What is the purpose of using white powder in electrical cables?

White powder is utilised in high current carrying electrical lines. In this post, will learn why white powder are employed within cables.

Depending on the capacity, different types of powder are used in electrical cable applications, such as

  • Talcum powder,
  • Magnesium oxide (MgO) powder,
  • Swellable powder,
  • Chalk powder.

1). Electrical Cables Containing Talcum Powder

The use of talcum powder in a variety of cables that carry low currents, including computer power cables, makes the cables more flexible and prevents the inner wires from becoming twisted in the exterior rubber casing of the cable.

When a cable is utilised for an extended period of duration, its outer rubber becomes sticky and can break down.

Talcum powder is utilised in some electrical lines to prevent this problem.

2). Electrical Cables Contain Magnesium Oxide Powder

In high current carrying cables, which are also commonly referred to as Mineral Insulated (MI) cables, magnesium oxide (MgO) powder is utilised.

  • High heat conductivity and
  • Poor electrical conductivity

are two highly beneficial features of magnesium oxide powder. Magnesium oxide powder provides many functions and benefits in an electrical cable, which are listed below.

  • Heat is produced when a strong current flows through a cable, that may damage the cable. Magnesium oxide powder, which has a high thermal conductivity, may be able to transfer heat from the inner portion of the cable to the exterior of the cable, so prevent heat damage to the cable.
  • Magnesium oxide powder has strong electrical insulation due to its low electrical conductivity.
  • Magnesium oxide powder is an excellent lubricant for electrical lines.
  • Magnesium oxide powder protects electrical lines from fire.
  • Magnesium oxide powder adds flexibility to electrical lines.

3). Electrical Cables Contain Swellable Powder

Swellable Powder is utilised in electrical wires to prevent moisture and block water. When these particles come into contact with water, they form a gel-like substance that can obstruct the flow of water. These powders swell and expand to permanently block the water.

4). Electrical Cables Containing Chalk Powder

Some cables employ chalk powder to provide fire resistance. Some electrical cables employ chalk powder to protect the wires inside the cable from fire.