Cable Stripping

By Rusty and Daniel

Introduction

Our new line of WetLink Penetrators (WLP) makes it easier than ever to install a cable penetrator on your cables. To ensure that your cable will perform well with WLP, your cable will need to be stripped correctly. Many cables are constructed with thick jackets, shielding, wrappers, or fillers that can make it tricky to properly strip cable. This guide will provide guidance on how to properly strip cable for use with WLP.

Safety

When working with sharp tools, always use any necessary protective equipment and practice caution. We recommend using cut resistant gloves when cutting and stripping cable. This tutorial is provided as guidance and should be followed at your own risk.

Parts and Tools

  • A sharp knife (a utility knife or X-Acto knife works well)
  • Protective, cut-resistant gloves
  • Wire clippers and small scissors

If you will be frequently stripping a lot of cable, we recommend getting a specialized jacket stripping tool. We like the Jonard CST-1900. It is easy to use and helps get clean, consistent strips on most types of cables.

Parts of a Cable

The following picture shows the different parts of a cable. All cables will have a cable jacket and conductors. Shielding, wrapping, or fillers may or may not be present in the particular cable you are stripping.

wlp-how-to-chs-parts_of_cable

Guidelines for Proper Stripping

  • The cable jacket must be cut straight across, perpendicular to the cable. A straight, perpendicular cut is necessary to allow the cable jacket to seat fully into a WetLink Penetrator and ensure proper performance. A cable jacket that is not fully seated may not seal properly.
  • Cable shielding, wrapping, and fillers must be removed cleanly. Any loose shielding, wrapping, or fillers may prevent the cable from seating fully in the penetrator or interfere with the seal.
  • Avoid damaging the conductor insulation. Accidentally cutting the insulation may lead to shorts between the conductors.

Stripping the Cable Jacket

1. Wearing a protective glove, bend the cable at the point that you want to cut. Bending the cable will make the jacket naturally want to split open when cut and makes it easier to see when you have cut completely through the outer jacket.

wire-strip-1

2. Using the knife, gently slice the jacket open by pulling the blade across the cable jacket. Keep the blade straight and perpendicular to the cable so the resulting cut is straight across and perpendicular to the cable. A straight, clean, perpendicular cut is necessary for proper performance when installed in a WetLink Penetrator.

wire-strip-2

3. Stop cutting once the jacket opens and you can see the conductor insulation or shielding/wrapping underneath.

Avoid cutting or damaging the conductor insulation
wire-strip-3

4. Turn the cable around and repeat on the other side.

wire-strip-4

5. Continue the cut so it remains straight, perpendicular to the cable. Stop cutting once the jacket opens and you can see the conductor insulation or shielding/wrapping underneath.

wire-strip-5

6. Pull the jacket away from the rest of the cable. Inspect the cut and trim the remaining cable jacket if it is not straight.

wire-strip-6

7. Depending on the construction of the cable, there may be shielding, wrapping, or fillers remaining after removing the jacket. The next section provides tips on how to deal with these.

wire-strip-7

Removing Shielding, Wrapping, or Fillers

Many cables have some type of shielding or wrapping around the conductors and or fillers that help the cable maintain its shape. It’s important to cut these back cleanly to ensure proper installation in a penetrator. Loose shielding, wrapping, or fillers can prevent the cable from seating fully into a cable penetrator or interfere with proper sealing against the cable.

Wrapping and Fillers

1. Remove any wrappers and cable fillers. Cut them as close to the strip as possible so they do not prevent the cable from seating fully in the penetrator or interfere with the seal.

wlp-cab-strip-tether_before_after

2. If desired, certain fillers can be left intact as long as they fit completely through the penetrator bulkhead and do not prevent the cable from seating fully in the penetrator or interfere with the seal.

wlp-cab-strip-with_fillers

Metal Shielding

1. Metal braided shielding can be removed by pushing the shielding back on itself then clipping with wire clippers. Foil shielding can be unwrapped from the conductors and cut with scissors. Cut as close to the strip as possible so it does not prevent the cable from seating fully in the penetrator or interfere with the seal.

wlp-cab-strip-etherline-before-after

2. If desired, certain shielding can be left intact as long as it fits completely through the penetrator bulkhead and does not prevent the cable from seating fully in the penetrator or interfere with the seal.

wlp-cab-strip-with-shield

Final Notes

  • The following picture shows examples of improperly stripped cables.
  • wlp-cab-strip-4-panel-bad
  • The next picture shows examples of properly stripped cables.
  • wlp-cab-strip-4-panel-good
  • We recommend stripping the conductor insulation after the cable is installed in a penetrator. This makes it easier to insert the conductors through the penetrator bulkhead while avoiding damage to the conductors.

Video Tutorial

The following tutorial provides an example of how to strip thruster cable.







Authors

Rusty

Rusty is the founder and CEO of Blue Robotics. His background is in engineering but he likes to be involved in everything at Blue Robotics!


Daniel

Daniel is a Technical Support Specialist at Blue Robotics and is an expert at working with all elements of our product line!