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Your Guide To Power Cords

Many take for granted the ability to plug a device into an outlet and receive immediate power. The modern electrical transmission system has enabled the use of numerous appliances and devices, thereby improving the quality of life for each user. Although this system consists of several critical components, the majority of users are only familiar with the power cord, which is the element that delivers electricity from the main supply to the appliance or device. Although all power cords accomplish the same goal of power delivery, they are not universal in their design and compatibility. In this article, we will explore the power cord's history, function, and common variants.

The original power cord dates back to 1882, when Thomas Edison wrapped copper rods with vegetable fiber and placed them into a small pipe. After this project, synthetic rubber and polyethylene became popular insulation materials, eventually leading to their mass production and implementation in World War II. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, professional organizations went on to develop and distribute design standards for cables. These standards, which encompass characteristics of everything from the conductor to the insulator, helped guide the modern era of power transmission.

Although there are different standards and designs varying on application and geographical location, most power cables are composed of similar components. The conductor is comprised of a metal that has the capacity to carry a current. In general, this material should be malleable, lightweight, and have low resistance in order to reduce power loss. The overwhelming majority of power cables throughout the world are made from either copper or aluminum since both are affordable and have favorable conductive qualities. The shield is a buffer between the conductor and insulator. This element is critical because, without it, the cable would form several stress points throughout its assembly. Finally, the insulation helps protect the assembly as a whole. Several materials may be chosen for insulation, but the most popular technologies are PILC, WTR XLPE, and EPR.

We will now discuss several of the common commercially available power cord variants.

IEC 60320

Although the male component of the power cable may change between continents, most nations still follow the standards set forth by IEC 60320. This broad standard can be further broken down into particular connectors, each with a unique voltage, current, and temperature profile.


The NEMA-type power cord is the primary design used to supply power in North America. NEMA models may either feature a three-prong system with two flat blades and a ground pin, or a two-prong design with only blades.

CEE 7 Series

Standard in many European countries, CEE 7 cables are characterized by a circular body and a minimum of two round pins. The standard is considered a series because it contains multiple specialized designs that may predominate in particular countries. For example, the CEE 7/3 socket, which is common in Germany, contains metal clips to help avoid children accidentally touching the live wire. Meanwhile, the French CEE 7/5 grounded socket only accepts male connectors with an earth pin, helping to further ensure safety.


Regardless of the power cord you require, NSN Gamut is here to take all the stress out of your procurement goals. We are an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise dedicated to providing customers with the highest caliber items possible. To achieve this, we uphold a strict NO CHINA Sourcing pledge and implement various other quality-assurance measures. We are also the best choice for customers with tight time requirements, offering rapid domestic and international shipping while also supporting 24/7 AOG services. To get started with a customized quotation, simply submit an Instant RFQ form through our website and let our team handle the rest.


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