The Following Special, Unusual or Technical Words or Expressions, and Their Meanings, Are Related to Copper and Copper Alloy Wire
A combination of a metal with one or more elements to form a new material with different properties.
Weakening or reduction of the strength of a transmitted signal through a cable or circuit. It is also a measure of a cable’s efficiency to transmit a signal at a given frequency.
To subject a material to a heat treatment to remove the effects of cold work, lowering its tensile strength, rendering it softer with greater elongation.
AWG (American Wire Gauge):
A standard used to specify the physical size of a solid or stranded conductor primarily used in the United States. Originally called the Brown and Sharpe Gage.
A phenomenon that occurs during stranding or insulating where the conductor enters a restriction such as a die or extrusion tip. The outer layers of strands back-up, spread out, or otherwise separate away from the core strands. The problem has been attributed to poor stranding techniques and improper tensions during processing.
The maximum load that a specimen attains when tested in tension to fracture.
A stranded construction in which the individual strands are randomly laid and twisted in the same lay direction and same length of lay. The strands do not follow a geometric arrangement or pattern.
A measure of a component’s opposition to a change of voltage in a circuit, specified in farads.
The natural curvature of a wire when in an unrestrained state.
CMA (Circular Mil Area):
A measure of a round wire’s cross-sectional area, calculated by squaring the diameter (in mils) of a strand and multiplying the result by the number of strands. One circular mil (cmil) is equivalent to the area of a circle 0.001 inch in diameter, equal to 7.854 X 10-7 in2.
A central wire surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid wires in a geometric pattern. Concentric constructions have 7, 19, 37, 61, etc. strands.
The inverse of resistivity and a measure of a material’s ability to conduct electric current. It is usually compared to that of annealed copper, and is generally stated in terms of %IACS.
A measure of a material’s ability to stretch or elongate prior to fracture. It is expressed as a percentage (increase in length) over a specified gauge length (typically 10 inches for wire).
A central wire surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid wires in a geometric pattern, with alternately reversed lay direction and the same lay length.
Flex Life (or Flex Fatigue Life):
The number of cycles a sample can withstand when subjected to a repetitive stress or strain mode before failure.
The capability of being bent when an external force is applied, its pliability or limberness. Low flexibility translates to being more rigid or stiff.
Gauge (or Gage):
A term used to designate the physical size of a wire or strand. Some definitions specify “Gage” as a size designation and “Gauge” as a measuring device (such as pressure gauge). These terms are often used interchangeably.
A term referring to the temper of conductors that are drawn without annealing to the finish temper.
International Annealed Copper Standard
The analog of resistance in an AC (alternating current) circuit. Impedance depends upon the resistance, inductance, capacitance and frequency of the circuit. The unit of impedance is the ohm.
A measure of a component’s opposition to a change in the current of a circuit, specified in henries.
Two or more metals with a chemical composition based on a definite atomic formula. Intermetallics may have a fixed stoichiometric or a very narrow range of chemical composition.
The helical direction of the strands or members in any layer of a stranded construction. The two lay directions are usually denoted as “S” (left hand lay) or “Z” (right hand lay).
The ratio of the lay length to the external diameter of the corresponding layer of wires or members in the stranded conductor.
Lay Length (length of lay):
The axial length for one revolution of a strand or member in any layer of a stranded or rope stranded construction.
An area unit equivalent to 1,000 circular mils. MCM may also be referred to as kcmil.
A unit of electrical resistance defined as the resistance necessary to produce 1 ampere of current to flow in a circuit with an applied potential of 1 volt.
See Volume Percentage of Plating and Weight Percentage of Plating.
The measured thickness of the plated coating on a wire strand. Measurements are usually in micro-inches (millionths of an inch) or microns (millionths of a meter).
A test method that exposes a sample to a sodium polysulfide solution to qualitatively determine the continuity of the plating on a wire strand. The test method is specified in ASTM B 298 and B 355.
A measure of a component’s opposition to the flow of electric current, specified in ohms.
The characteristic of a material to impede the flow of electrons (electrical current). It is the material’s electrical resistance for a unit volume. This value is specific to a material and not its geometry.
A conductor composed of separate stranded constructions that are then twisted into the final construction.
A bunched or concentric stranded construction subsequently stranded again to form a rope construction.
The increase in weight and electrical resistance of a conductor due to the lay length of the strands or members.
Temperature Coefficient of Resistance:
The change in a material’s electrical resistance (resistivity) due to a change of one degree in temperature. It is expressed in units per ºC (or units per ºF).
The maximum longitudinal tensile stress that may be applied to a material without fracturing or rupturing, calculated to a reference unit (lbs/in2, kg/mm2, etc.) by dividing the breaking load by the cross-sectional area.
Force per unit cross-sectional area applied to a material.
A central wire surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid wires in a geometric pattern, with alternately reversed lay direction and increasing lay length.
A type of twisting machine where the payoffs are located inside the tube and the take-up is external.
A central wire surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid wires in a geometric pattern, with the same lay direction and an increasing lay length.
Unilay (Unidirectional Equilay Concentric):
A central wire surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid wires in a geometric pattern, with the same lay direction and the same lay length.
Volume Percentage of Plating:
The ratio of the volume of the plated material to the total volume of the conductor.
Weight Percentage of Plating:
The ratio of the weight of the plated material to the total weight of the conductor. Conductor plating percentages usually refer to weight percentage when a distinction is not made.
Weight per Unit Length:
A method of specifying the weight of conductor or wire using a standard length. Common lengths of 1,000 feet or 1,000 meters are used, however other lengths may also be specified.