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What is the purpose of Litz wire?

December 15, 2023

When it comes to electronic devices and applications that require high frequency signals and minimal power loss, Litz wire is often the wiring of choice. Litz wire, which stands for "litzendraht" in German, is a wire made of individually insulated strands braided together in a specific pattern. But why is this type of wire so special, and what is its use in electronics?


The main purpose of Litz wire is to minimize power losses and increase efficiency in high frequency applications. This is achieved through its unique structure, which mitigates skin and proximity effects. The skin effect refers to the tendency of high-frequency currents to flow over the surface of a conductor rather than across its entire cross-section. By using multiple individually insulated stranded wires, Litz wire effectively increases the surface area through which current can pass, thereby reducing losses associated with the skin effect.


In addition to the skin effect, Litz wires also address the proximity effect, which occurs when multiple conductors are placed close to each other. This results in increased resistance and power loss. However, the braided pattern of Litz wire allows for a more even distribution of conductors, minimizing the effects of proximity effect and increasing the overall efficiency of the wire.


Additionally, Litz wire is often used in applications that require flexibility and durability. Each stranded wire is engineered to withstand repeated bending and flexing, making Litz wire ideal for applications such as transformers, inductors and high-frequency antennas.


One of the main advantages of Litz wire is its ability to reduce eddy current losses, which occur when a magnetic field induces circulating currents in a conductor. Insulated stranded wire helps minimize these losses, making it the first choice for applications where efficiency is critical.


In summary, while Litz wire may not be as well-known as other types of wiring, its uses and benefits are clear. Litz wire plays a vital role in the efficiency and performance of electronic devices by solving the challenges of high-frequency applications and minimizing power losses. Its unique structure and ability to minimize losses make it a valuable component in a variety of applications ranging from transformers and inductors to high-frequency antennas. So the next time you encounter a high frequency application, remember the uses and benefits of Litz wire.