What are the different types of cables? What do the designations and abbreviations mean?

In the following table you will find common cable designations and cable types as well as the meaning of the abbreviations for electrical cables and wires.

Cable Designations/Abbreviation | Cable Type Key for Harmonized, International Cables and Wires


Fundamental type                                               

H= harmonised type
A= nationally recognised type


Nominal voltage

01= 100 Volts
03= 300/300 Volts
05= 300/500 Volts
07= 450/750 Volts




= Ethylene propylene rubber
E= PE Polyethylene
= fibre-glass braiding
N= Chloroprene rubber
Q= Polyurethane
R= Rubber
S= Silicone rubber
T= Textile braiding
V2 = PVC + 90°C
V3 = PVC flexible at low temperatures
V5= PVC increased oil resistant
= XPE, cross linked PE



C4= copper wire braiding
= divisible flat cable
H2= non-divisible flat cable
H6= non-divisible flat cable for elevators
H8 = helix cable



Types of conductor

U= single wire
R= multi wire
= fine strands (fixed laying)
= fine strands (flexible use)
= extra fine strands (flexible use)
= fine strands for welding cable
= fine strands for welding cable



Earth wire

= without green-yellow earth wire
= with green-yellow earth wire
Cable Designations | Cable Type Key acc. to DIN VDE  and with reference to DIN VDE 
(SAB BRÖCKSKES standard)


Fundamental type

= National standard
Bi = Besilen® (silicone)
Ö = PVC control cable
S= Cable track cable
SL = Servo cable
SABIX®= Halogen-free material on a Polyolefin base
Li = strands (data cable)
AGL = Compensating cable
ThL = Extension Cable



YK = cold resistant PVC
2G (Bi)= Besilen® (silicone)
12Y = mod. TPE
= rubber
2Y = PE (Polyethylene)
GL = fibre-glass
SABIX®= halogen-free material



= steel wire protection
= steel wire braiding
= copper braiding
= stainless steel braiding
= copper wrapping
ST = static screen



= numbered control cable
= single core
= flexible
(E) = intrinsically safe (blue)
(TR) = transparent outer sheath
(B) = drain wire
PU = Polyurethane



YOE = oil resistant PVC
YW = heat resistant PVC
11Y= PUR (Polyurethane)
HM4 = halogen-free thermoplast (Begum)
SABIX®= halogen-free material
Other materials as mentioned under insulation


Sheath material

J= with green-yellow earth wire
= without green-yellow earth wire

Examples of cable designations:

LiYY - PVC data cable

LiYCY - PVC data cable with overall copper screen

SiAFF - Silicone (Besilen®) insulated strands, highly flexible

SiHF-J - Silicone (Besilen®) insulated strands with Silicone (Besilen®) outer sheath

H07V-K - PVC insulated single conductor acc. to NFPA 79 for industrial machinery


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