Wiring, installation and all about wires

This page will give you some basic knowledge about wires and also provide and few useful calculators for different electrical parameters, dependent on wire size. If you are looking for comprehensive voltage drop calculator as well as calculator for different parameters in wires, please click here.

There are two different wire gauging (sizing):

1. The AWG - American Wire Gauge - is a standard method denoting wire diameter. Wire size referred to the bare wire diameters, with the insulation removed. AWG is also known as Brown and Sharpe (B&S) Wire Gauge. AWG: diameters can be calculated with formula D(AWG)=.005·92^((36-AWG)/39) (inch). For the 00, 000, 0000 etc. gauges use -1, -2, -3. Every 6 gauge decrease gives a doubling of the wire diameter, and every 3 gauge decrease doubles the wire cross sectional area. We can find similarity to dB in signal and power levels. An approximate formula is given by Mario Rodriguez is D = .460 * (57/64)(awg +3) or D = .460 * (0.890625)(awg +3).

2. Metric Gauge: In the Metric Gauge scale, the gauge is 10 times the diameter in millimeters, so a 50 gauge metric wire would be 5 mm in diameter. Note that in AWG the diameter goes up as the gauge goes down, but for metric gauges it is the opposite. Probably because of this confusion, most of the time metric sized wire is specified in millimeters rather than metric gauges.

It is very important to adhere to guidelines for wiring according to the National Electrical Code or carefully consider all important parameters. Failure to conciser maximum allowed currents for specific sizes will lead to heating wiring and as a consequence fires , damaged equipment or properties.

Maximum current for chassis wiring (Amps)

Graph Maximum Amps power transmit

Normally size of wiring picked to prevent temperature rise in the wiring above 40C in any usage conditions. This brings up a question of prorating (increasing size of wire) in higher temperature environments.

The higher the AWG - the thinner the wire. Normal house size wires in the North America are 12 or 14 AWG in Al or Copper core. Telephone wires are AWG 22, 24, 26.


Breaking Force for Copper Wire

This estimate is based on nick-free soft annealed Cu wire having a tensile strength of 2600 kg per square cm.


Maximum Frequency for 100% Skin Depth Chart

If high frequency AC is conducted by a wire , the current will mostly flow along the outside of the wire. This increases the effective resistance. The maximum frequency calculated here is the frequency at which the calculated skin depth is equal to the radius of the wire. It shows the point at which you need to consider the skin effect when calculating the wire's resistance.


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