Curly, Spirals & Coils - What you need to know

Posted 20 October 2021

Tags: Spiral

Retractable cables, also known as coiled cables, curly cables or spiral cables are a highly durable and flexible cable solution where extension and retraction of a cable is required. Spiral cables are used in a broad range of industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, the automotive industry, mechanical and plant engineering. Spiral cables are also used different types of lifting and handling equipment, including hand tools, power supplies, lifting ramps and for drilling machines.

Spiral Cable
FSC offers both signal and power versions of retractable spiral cables. The variations in conductor size, insulation and sheath materials are enormous. Having decided on the conductor size and the number of cores it is important to choose the insulation and sheath materials most suitable for the task. The retracted length of the spiral can be made to your requirements up to 5m.

When specifying, this is what you need to consider.

  • No of cores
  • Conductor size
  • Spiral CableScreen
  • Material
  • Colour
  • Retracted length
  • Extended length
  • What type of tails
  • What length of tails


Spiral Cables can come in different core counts and conductor sizes ranging from 2 to 25 cores from as little as 0.14mm² to 6mm²


The screen will be a lapped screen to allow it flexibility with the stretching of the spiral. You will not get a foil screen.

Materials and Colours

You can get PVC, Rubber or PUR Sheaths.
PVC is cheap to make but it does not have the best memory (Recoiling back after a bit of use). You can usually get more colours in these. PVC Cables can stretch 3.5 times the retracted length.
PUR has a very good memory, it is resistant to most oils and is very flexible. It would be water resistant and if it is Black it would be UV Stable too. They are mainly Black but other colours, like white, yellow and orange are sometimes available. PUR Cables can stretch 4 times the retracted length.
Rubber is good for industrial areas. It has a better memory than PVC but not as well as PUR. It would be water and UV Resistant. These are Black in Colour. Rubber cables can stretch 5 times the retracted length.

Retracted and Extended lengths

The retracted length is the length of the spiral when it is closed (not stretched out). The maximum this can be is 5m. The extended length is the length of the cable when it is fully stretched out.

You also need to think about the Ratio of the cable when considering these lengths.
PVC – 3.5:1
PUR – 4:1
Rubber – 5:1



Tails and lengths

The tails are the straight parts at the end of the spiral. These can be different lengths and can go in two directions. Tangent/Standard/Right Angled or Axial/Straight
Spiral Cable Tangent          

Click here to view the full range of Spiral Cables