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Silicone Wire versus PVC insulated wire

Master Yoda

New Member
It can be a challenge trying to get the the real story behind the numbers that come out of China.
For the most part I use the AWG wire chart as my go too, however I am looking at purchasing some
#10 AWG silicone wire for a project and the supported amperage given just doesn't seem right.
I understand that silicone covered wire will support a higher temperature but the difference between
the two sources seem to great?

A single strand of 10 AWG wire on the AWG chart comes in at 52 Amps.

A single strand of #10 AWG Silicone wire on the supplies chart shows 140 Amps.

I have included a chart showing the specifications for the Silicone wire from the supplier.
 

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KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Totally ignore that chart. That chart basically says you can pass said current without the insulation being compromised.

What you should care about, is the acceptable voltage drop at the end points and any local codes you have to follow
The other issues which I can't help you with is conduit, number of conductors and ambient.

My major affiliation with silicon insulated wire was an arc lamp that needed to support a 40 kV start pulse and a 40A operating current at 20V. Each single cable was about 5' long

When you calculate voltage drop, you "typically" have to use 2x the "wire length". A light bulb 40' away from the breaker panel has 80' of wire that the current is traversing contributing to the drop.
real basic equations are p=RL/A where p(Rho) is a material property in ohm-cm, ItR is the resitance, L is the length, and A is the cross-sectional area. Wire tables use ohms/1000' Units have to work out.

Just recently, I bought a number of spools of maybe 20 AWG wire in various colors. It's definately more flexible.
 

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The current rating of a wire is the current that will cause the insulation to melt or degrade, with some safety factor. Silicone insulated wire isn't affected by soldering temperatures so it can safely run hot.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if a single 10 AWG silicone insulated wire, in air, and not in a bundle with other wires, survives 140 A without the insulation being damaged.

That doesn't mean that there are any situations where you would actually use it at that. It will be really hot at 140 A, and you will have to manage that heat, as the wire would be hot enough to melt cable ties and could ignite flamable materials near it. There will be a large voltage drop.

The manufacturer quotes 6.3 Ohms per km. That means that there will be a voltage drop of 882 V/km or 0.882 V per metre. That would simply be impractical for just about all situations. Also the wire would be producing 123 W of heat per metre.
 

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