Tech Peak » The Basics of Manufacturing Cat6 Plenum Cable

The Basics of Manufacturing Cat6 Plenum Cable

by joeroberts931

Having adequate knowledge of what goes inside into making Cat6 Plenum Cable will surely help you fathom the top-quality performance that comes out of it. 

With the rapid evolution in the technological multiverse, the demand for high-quality ethernet cables has soared. Fortunately, the Cat6 Plenum 1000ft cable manufacturing industry has kept pace with the changing times. 

So, let’s dive deeper into the details to find out what goes inside the manufacturing of Bulk Cat6 Plenum Cable and how it affects its performance. 

Primary Conductor Design

A primary conductor used in the Cat6 Plenum Cable comprises 22AWG to 24AWG bare copper conductors. These solid copper conductors are surrounded by an insulating material. To ensure top-notch mechanical and electrical performance, every segment of these bare copper conductors should be meticulously controlled. 

These key segments include the smoothness and contour of the surface of the conductor, the profile of the solid copper conductor, and last but not the least, the concentricity of the conductor within the plastic insulating material.  

Attenuation, return loss, and impedance and directly linked to the structure of the primary conductors. 

To slash the risk of signal loss, various strategies are adopted that include increasing the diameter of the solid copper conductors, fewer pair twists per inch, and appropriate annealing of the conductors. 

As far as return loss performance is concerned, it is also impacted by the eccentricity of the solid copper conductors within the extruded insulation. 

Drawing Process of Cat6 Plenum Cable

The tandem insulating extrusion process begins by drawing a larger gage (usually 12AWG or 13AWG) solid copper cord through consecutive sets of diamond dies to a final size of solid copper wire ranging anywhere between 22AWG to 24AWG. 

The pulley or one draw block drags the wire through each die. As soon as the gauge is reduced and copper is drawn, the line speed of draw blocks soars incrementally. During the whole drawing process, extreme heat is released by machines, the equipment is continuously lubricated and cooled to ensure minimum slippage, long die life, and a smooth surface of solid copper conductor. 

The drawing process leaves conductors vulnerable to cracking and brittleness. Annealing equipment hikes the temperature of bare copper to 450°F in a controlled nitrogen environment. This is done to achieve desired elongation properties through appropriate metal softness. Annealing improves the signal transmission rates. 

The material used for insulation in the annealing process is determined in accordance with the flame ratings (CMP for plenum cables). The other thing that is taken into consideration is category transmission performance. 

Applying insulation

This process comprises homogenizing, compressing, and melting colorized, small thermoplastic pellets via an extruder head. During this process, the insulation is applied on preheated solid copper conductors of Cat6 Plenum 1000ft. 

The preheating phase before the extrusion process ensures that the physical properties of the insulation material — including elongation and tensile strength remain intact. The preheating phase also ensures good adhesion of the insulation material to the solid copper conductor. 

Twisted-pair design

During the whole manufacturing process of Bulk Cat6 Plenum Cable, special attention is diverted towards maintaining the exact lay and uniform tension of the twisted pair. To manufacture high-quality Bulk Cat6 Plenum cable, slow process speeds and sophisticated twining equipment are indispensable. 

For ensuring a balanced pair geometry, equal tension should be applied to each solid copper conductor by twining equipment. The copper conductors are passed through bow spindles. As these conductors travel, each one of them passes through deviation pulleys with each pulley implementing 1 twist in each pair. This method has been found effective in increasing the twist lay accuracy and manufacturing throughput. 

Jacketing and Packaging of Cat6 Plenum Cable

The foremost objective of cable jackets is to shield the finished product from disturbance and damage to the pair geometry. The flame performance of the jacket compound is affected by its compound selection. As we are talking here about Cat6 Plenum Cable, LSPVC compounds are used to provide high-level performance in plenum spaces of the buildings. 

As far as packaging options are concerned, they are usually limited to using reel-less boxes or wooden reels. However, there is a third option also available that includes inserting the reel into a spindle and a holder. 


Due to their simplicity of the design, robust performance, and ease of use, Cat6 Plenum 1000ft has become vital for contemporary buildings’ data transmission and telecommunications. However, manufacturing these cables is one part of the performance, the other part is meticulous and perfect installation. When installed correctly, you get optimum performance and the best value for your money. 

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