What is ARMOR-X®?

ARMOR-X® is Southwire’s product name for a continuous welded aluminum armor that is corrugated. When jacketed, it has the appearance of an interlocked armor cable.

How is the armor made?

The armor is made by forming an aluminum strip around a cable core. Where the edges of the strip butt together, they are welded electrically to form a solid smooth core. The core is then pushed/pulled through a machine tool that causes indentations or corrugations. The addition of the corrugations gives the cable flexibility.

Does the smooth core have to be corrugated?

No. It is not necessary, but normally is done so that termination fittings will securely fit over the armor and lock in place. Close fitting terminations are needed to make a good ground connection. Corrugation also makes the armor more flexible and less likely to crack during bending.

Why would an end user prefer this type of construction over interlocked armor?

This type of construction is completely impervious to moisture, gas, and fluids. It keeps out contaminants that could cause premature failure of the conductors if the contaminants were allowed to penetrate the armor. With interlocked armor cable, moisture and contaminant penetration is possible. Continuous armor provides greater reliability over the long term when compared to interlocked cables – assuming all other factors are equal.

Does the cable have an outer jacket?

Yes. PVC is the most common. It can be manufactured in various colors. It can also be jacketed with oil-resistant, sunlight-resistant and flame-resistant compounds.

Can the cable be installed without a jacket?

Yes. It can be installed without the jacket; however, the coefficient of friction may increase and the chances of damaging the armor are increased. We would not recommend installation without the jacket unless the application warrants this type of construction.

Can the ARMOR-X® be installed in cable tray?


Can the ARMOR-X® be directly buried in earth or concrete encased?


Will the cable pass the ICEA T-29-520 210,000 flame test?

Yes. However, the cable cannot be marked as such.

Can the continuous welded sheath be considered as a ground conductor?

Yes. The circular mil area of the aluminum sheath is adequate to serve as a ground wire, according to NEC Table 250-95, but only in Non-HL locations (Class 1, Div. 1)

What is an HL (Hazardous Location) environment?

It is the most explosive environment with a designation of Class I, Division I. The cable designation is MC-HL. All conductor required in this environment must have a separate equipment ground. The armor cannot be used for grounding.

Does ARMOR-X® have a ground wire in the cable core?

Yes. This is added to provide additional safety and to meet or exceed our competitor’s products.

What size range can Southwire manufacture?

Currently, Southwire manufactures:

600V AWG #14 to 750 kcmil multi-conductor cable power (w/grd) and control (wo/grd) 5-15kV MV up to size 3/c 750 kcmil MV-105

Please check catalog sheets for dimensions. For voltages higher than 15kV, please contact power cable department.

Are the fittings and connectors available for ARMOR-X®?

Yes. The Armor-X mini brochure has a complete list of connector manufacturers and connector sizes.

What type of armor is used in ARMOR-X cable?

All Southwire ARMOR-X cables include a copper-free aluminum armor that holds up to fatigue failure in all types of installations.

Where can ARMOR-X® be installed according to the NEC?

Reference the catalog sheet for a listing of the areas.

Where is the product primarily used?

Petroleum and chemical companies use the majority of the product. Pulp and Paper ranks second in usage. A relatively new application involves the use of high speed variable frequency AC drives (VFD) connecting to the motor. (A flyer & IEEE paper written by Dave Cooper and Dave Mercier is available from Southwire Records Management.) However, the product can be installed in any location that Type MC cables are allowed per the NEC. If the end user is concerned about reliability of the electrical conductors, we have an opportunity to up-sell from interlocked armor to ARMOR-X. The basic selling feature is the excellent protection provided by the impervious cable construction.

What are other features of ARMOR-X® in addition to the impervious armor?

This cable construction is a complete wiring system that’s ready for installation with phase-identified conductors. The product meets and exceeds industry standards. Medium voltage constructions include proven EPR compounds for insulation, providing excellent corona-free cable. The 600v XLPE insulations are tough, reliable and proven compounds that have been used for many years by Southwire Company.

How often does the ARMOR-X® need to be supported when installing?

The cables must be secured to supports every 6 feet.

How does the price of ARMOR-X® compare to interlocked armor?

The price is 5% to 20% higher for ARMOR-X® depending on quantities and sizes.

Can aluminum insulated conductors be installed in the continuous welded armor?

Yes. We can put any of our insulated conductors in the ARMOR-X® core.

How many conductors can be installed in the continuous welded armor?

On sizes 600V AWG #14-10 we can include up to 37 conductors. On sizes 600V AWG #8 stranded through 500 kcmil, we can install 4 conductors with 2 ground wires or 3 conductors with 3 ground wires. Check your catalog sheets for more specific details.

Can the cable be installed in an aerial application?

Yes. If supported properly by a correctly sized messenger.

Are the ampacity ratings different for ARMOR-X® than for interlocked armor products?

No. Contact Wire and Cable Technology Support for more details.

Is installing ARMOR-X® different than for interlocked armor cables?

Yes. The core for ARMOR-X® must be stripped using a cutting tool while interlocked armor cable can be peeled back to proper length. ARMOR-X is more difficult to train in close quarters than interlocked cable; however, both constructions can be difficult unless the contractor has the proper equipment.