Specifying Wire Harness Materials


Wiring harness connectors are used in almost every electric device, equipment, or machine around us. Wiring harnesses come in many different variations depending on what it was made for. Manufacturers even utilize wire harnesses in assembly lines inside automated robotic machinery to optimize production.


Wiring harnesses are composed of many different parts. These parts are interconnected through wires or connectors that distribute electric currents to each part of the machine. They keep the wires protected from external deterrents that can possibly damage the equipment or machine as a whole. Wiring harnesses are typically made with hundreds of parts that are all essential for the unit to function properly. They can also be made of different kinds of materials depending on the specific industry they would be designed for.


Most Common Wire Harness Materials


The insulators of a wire harness typically vary in terms of purpose. Some of them may require high-grade materials to ensure extra reinforcement and resistance from variables such as intense heat or electrical current.


PVC– Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is one of the most common materials that are used to insulate wires in harnesses. They are known for being highly durable and versatile in terms of usage. They are also heat, cold, water, and sometimes even oil resistant. Common household appliances typically use wiring harness connectors with PVC insulated wires. Its versatility ranges from power supply systems to even submarine and ship wiring. It’s also easily customizable and can be molded into different shapes or sizes depending on the design.


Polyurethane- Commonly either thermosetting or thermoplastic, a polyurethane wire harness is known for its ability to withstand moisture and abrasion. It’s also very resistant when it comes to oil and oxidation. Polyurethane, however, is more efficiently used in low temperatures. It’s also highly durable and is commonly found in sectors like aerospace and military operations but commonly utilized as a jacketing material to protect the main insulators themselves.


Silicone- In some circumstances, silicone insulated wire harnesses can perform much better than others. It’s able to withstand heat as high as 250 degrees celsius and is the preferred material for high-temperature environments. Wiring harness connectors that use silicone wire insulators are also used in high voltage and medical-grade operations. They are also known for being fire retardant and abrasion-resistant. The downside however is that they typically cost more than other materials but because of their quality and durability, replacements and repairs for silicone wires are cut down to minimal.


Nylon- Another common material for insulating wires in a wiring harness connector, Nylon is known for its great protection against abrasion and chemicals. Unlike PVC and other plastics, nylon can withstand more tension and traction and is perfect for insulating wires in high-impact usage. It also protects the wires from UV damages which can cause significant damage and limit outdoor use. Because of its durability in situations that requires constant stress or tension, it increases the durability and longevity of the wire harness as a whole. Because of this, wire harness connectors with insulated nylon wires are considered one of the most widely used materials in many industries.


In conclusion, finding the right material for building a wire harness depends on its main purpose. Using the proper materials when making a wire harness is highly important when it comes to the longevity of the harness as a whole. It’s also essential to determine the environment of where it will be used the most to ensure that it won’t hinder the performance of the device or machine that it was designed for.

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