A frequent question these days in the specialty wire and cable world is the difference between Diesel Locomotive Cable, or DLO, and welding cable. This article briefly highlights the main differences for the reader.
While both DLO and Welding Cable use a stranded copper conductor, welding cable is a bare copper while DLO has a tin coating. This tin coating is highly resistant to corrosion helping DLO fair better in outside environments over a longer period.
DLO cable utilizes a rubber, EPDM, insulation over the tin copper conductors. Over that insulation is a hard usage jacket typically constructed of CPE. Welding cable only uses a single pass of EPR or Neoprene on its construction. The extra protection of the insulation end hard usage jacket again gives the DLO product more ruggedness and durability in harsher elements.
Both products are finely stranded giving maximum pliability to the user. The welding cable consists of more strands based on equivalent sizes but both are considered flexible products in the cord family.
Another key difference between the two products is the voltage. Welding cable is rated at 600 volts while DLO cable is 2KV or 2000 volts.
Based on the DLO Cable spec sheet, it is available in sizes from 14 AWG to 1111 MCM while the welding cable data sheet shows it is manufactured from 8 AWG to 500 MCM.
It should go without saying that DLO Cable is more expensive than welding cable with all of its extra benefits. Typically, the same size DLO Cable is 20-25% more expensive to its counterpart in welding cable.
Both of these items are very useful in our world today. Welding cable operates arc welders daily in our country helping to build and fix machinery while DLO cable can be found in mines and industrial plants across the globe helping to maintain operations.