Power Supply Cord
A power supply cord, or an electric cord, is an electrical cord that serves as a connector between an electrically powered piece of equipment and a main power source. Power supply cords can be found everywhere and are used in people’s everyday lives. A few of the many examples in which power cords are utilized include lighting and sound equipment, power tools, and household appliances. Power supply cords consist of a conducting medium (typically copper), which is concealed by a protective, insulating material. There are some power cords that are detachable, and others that are permanently attached to the appliance or piece of equipment. Some power supply cords can be flat or rounded, depending on the application. Some may even be available in coiled, or retractable, form. Coiled or retractable cords are convenient in that they can be fabricated in various lengths, and they make connection and storage easier by stretching if necessary and retracting if not needed. These particular cords can be found in applications such as production line tools, material handling equipment, mobile push carts, medical equipment, barcode readers, telecommunication, and various computers.
Quick links to Power Supply Cord Information
Design of Power Supply Cords
Power supply cords have an electrical plug on one end that is inserted into an electrical socket. Depending on the application for which the power cord is used, the cord can differ in length. In instances where a longer cord is required, an extension cord may be used. Applications such as construction machinery, power tools, and medical emergency defibrillators do not always have direct access to a power source, and thus need extension cords to connect them to an electrical receptacle. They are usually flexible, although there are some varieties available that have more rigidity. The plug at the end of the cord is polarized to ensure that the piece of equipment connects to the side of the circuit that is neutral. This reduces the risk of possible electrical shock when handling the equipment. In manufacturing power cords and plugs, ensuring the polarization of the cord is important to consider. Therefore, only polarized or grounded cords should be used with sensitive electrical products and equipment.
In order for the transfer of electrical energy to be successful, the configurations of the plug and socket as well as the voltage traveling through the cord must all be compatible. The prongs of the electrical plug must snugly fit into the socket’s openings, also referred to as the electrical receptacle. Also, the amount of voltage that must flow through the cord determines the size of the cord’s wire. The American Wire Gauge is a set of standards that designate a cord’s wire size and current carrying capacity, in order to ensure safety and aid customers in choosing the appropriate cord for their desired application.
Power Cord Customization
Some power cord manufacturers offer the option of coloring their power cords for either marketing purposes or out of convenience for the consumer. For example, cords of a designated color are used in applications that require more than one cord to perform different functions, for applications that involve limited visibility, or simply for aesthetic purposes. For example, Bright yellow or orange can be used for low-visibility environments, bright blue can add an aesthetic touch to interior décor, and green is also becoming more widely used as a symbol for environmental sensitivity. Finally, companies like UPS or FedEx may request brown and purple cords, respectively, so the cords correspond to their brand.
Standards and Specifications of Power Supply Cords
There are important safety measures to consider, as there are with any item that involves the transfer of electricity. Malfunction, deterioration, or misuse of an electrical product as well as failure to heed any safety precautions may result in property damage, injury, or death. Power supply cords are certainly no exception. Electric cord manufacturers follow a set of standards for plug configurations, protective materials, wire size, cord length, electric current, and the voltage rating. The standards for plug and power cord production are set in North America by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), with other countries around the world having their own systems of standards. This is why international plug adapters and power cords are necessary if travelers bring their own electrical devices abroad. NEMA, which was established in 1926, has been setting these standards in order for power cord manufacturers to maintain consistency in fabricating their products, and maintain safety for both manufacturer and customer by minimizing the chances of malfunctioning. There are numerous companies that market power cords internationally, and provide a wide assortment of cords that accommodate their international customers.