## The Following Special, Unusual or Technical Words or Expressions, and Their Meanings, Are Related to Copper and Copper Alloy Wire

#### Alloy:

A combination of a metal with one or more elements to form a new material with different properties.

#### Attenuation:

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.

#### Anneal:

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.

#### Birdcaging:

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.

#### Break Strength:

The maximum load that a specimen attains when tested in tension to fracture.

#### Bunch Construction:

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.

#### Capacitance:

A measure of a component’s opposition to a change of voltage in a circuit, specified in farads.

#### Cast:

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.

#### Concentric Construction:

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.

#### Conductivity:

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.

#### Elongation:

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).

#### Equilay Concentric:

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.

#### Flexibility:

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.

#### Hard Drawn:

A term referring to the temper of conductors that are drawn without annealing to the finish temper.

#### IACS:

International Annealed Copper Standard

#### Impedance:

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.

#### Inductance:

A measure of a component’s opposition to a change in the current of a circuit, specified in henries.

#### Intermetallic Compound:

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.

#### Lay Direction:

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).

#### Lay Factor:

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.

#### MCM:

An area unit equivalent to 1,000 circular mils. MCM may also be referred to as kcmil.

#### Ohm:

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.

#### Plating Percentage:

See Volume Percentage of Plating and Weight Percentage of Plating.

#### Plating Thickness:

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).

#### Polysulfide Testing:

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.

#### Resistance:

A measure of a component’s opposition to the flow of electric current, specified in ohms.

#### Resistivity:

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.

#### Rope Construction:

A conductor composed of separate stranded constructions that are then twisted into the final construction.

#### Rope Member:

A bunched or concentric stranded construction subsequently stranded again to form a rope construction.

#### Stranding Factor:

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).

#### Tensile Strength:

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.

#### Tensile Stress:

Force per unit cross-sectional area applied to a material.

#### True Concentric:

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.

#### Tubular Strander:

A type of twisting machine where the payoffs are located inside the tube and the take-up is external.

#### Unidirectional Concentric:

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.