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Teflon silver coated wire - where to use, what size, and ratings?
Teflon silver coated wire - where to use, what size, and ratings?
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Old 22nd April 2018, 01:51 PM   #1
JonesySA is offline JonesySA  Australia
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Default Teflon silver coated wire - where to use, what size, and ratings?

Hi

I used some silver plated mil-spec wire recently to repair a non-audio board. A search revealed much discussion in the audio sector.

I'm building a few amps and speakers soon and would like to use it. Is it suitable for mains voltage, rectified (50v) and line level?
What are suitable gauges etc?

Thank you
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Old 22nd April 2018, 05:33 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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It is difficult to think of a suitable audio purpose, except possibly someone making a VHF tuner (so silver brings a minor improvement) who is bad at soldering (so the insulation will get very hot).
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Old 22nd April 2018, 05:46 PM   #3
AVWERK is offline AVWERK  United States
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I would stay away from using it in a speaker. This type of wire cannot stand movement without strands starting to break right at the solder connection.
Solid core will not have this issue

Regards
David
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Old 22nd April 2018, 08:19 PM   #4
Murdoc is offline Murdoc  Germany
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People are using it for low level audio signals and in speakers. They claim that Teflon is a superior isolator and thus it sounds better. Technically it's not easy to argue this. The best you can do is using it in one project, and exchange it to normal wire, and hear for yourself.

If I'm not completely wrong, solid core is only used ( and permitted so) where there's no chance of getting physical force on the wires, e.g. in walls and fixed installations. On all moveable parts, like signal wires for robots, highly flexible wire is used to get a higher life span.
Cheers,
Matthias
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Old 22nd April 2018, 11:19 PM   #5
AVWERK is offline AVWERK  United States
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As a general rule yes, stranded is always used but if you have experienced Teflon in comparison To typical pvc stranded, Teflon will break quicker than other materials near a fixed soldered joint when flexing becomes an issue.

Teflon is physically a stronger material so stress applied to a cut and soldered joint produces a stress point that softer material coverings blend out allowing longer life cycles
I have personally seen this and used this kind of wire myself for 30 years and you must secure this area or it will break more easily.
It does take more heat to cover stranded wire with Teflon and not certain if this leads to a weaker copper structure, but just a speculation..
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Old 23rd April 2018, 12:47 AM   #6
indianajo is offline indianajo  United States
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I use the stranded teflon wire in building point to point boards and chassis, as if your iron gets a little out of control while you are looking at the schematic, or you're wearing the wrong pair of reading glasses, you can't burn holes in it. Then you don't have to go back and rip out the bottom layer wire where the pvc is burned. Particularly annoying on multi-point connections where 4 or 5 wires are wrapped around one eyelet. It is usually the bottom wire that is burned.
24 ga is useful for everything but speaker level currents and main rail feed.
You do have to be careful stripping, as you can pull the entire insulation off a 3" wire if you don't cut all the way around.
Kynar is about as useful for not burning off, but only comes in 30 ga and 26 ga solid core, that I've found. Kynar Is quite a bit cheaper than teflon since is usually surplus. The solid wire is a bit easier to break when you bend it around an eyelet.
The silver plate draws solder nicely, but is not why I buy the stuff. Sound would be exactly the same as copper IMHO.
Factories building point to point figured out each wire as it was built to make sure that the risk of burning insulation was not there. They built things to wirelists, which went exactly in order. Every point had a name. A whole extra step after drawing the schematic diagram. I did that work in designing ground support equipment, but that is a lot of time to engineer a one-off project, I don't do that step anymore.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 01:26 AM   #7
jackinnj is online now jackinnj  United States
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Teflon silver coated wire - where to use, what size, and ratings?
Teflon insulated wire is particularly susceptible to static electricity when moved -- in ultra low noise measurements it isn't recommended.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 11:50 AM   #8
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Quote:
They claim that Teflon is a superior isolator and thus it sounds better. Technically it's not easy to argue this.
Why would you waste time arguing True Believers?

Being a "superior insulator" and "sounding better" are absolutely unrelated items.

To boot, insulation can be easily measured without any argument, just post the Lab results and itīs done.

"Sound Better" arguments, on the contrary, can easily lead to WW3
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Old 23rd April 2018, 11:58 AM   #9
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murdoc
People are using it for low level audio signals and in speakers. They claim that Teflon is a superior isolator and thus it sounds better. Technically it's not easy to argue this.
You are being polite. In most circuits most of the insulation is actually air, which is quite a good insulator/dielectric. Hence it makes almost no difference which plastic surrounds the conductors. Some people even get away with using quite poor insulators, such as cotton.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 02:22 PM   #10
JonesySA is offline JonesySA  Australia
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My purpose for using the wire is purely because it looks different and was easy to work with. I don't anticipate audible differences.
I would like to use it wherever it's suitable if possible.
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