Wire Bending Radius - What It Is and How To Determine It

What is Bending Radius and Minimum Bending Radius?

Bend radius is the minimum radius a pipe, cable, wire, sheet, cable, tube or hose can bend without damaging it (including kinking). The smaller the radius, the greater is the flexibility of the material.

The minimum bend radius is the radius below which an object should not be bent.

How to Determine Minimum Bending Radius

To determine how tightly a given cable can be bent without damage, use the chart below to obtain the multiplier based on cable type.

Take the number from the chart and multiply it by the overall diameter of the cable. Don't worry if the number is in inches or in mm. No matter how it's measured, the end result will be the same. That result is the minimum bending radius.

Since the radius is one half the diameter, you can then multiply your result by 2 to get the actual diameter of the object that the cable can be safely bent around.

While this is just one way to determine the bending radius, you should know there are more detailed industry charts to obtain a more precise minimum bending radius. For general purposes, this method works just fine!

Type Min Bending Radius
Single or multiple conductor cables - no metallic shielding 8 x the overall cable diameter
Single conductor cable - with metallic shielding 12 x the overall cable diameter
Multiple conductor cables - with individually shielded conductors 12 x the individual cable diameter or 7 x the overall cable diameter (whichever is greater)
Fiber Optic Cables 6 x ( <5000V rating); 8 x (>5000V rating)
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