Insulated copper wire is a type of wiring used in electrical systems. The main purpose of this type of wire is to protect the conductor from external environmental factors such as heat, cold, moisture, vibration and noise. It is also less prone to corrosion and reduces the risk of electric shock.
#1 grade of insulated copper is clean, unalloyed, uncoated or tinned copper tubing. It must have a gauge thickness of 16 or more, all ends being cut off, and the insulation should not need to be stripped.
#2 grade of insulated copper is comprised of clean, unalloyed or uncoated bus bars and clippings, commutator segments and wire of at least 1/16th of an inch in diameter. This material is a little more costly than #1 and can be found at a scrap yard.
#3 grade of insulated copper is made up of stranded and non-stranded wire with a copper recovery between 55% and 79%. This kind of wire is typically insulated with thermoplastic or a nylon coating that offers a heat resistance up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.
#4 grade of insulated copper is made up of copper wire that has been surrounded by a plastic sheath. The plastic sheath provides additional corrosion protection and can be coloured for identification purposes.
#5 grade of insulated copper is made up of wire that has been surrounded by a nylon or polyethylene coating. This material has a high resistance to fire and water.