Why is it better than Convoluted Tubing to protect Wire Harnesses on heavy-duty equipment?
Mining and other heavy-duty equipment are required to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, to minimise costly down time, it is a ‘must’ to have reliable wire harnesses fitted to your heavy-duty machine and in their engine compartment, that are made of durable material. With Australia’s harsh and extreme weather conditions, our harnesses are designed to tolerate, temperature, oil, moisture, dust and abrasive conditions. Braided wiring harness or wiring loom and convoluted tubing are the most common types of wire harnesses used in Australia.
Table of Contents
- Braided wiring harnesses or wiring looms
- Convoluted Tubing
- The benefits of Braided Wire Harness over Convoluted Tubing
Braided Wiring Harnesses, or Wiring Looms
Braided wiring harnesses or wiring looms are harnesses that come braided with polyvinyl-coated nylon yarn. An industrial braiding machine is used to execute this process. The braiding or loom helps protect from vibration and heat in several heat resistance ratings. You can also opt for PVDF yarn that offers a greater protection to harnesses. Further, the braided wire loom allows moister to escape, which is essential when the harness faces extreme conditions
Allplant Auto Electrics have two braiding options available to manufacture wiring harnesses to suit your needs. PVC Coated nylon yarn which is suited to most applications, and PVDF yarn for harsher environments. This product is used in high abrasion areas. An example would be camera/comms harnesses or harnesses running with hydraulic hoses.
PVC-coated nylon is available in a wide variety of coloured yarns and traces, which can enhance the looks of the harness. The wire conductor used by Allplant for manufacturing has a high temp 125 degrees c XLPE insulation, this insulation is hard to penetrate. The wire conductor is tin coated copper, this significantly reduces the changes of corrosion. Conductors for the harness are printed and cut to length using a specialised ink-jet printer. This process is to assist with fault finding in the field. The allocation of wire numbers and identification process is completed in the harnesses design process with Allplant Auto Electrics’ Perth design team using the latest wiring harness design software. These numbers and identification will also match up with the wiring diagrams supplied by Allplant. Tracers are strands of different colours which are woven into the braid – You can use different colours to differentiate your brand from others. Tracers in a braided wire loom help your OEM know which supplier partners the wire comes from and what system it controls or operates.
PVDF-coating offer the same applications, coloured yarns and tracers to PVC-coating. Through the PVDF-coating has a higher heat and abrasion resistance, and overall, PVDF is stronger and has a longer life spend than PVC-coating.
Harness manufacturing. All our harnesses are custom designed to specification, manufacture and braided in-house. Our trained braiding technicians execute the final stage of the harness production ‘braiding’ in our Welshpool manufacturing facility, to ensure a high-quality control of our looms – braided wiring harness Perth.
Image: Braided wiring harness with yellow tracer
Convoluted tubing is a plastic tubing that gives high protection against abrasion & cuts. Also, this tubing is highly flame retardant. You can find this tubing in different plastics with varied chemical and heat ratings. Unlike braided looms, this tubing is liquid-tight and can accommodate various connector back shells. Also, you can put several fittings for harness configurations in the tubing to provide a liquid-tight seal or covering.
You can find convoluted tubes in a wide range of diameters to make the wire harnesses flexible. Also, many colours are available to enhance the aesthetics and set the branding. The major challenge of convoluted tubing is fishing the wire harnesses through the tubing and other fittings, and the process becomes more difficult for complex wiring harnesses. If you do not use fittings at the intersection of the branch, you will need zip ties or electrical tape to secure the convoluted tubing.
Like a braided wiring harness, you must tape the harness before feeding it into the tubing. Further, you will need to take separate tubing for each branch. As a result, the liquid-tight seal may get affected.
Image: Convoluted Tubing
Benefits of Braided wire Harness Assemblies Over Convoluted Tubing
Why braided wiring harnesses are more advantageous for wire management over convoluted tubing.
- Firstly, harnesses with convoluted tubing covering can handle a maximum load of 70-80% wire. It means the remaining 20-30% tubing should be free space so that wires can move around with the equipment vibration. As a result, it will reduce the insulation of the wires and will expose the conductor leading to electrical failure. In comparison, wire harnesses with braided technology have tightly bound wire assemblies and last longer. Further, they are designed for 100% loading capacity and reduce wire movement, preventing wire insulation deterioration.
- Secondly, convoluted tubing also causes wear and tear due to abrasion. As there is free space, a nylon conduit harness fills with moisture, debris, dirt, dust, stones, and other particles causing premature conductor corrosion and weakening of wire insulation. On the contrary, braid sleeving has high abrasion resistance as it prevents the entering of abrasive materials due to its tightly bound nature. So, wire loom sleeving offers optimum wiring protection.
- Thirdly, braided sleeving in wire assemblies has open holes to allow water and air to pass through so that insulation remains protected. As a result of this breathable nature, higher heat resistance leads to a longer lifespan. Conversely, in convoluted tubing assemblies, there is no breathability, and thus it accumulates engine fluids and other debris within. When these particles and fluids maintain long-term contact with wire insulation, it erodes wire insulation and tubing. Further, convoluted tubing cannot provide thermal protection in extremely high and low-temperature environments.
- Finally, braided sleeving provides a clean and professional finish and has a much longer life span and is more suited overall than nylon conduits to Western Australia’s harsher climate.
When you need a heavy-duty automotive wiring loom, you must consider several factors. If you have large wiring harnesses, or operate in extreme heat, dusty and humid conditions, it is always better to choose braided wiring looms as they offer extra protection. However, when you have a small harness that requires chemically resistant and liquid tight, better to go for convoluted tubing. Our technicians can help you get an accurate product if you are confused. Allplant Auto Electrics has all kinds of cable management sleeves made of quality materials and offer high performance & reliability in mining equipment and the heavy-duty construction industry. Please feel free to contact us for more information on braided wiring harnesses.
Image: Allplant’s custom wiring harness Design Team
Allplant Auto Electrics, Perth – Western Australia