Twisted pair cables and multicore data cables are types of copper cable used to transmit information from a source point to its destination. The cables are primarily used in computer networking and telecommunication systems.
RS offer an extensive selection of high-quality twisted pair and multicore data cables from leading brands including Alpha Wire, Belden, Lapp, and of course RS PRO. Our cables are available in a range of different CSA or AWG sizes, outer jacket materials, lengths and shield types to suit every application.
Twisted pair cables
Twisted pair cables are a type of cable that features two conductors on a single circuit, twisted together. The cores are then encased in an overall outer sheath typically PVC. When a wire is carrying its current, it naturally creates an electromagnetic field around that wire, therefore interfering with nearby cables. To reduce and eliminate this effect, twisted pairs carry signals in the opposite directions, so the two magnetic fields will occur at the opposite ends, essentially cancelling each other out. This is commonly known as cancellation.
Generally, over a typical coaxial cable, twisted pairs are usually more accommodating in terms of flexibility and being able to bend them without significant loss in signal. The thickness of a coaxial cable can also attribute to the cost to produce, therefore the twisted offers a cheaper alternative whilst maintaining high quality.The twisted cable usually comes in two basic types, either shielded twisted pair (STP) or unshielded twisted pair (UTP), depending on where you were using the cable would determine the usage.Some common industry acronyms you might see are:U = unshieldedF = foil shieldingTP = twisted pairS = braided shieldingDifferent levels of shielding will determine the effectiveness of the cable, each offering its own benefits.
Twisted pairs are commonly used in telephone and data networks as they are reliable in exchanging high volumes of data at fast speeds all whilst remaining consistent at negating the crosstalk between the pairs and defending against any other external interference. Some twisted pair cables feature great resistance to fire and are sometimes halogen-free, making them ideal for public buildings like schools, offices or hospitals.