A jacket is the outermost layer of a cable whose primary function is to protect the insulation and conductor core from external physical forces and chemical deterioration. In a sense, the cable jacket is the first line of mechanical defense for a cable by protecting its inner components. Cable jackets offer mechanical, moisture, flame and chemical protection while also protecting the cable from damage during or after installation. It is important to note that the cable jacket has little to do with the electrical performance of the cable.

Function of cable jacket

Almost every cable has a jacket. Jackets help mechanically protect the insulation and conductor core of the cable. Without a jacket, cables are susceptible to abrasion, heat damage and oxidation damage, as well as weather-related damage. But not every jacket is created equal; it is imperative that each cable have the correct jacket type for each application in order for the cable to operate properly.

Types of cable jackets


PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) jackets, while not exhibiting a wide range of thermal characteristics, do have the ability to resist oils, acids, sunlight, heat, weathering and abrasion. By having such strong physical assets, PVC is an ideal jacket for cables that will be used for direct burial, street lighting and control cable. Since PVC is inherently flame retardant, it is the most common jacketing material for electronic cable.

Polyurethane – Polyurethane (PUR) jackets have excellent oxidation, oil and ozone resistance, and when specially formulated, can also have good flame resistance. These types of jackets also have great ‘memory’ properties, which make them ideal for retractile cords.

CPE – Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE) is one of the few polymers that is available as both a thermoplastic and a thermoset jacket (thermoset CPE would be a cross-linked version). The thermoplastic CPE jacket has excellent oxidation, heat, oil, weather/sun and flame resistance. Although the thermoset version has better high-temperature properties, the thermoplastic version contains other excellent properties.


Neoprene – Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that allows for a resilient jacket. By not embrittling at cold temperatures, resisting permanent deformation under heat, and resisting aging due to oxidation and sunlight, neoprene jackets are suitable for cables in rugged environments, such as mine trailing cables and dredge cables.

EPR – Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR), another form of synthetic rubber, is a type of jacket that is a modified form of the EPR insulating compound. EPR jackets have excellent heat, abrasion and oxidation resistance and can also withstand cold temperatures down to -60°C. With fairly good high-temperature characteristics overall, when formulated correctly, EPR can be rather flame retardant as well.

CPE – The thermoset CPE jacket (cross-linked) has excellent physical properties that make it suitable for many cable jacket applications. This polymer is resistant to ozone and ultraviolet degradation, and if properly compounded, can also withstand prolonged immersion in water. With strong resistance to most acids, bases and solvents, thermoset CPE jackets are well-suited for chemical plant use.

Cable supplier

Shenghua Cable Co., Ltd. sells various types of high-quality cables with various cable jacket options. If you want to know more about cables, or are interested in our products, you can visit the website of Shenghua Cable Co., Ltd. to contact us.