Electrical and communications wiring can easily be called a building's nervous system. With few exceptions, reliable wiring is crucial to the day-to-day activities that go on within any home or building, especially as more families and businesses become dependent on computers and the Internet. At the same time, the electrical currents that enter and leave buildings can be quite dangerous, so the safety performance of electrical products must be a top priority.
Wire and cable constructions range from the simple - such as building wire - to the complex - such as power cable - with a carefully selected combination of materials that insulate the conductor. These layers are essential to electrical reliability and safety, protecting the conductor from moisture, dirt and damage. Flexible vinyl is the material most commonly used in each of these insulation components; in fact, 55 to 60 percent of all wires and cables are manufactured using vinyl. At the same time, rigid vinyl is widely used in conduit, electrical switch boxes, raceways and other cable management products.
Vinyl components can be found throughout the electrical and communications systems of nearly every home and building built in the United States today, in such applications as:
◦Non-metallic jacketed cable (NM)
◦Underground feeder cable (UF)
◦Service entrance cable (SER/SEU)
◦Fire/security alarm wire
◦Cable and satellite television cabling
•Cable management systems
◦Electrical outlet and switch boxes
•Fiber optic cabling
Although vinyl electrical components are frequently used in conjunction with other materials, vinyl brings many important safety and performance characteristics to any wire or cable construction. For example, vinyl electrical products provide excellent properties at low cost, and are particularly well suited to meet the concurrent electrical and fire safety requirements that contribute to life safety in building design. Behind walls, under floors, underground and on the roof, electrical and communications wires and cables are constantly subjected to some of the toughest conditions - such as exposure to the elements and dampness - in buildings and industrial settings. The performance standards set for these products by the National Electrical Code are extremely stringent, considered by some to be the toughest in the world. Vinyl has met the high standards required by specifiers and building owners for more than 50 years and today is one of the most widely used and most trusted electrical materials.