The Minimum Bend Radius of Cables

When cable sizing, what is the importance of determining the minimum bend radius of cables?

What is Bend Radius?

Before we discuss the minimum bend radius, let us first define what bend radius is.

The bend radius is the rounded form in which an electrical cable can be curved or bent without getting damaged.

It considers the precise centre of the cable, i.e. the active cable. The smaller this bend radius is, the stronger the material should be.

A bigger radius lessens cable strain or overstretching.

An important component for the longevity of a cable is the bend radius.

What is Minimum Bend Radius?

In simple terms, the minimum bend radius is what the cable manufacturers specify as the smallest allowable radius of their cable that’s permitted to be bent around.

Bending cables often and to an extreme degree or angle can cause breakage or sustained damage.

Other Than Cable Sizing, How Do You Determine the Minimum Bend Radius?

The minimum bend radius formula:

Minimum Bend Radius = Cable Outer Diameter x Cable Multiplier

What are Cable Multipliers?

Standards of industries define cable multipliers.

Here below is a basic guide on cable multipliers for different electrical cable types.

Kindly note that the cable multiplier may vary depending on the cable type and industry standard.

Points to Remember

  • As much as possible, avoid bending of cables sharply.
  • Reinforce cables for mobile machine. Prevent twisting or tangling.
  • Temperatures affect your bend radius.
  • Cold temperatures harden some wiring materials that cause them to break. Hot temperatures soften some wiring materials and it causes high abrasion. If needed, use a jacket designed to help protect cables from extreme temperatures.

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