Mineral-insulated Copper-clad Cable

Mineral-insulated copper-clad cable is a variety of electrical cable made from copper conductors inside a copper sheath, insulated by inorganic magnesium oxide powder. The name is often abbreviated to MICC or MI cable, and colloquially known as pyro (because the original manufacturer and vendor for this product in the UK is a company called Pyrotenax). A similar product sheathed with metals other than copper is called mineral insulated metal sheathed (MIMS) cable.

MI cable is made by placing copper rods inside a circular copper tube and filling the intervening spaces with dry magnesium oxide powder. The overall assembly is then pressed between rollers to reduce its diameter (and increase its length). Up to seven conductors are often found in an MI cable, with up to 19 available from some manufacturers.

Since MI cables use no organic material as insulation (except at the ends), they are more resistant to fires than plastic-insulated cables. MI cables are used in critical fire protection applications such as alarm circuits, fire pumps, and smoke control systems. In process industries handling flammable fluids MI cable is used where small fires would otherwise cause damage to control or power cables. MI cable is also highly resistant to ionizing radiation and so finds applications in instrumentation for nuclear reactors and nuclear physics apparatus.

The metal tube surrounding the conductors effectively shields circuits in MI cable from electromagnetic interference. The metal sheath provides protection against accidental contact with energised circuit conductors.

MI cables may be covered with a plastic sheath, coloured for identification purposes. The plastic sheath also provides additional corrosion protection for the copper sheath.

Read more about Mineral-insulated Copper-clad Cable:  History, Purpose and Use, Heating Cable, Typical Specifications, Advantages, Disadvantages, Alternatives

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