More often than not, wire stripping is a challenge. In this brief article, I will discuss the 5 steps on how to correctly strip insulation wires so you can save valuable time on the job. It is important to not damage the exposed wires and incur signal attenuation, or worse, cut through the wires; in which case there is no more signal and the job has to be done all over again. Here are the steps:
Always wear the proper safety clothing and equipment.
Choose the right tool for the job:
The stripping tool really depends on the number of cables you intend stripping. To avoid hand fatigue an automated or industrial stripper might be the best option if you are stripping dozens of cables daily.
Never use a knife or any other sharp object that was not made specifically for stripping insulated wires as you could end up injuring yourself and ruining the integrity of the wire you are working with. Side cutters and pliers too are not recommended as they often cut the cables too deeply and thus some of the copper strands are cut away reducing the capacity of the wires to carry current effectively.
The purpose using a wire stripper is to remove the jacketing insulation from around copper wires within an electrical cable without damaging the wires itself.
Choose the gauge of wire (AWG) that is closest to wires you intend to strip or buy a gauged wire stripper.
Cutting the insulation:
Avoid cutting the strands of copper within the cable by holding the wire stripper firmly and placing the end of the cable you intend to remove the insulation from into the hole that is the closest gauge to that of the wire you intend to strip. Remove only the correct amount of insulation as is necessary to ensure that you are able to make a good electrical connection with the exposed wires. Too much exposed wire (anything over 1.2 cm) can lead to a potential short circuit; or it can damage the core of the cable and even stretch the individual copper strands. On the other hand too little bared wire and you run the risk of not achieving a good electrical connection.
Removing the insulation:
Specialized strippers are available that will not only strip the wire but remove the insulation too in a single motion. If you are not using one of these strippers, then you will have to manually remove the insulation. Once you have cut the wire, hold firmly onto the cable with one hand and pull off the sectioned insulation firmly with your other hand. Congratulations, you have just stripped off the insulation from around the copper core of the cable; all that’s left is to give the exposed wires a light twist to keep them together.
I hope you found this article on how to strip insulation wires interesting. Please feel free to comment and add your personal tips and tricks. You can find additional resources here: http://cableorganizer.com/learning-center/how-to/how-to-experts.html