Cable Guide

Cable Properties | Chemical Effects

INW sells sensor cables in various different materials, including polyurethane, polyethylene, and FEP. This section contains information to help you make more educated decisions when choosing cable for your INW equipment.

The information in this section is intended as a general guide only. Users are responsible to verify the suitability of any particular material for their own applications through testing or other means.

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Cable Properties & Recommended Uses

Polyurethane | Polyethylene | FEP

INW recommends either polyurethane, polyethylene, or FEP for most applications. For high temperature and/or high contamination applications, contact INW for alternatives.


Polyurethane (PU) cable can handle temperatures up to 80° Celsius and is a good general-purpose cable.
Advantages: Flexible in cold weather and resistant to abrasion
Disadvantages: Not recommended for high temperature and/or high contamination applications
Recommended use: Most applications, unless high temperature or high contamination is involved

Note: Polyurethane comes in two variations: polyester-based and polyether-based. Polyester-based material is subject to early hydrolysis and degradation in many environments that polyether-based material is not. Heat, oxidation, and certain chemicals will accelerate this degradation. All polyurethane cable sold by INW is polyether-based.


Polyethylene (PE or HDPE) can handle temperatures up to 80° Celsius and is often used in direct burial and long term submerged applications for industrial and telephone applications.
Advantages: Very low water absorption and good resistance to a wide range of chemicals
Disadvantages: Very stiff in cold weather and not as resistant to abrasion as polyurethane
Recommended use: Most permanent installations, unless high temperature or high contamination is involved

FEP Cable

FEP cable has an outer jacket of FEP and an inner core of polyurethane for strength and flexibility. This cable can handle temperatures up to 80° Celsius.
Advantages: Highest resistance to water absorption and chemical attack, good flexibility.
Disadvantages: More expensive than polyurethane or polyethylene cable
Recommended use: Portable and permanent applications with moderate chemical contamination and temperatures below 80° Celsius

Inside PU, PE, and FEP Cables

All INW polyurethane, polyethylene, and FEP cables contain stranded conductors and are insulated with polyethylene. This combination makes for good insulation and good flexibility. All cables also contain a strong nylon vent tube that will not collapse under compression. The cables also include braided shielding of tin-plated copper that stands up well in our applications if properly grounded at the instrument ends.


Chemical Effects Chart

Chemical Effect Ratings: 1=Excellent | 2=Good | 3=Fair | 4=Not Recommended | – = No Information


Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Acetic Acid, Glacial 3 1 1
Chromic Acid, 5% 4 3 1
Hydrochloric Acid, 20% 1 1
Sulfuric Acid, <10% 1 1


Polyurethane  Polyethylene  FEP
Propyl Amine 1 1
Ammonia, 10% 2 3 1
Sodium Hydroxide 205 1 1


Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Bromine 3 4 1


Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Hydrogen Peroxide, 10% 2 1 1

Aliphatic Hydrocarbons

Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Butyl Alcholol 2 1 1
Ethyl Alcohol 3 2 1
Propyl Alcohol 2 1 1
Gasoline, High-Aromatic 2 3 1
Kerosene 2 3 1
Propylene Glycol 2 2 1

Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Benzene 4 3 1
Toluene (Toluol) 4 3 1

Halogenated Hydrocarbons

Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Carbon Tetrachloride 3 2 1
Trichloroethylene 4 3 1


Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Ketones 4 3 1
Methylene Chloride 4 3 1

Oxygenated Solvents & Esters

Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Acetone 4 2 1
Ethylene Glycol 2 1 1


Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Copper Cyanide 2 1
Silver Nitrate 2 2 1
Sodium Bicarbonate 2 1 1
Zinc Chloride 2 1 1


Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Fresh Water 2 1 1
Sea Water 3 1 1

Common Chemicals

Polyurethane Polyethylene FEP
Diesel Fuel 2 3 1
Jet Fuel (JP3, -4, -5) 2 2 1