Industrial Ethernet Cable Selection for Reliable Networks

BELDEN  02.04.2022

End-to-End Automation—DataTuff Cable, Advanced Switching, Advanced Switching, Wireless & Edge Connectivity Solutions 

Selecting  the Right Cable for your Industrial Ethernet

As today's manufacturers and process facilities pursue the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0, industrial networking edge devices will continue to shift to interoperable digital devices that integrate into existing Ethernet networks, enabling the seamless transmission of field data to the cloud, streamlining network architectures and accelerating the convergence of operational and informational technologies (IT/OT).

When selecting cabling for an industrial Ethernet cable plant, following industry standards is essential to ensure proper cable/connectivity selection and installation. MICE specifications should be used to guide cable selection and ensure optimal long-term performance.


Understanding Industrial Ethernet basics and selecting cable based on relevant physical environmental factors will help realize the full potential of industrial-grade Ethernet network. 



Belden offers a complete line of industrial Ethernet cables designed to meet a wide range of automation applications, movement types and corresponding data rates and protection options.

  • Mechanical Stressors. Belden Category cables support a broad range of motion requirements for industrial automation—from flexible cable options to accomodate bendability to continuous and/or complex movement and high-tension options.

  • Harsh Environments. Choose from a variety of cable and jacketing options guaranteed to perform in environments with exposure to chemicals such as coolants, colorants and hydraulic oils as well as oil and mechanical abuse.  FEP jacket options withstand environments with extreme ambient temperatures.

  • Data Rates & Category. Consider your data transfer needs are properly matched to the appropriate Category of Ethernet cable.

  • Rail & Marine Applications. Belden's corrosion and flame resistant cables including LSZH (low-smoke/zero halogen) meet American Bureau of Shipping standards for marine and offshore processing and DIN EN 45545-2 for rail system requirements. 

Application Summary

Industrial Cable Ethernet Selection Chart


Networking Data Rate Requirements
Minimize Errors & Realize Faster Data Throughput.
Data Transmission Basics
Data RateUp to 100 Mb/sUp to 1 Gb/sUp to 10 Gb/s
Channel class ISO/IEC 11801Class DClass DClass E
Recommended Cable CategoryCategory 5e (2 pair) Category 5e (4 pair)Category 7
Recommended Patch Cord CategoryCategory 5e (2 pair)Category 5e (2 pair)Category 6A
The Right Jacket for the Job
Extend cable life, optimize performance and minimize equipment downtime.

Jacketing is an important consideration when choosing industrial Ethernet cable. Jacket materials such as fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) as well as non-halogen Polyethylene are designed to withstand extreme temperatures (-50°C to 125°C vs 0°C to 75° for Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Heavy, up-jacketed, aluminum armor, steel interlocked armor and other specialty options are also available. 

Industrial Ethernet Jacketing
Oil Resistant** ** ******
Abrasion Resistant ** ********
Continuous Flex** * **** ****
Shielding for Industrial Automation
Noise Control in Industrial Automation Systems is Vital

Industrial environments are characterized by electric noises across a variety of sources including motor drives, power lines, generators, robotic welders and radio signals, disrupting proper operation of equipment and negatively affecting network performance.   Shielded and unshielded technologies have proven effective in providing noise immunity—each approach with its own strengths. The question of whether to opt for unshielded (UTP) vs shielded (FTP) Ethernet cable is largely determined by environmental considerations (e.g., proximity to high-voltage wiring/panels or generators/electrical motors, outdoor installations, essential backbone connections, etc.) and budget.   If FTP cable is needed, Belden shielded cabling systems provide superior performance and reliability in even the most demanding networking environments.

Practical Guidance—Shielded vs Unshielded Cable Design 
FunctionUnshielded Cable (UTP) Shielded Cable (FTP)
Protection in noisy environments (high EMI)LowerHigher
Ease of Installation Higher Lower
Cost of InstallationLower Higher
Bonded vs Twisted (Non-Bonded) Pair
Protection against electrical degradation and ensure Ethernet performance in harsh environments. 

Belden's Bonded Pair design binds individual conductor pairs to guarantee conductor-to-conductor centricity. Installation practices can result  in 'gaps' or centricity, negatively impacting electrical performance. Bonded Pair technology eliminates 'gapping' for performance consistency from reel-to-install.

Cable Compatibility Chart
Protection LevelCommercial-Grade CableConventional Industrial-Grade CableBonded-Pair Industrial Cable
Abrasion          —          ✓          ✓
Exposure to Cold          —          ✓          ✓
Temperature Variation          —          ✓          ✓
Crushing          —          ✓          ✓
Cutting          —          ✓          ✓
Oil Exposure           —          ✓          ✓
UV Exposure          —          ✓          ✓
Water Immersion          —          ✓          ✓
Electrical Noise          —          —          ✓
Installation Pulling, Twisting & Bending           —          —          ✓
Cable Compatibility Chart
Connectors for Industrial Automation & Control

Field termination of Ethernet cables can be time-consuming. With a superior insulation-piercing mechanism, the Belden Industrial REVConnect field-termination system ensures the highest levels of network reliability over time. Industrial REVConnect meets all key protection ratings for harsh environments including resistance to vibration, noise, shock, electromagnetic interference and extreme operating temperatures. RJ45 connectors are designed with a flexible, universal core to guarantee compatibility with various jackets and options for pre-term cable and cores.

Specifications Dimension* (mils)
Industrial REVConnectCable**Cable OD Insulation ODWire Gauge
RVxIJ2SSTP 230366