The key difference between a stranded cable and solid cable is the flexibility. Within this post we will define cable flexibility with regard to ability to withstand continuous movement. Depending on your application, cable flexibility can be a factor when choosing the proper components for your cable assembly or wire harness.
A stranded cable comprises of several small wires housed or wrapped together to form a larger conductor. The stranded variety is a more feasible option when an application requires flexibility.
The appealing differences between solid and stranded cables can be clearly seen in the image below. Solid cables consist of a single solid strand of metal wire. Because solid equates with more rigid, it is best suited within an application that doesn’t require much flexibility.
In selecting based on cost, initial cost needs to be evaluated against long-term durability. While a solid wire initially costs significantly less to purchase than stranded wire, a stranded wire will last longer in environments where motion or frequent alterations to the wiring may occur. All of these aspects need to be taken into account before making a decision about the type of wire to choose for an application.