The Value Of Using Military Cable And Wiring

Posted on: 20 November 2018

The military is asked to operate in a variety of difficult environments, and consequently, their electronics also have to hold up under a wide range of conditions. If you're concerned about how well your systems might do under bad circumstances, one way to improve their chances of continued operation is to employ military cable and mil-spec wiring. You may be wondering, however, what precisely those terms even mean. When checking out such products, keep these details in mind.

The Military's Standard

Standards for cabling and wiring are set out in several subsets of MIL-STD-810, a standard that has the rather straightforward title, "Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests." The emphasis within this standard is to ensure that all equipment will be up to its job over its service life, regardless of the environments the military asks it to be deployed in. Revisions to this standard are made about two or three times a decade, so you can rest assured that anything that meets it will be measured against fairly modern requirements.

As it pertains to military cabling and wiring, MIL-STD-810 is largely focused on seeing that cables are wires are properly shielded against electrical and radio interference. This ensures that internal components and nearby friendly devices don't cause glitches in systems, and it's also intended to guard against hostile attempts at interference, such as jamming equipment. All U.S. military contractors are expected to verify that their cables and wires meet strict standards.

Consumer Use

It should be noted that any claim to comply with MIL-STD-810 is inherently misleading. The standard is considered only for military equipment, and non-military products, by definition, cannot be tested against it. That said, many companies supply materials to both the consumer and military sectors, and they can utilize consumer standards that conform closely to MIL-STD-810.

It's wise to be somewhat suspicious when checking out companies that offer mil-spec wiring. You may want to acquire some test products and do your own verification before making use of such materials in your own systems.

What You Get

Rugged military cabling is intended to be resistant to a variety of things, including acids and alkalis, oil and gas, flames, water, solvents, and fungi. Mil-spec wiring and cabling should also include shielding and jacketing that retards the ingress of outside electrical and radio signals into the wire. This should include similarly shielded termination for wire ends.