Wire and cable are both two different items. Although both constitutes same materials and serves same purpose they are both different from each other. Nevertheless, we all use these terms interchangeably. Even the professionals working in the field use these terms interchangeably. This makes us more confused and mislead. However, when you are planning to redo the wiring system of your house or office, you might need to purchase a wire cable assembly as well as a few wire harnesses. At such occasions you need to identify these items in order to place the right kind of orders.
A wire cable assembly or a cable assembly is a common electric wire that has extra sheathings over its core. A core stands for the copper string that conducts electric signals. In the mechanical world, wires are also termed as conductors. Hence, you can also say that a cable assembly is an assortment of conductors bound within a powerful sheath made of thermoplastic. Big cable assemblies also have a protective layer of steel plates on the top of the thermoplastic coating. This is placed as a security measure. Usually, cable assemblies are used for exterior wiring purposes where the wires are often exposed to environmental factors. You can find such assemblies at electrical posts, elevators and industrial controls.
A wire harness is an assembly of wires or conductors. Compared to a wire cable assembly, a wire harness contains fewer protective layers. The core of the wire is protected with a single layer of thermoplastic that offers only normal protection. A wire harness doesn’t have any steel plates to protect its plastic covering. If such a wire is exposed to rain, there is a good chance of the wire getting ruined. Wire harnesses are only fit for internal uses like wiring internal lighting system, computers, vehicles and so on. Compared to cable assembly wire harnesses are less expensive and less heavy. They are also easily portable from one place to another.