learn > What is the difference between Galvanized Steel Wire Braid Armored (GSWB) vs. Tinned Copper Wire Braid (TCWB)?

What is the difference between Galvanized Steel Wire Braid Armored (GSWB) vs. Tinned Copper Wire Braid (TCWB)?

Nowadays, Galvanized Steel Wire Braid Armore or as they are called, GSWB, are becoming less popular nowadays. Even though Eutex can supply them, they will have to be manufactured with long lead time and a large minimum order quantity (MOQ).

Usually customer will ask for GSWB over the Tinned Copper Wire Braid on projects, solely to save on cost. Although this might make a big difference when you have a large scale of cables and sizes bigger than 70mm, you may not have a big impact when dealing with low voltage and sizes of 1.5 and 2.5mm. On top of that, you usually have to deal with a long MOQ when dealing with GSWB which only decreases the little saving you would have, if any.

A galvanized steel wire braid also commonly known or a galvanized wire braid armored cable is a lighter duty alternative to a traditional (SWA) armored cable, where mechanical protection is needed, but a flexible armored cable is required. This type of armored was traditionally used on British cables BS6883 / BS7917 for offshore application.

British cables where produced mainly for the European region and did not had certifications. After the international drilling cables NEK were introduced to the market, these particular cables started to fade out as they were upgraded to the latest requirements and standards. Consequently, they became part of the NEK 606 family under the BFCU model.

Having say that, Tinned Copper Wire Braid will give you more flexibility, because of it considerably lighter cable from an installation point of view. In addition, since the material has been made of copper, is allows the armored to be used as ground cable when it’s necessary. This can be done by collectively grabbing together all the braiding armored around the cable, which will give you a reduce ground on the power cables.

In summary:

  • The “C” on the BFCU means that the armored is GSWB.
  • The “O” on the BFOU means that is Tinned Copper wire braid.
  • In terms of price, “tinned annealed copper wire” is more expensive.
  • For 1 core cable, we cannot use Galvanized steel wire braid for armor.
  • Functionally, I think that “copper” is slightly better, but which material to be used for cable, it depends on the customer.