We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Actuator Cable?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Actuator cable is a term that can be correctly applied to two very different actuator-related products. The first are specialized electric cables used to supply power and send or receive sensor signals to and from the actuator. The second is a range of braided cables, typically of a steel construction, used to mechanically transfer actuation inputs. Electric actuator cables may be three or four core power supply cables or multi-core control signal types used to connect actuators to programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The mechanical actuator cable usually features a multi-strand, braided steel cable enclosed in a sheath and fitted with lugs on either end, a good example being the brake cable on a bicycle.

The term actuator cable is a little ambiguous, as it can be quite accurately applied to two distinct categories of actuator-related products, namely electric and mechanical cables. Both cable types fulfill the same basic function, that being the control of actuator output, only in very different ways. Electric cables supply either power or control signals to an actuator, while a mechanical actuator cable physically transfers operator input to the actuated mechanisms.

Electric actuator cable types can also be broken down into two categories, the first of which are power supply cables. These are typically three or four heavy core cables used to supply the actuator with its working power. The three core cable would generally be used for single-phase power supplies and the four core example for three-phase supplies, one core being used as a ground lead in each case. Electric signal cables are usually light-gauge, multi-core types terminated with DB- or DE-type plugs for connections to programmable logic control units. These cables are used to ferry input signals to the actuator or pass system sensor inputs back to the PLC unit.

The mechanical actuator cable is used as a physical motion transfer agent in a wide range of applications. Consisting of a flexible, braided steel cable enclosed in a protective sheath, this type of actuator cable is used to transfer the motion of a control lever or cam to another mechanism. The cable is usually fitted with a ball or lug on each end that slips into a corresponding slot on the input and actuated mechanism. When the lever is moved, the cable moves with it, transferring the motion to the actuated mechanism as it does so. These cables may be lightweight types used as brake actuators and gear selectors on bicycles, or heavy-duty types used in applications including industrial or aviation systems.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.