There are a wide range of control cables on the market, however there are only three types that are involved in the field of process automation (Process automation involves using software engineering and computer technology to help power plants and factories efficiently and safely).
They are designed for use an interconnecting cable in signal and control equipment for measuring control and regulation. These types of cables are very common in the building and construction industry and rail and transport networks as well as process control systems and automation.
As well CY, YY and SY these cables also go by a variety of names such as; Instrumentation Cable, Multi-core Cable, Robotic Cable, Motor Cable and Control Flex which is used to describe all three. To confuse things a little further you may also hear these cables referred to as; Screened Flexible Cable (CY), Unscreened or Unshielded Control Cable (YY) and Shielded Flex (SY).
The differences between the three cables are as follows:
CY Cables are used when interference-free transmission is needed. The CY Cable has a Multi-core Flex and a tinned copper wire braid and a PETP (Polyethylene Terephthalate) separator. All these work together to protect the cable from external electromagnetic influences and mechanical stress.
YY Cable works well within light mechanical stress and is suited to most environments. It is very versatile so can be used outside when protected and in dry and moist conditions inside.
SY Cable is the strongest cable from this family. It offers reliable mechanical protection and the galvanised steel wire braid makes it ultra strong and durable.
Control Cable Similarities
All three cables have similar properties. They are all highly flexible Multi-core cables with copper conductors (Class 5) and have a voltage rating of 300/500V.