Drain wires are used in cables in conjunction with a metallic shield to ensure effective grounding.
The drain wire is used in the cable together with the metal shield to ensure effective grounding. The drain wire is used to complete the circuit from the shield and bring unwanted electrical noise to the ground away from the circuit. The drain wire is grounded and in contact with the metal side of the shielding tape for the entire length. If the drain wire is not used, it is difficult to connect the tape to the ground terminal.
The drain wire is usually a tinned copper conductor. The tin coating helps prevent foreign metal reactions between the copper conductor and the aluminum shield. Instrument cables that require electromagnetic protection or are used for intrinsically safe circuits are examples of cables with drain wires in their construction.
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