ET: UL 1371 and military specification M16878/6
- Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive RoHS-compliant