# Understanding AWG Wiring

# Understanding AWG Wiring

AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, a system of numerical wire sizes that is used to measure the current-carrying capacity of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conductive wire. The size of an AWG wire is inversely proportional to its diameter. In a simple explanation, the AWG scale consists of seven groups, each indicating one square inch of wire. If you’re confused about the different sizes, read on to learn about AWG wiring.

## AWG is a system of numerical wire sizes

American wire gauge, or AWG for short, is a standard for round wire. It was created in the mid-nineteenth century to convey the standard size of solid round and single-strand wires. It replaced various measurements used by different manufacturers. Wires of a certain size will have a higher number if they are thinner than their equivalent. However, wires with a lower number will still be smaller than those with a higher number.

The greater the AWG number, the higher the electrical resistance. A large-diameter wire is generally better for electrical installations, as it will safely carry more current and more power. However, if you’re working with a low-powered device, AWG isn’t as important as it sounds – signal integrity is more important. A lower AWG number can help with physical strength.

In addition to solid wire, AWG wire is also known as stranded wire. The diameter of a stranded wire is the sum of its individual cross-sectional areas, which does not take into account the gaps between strands. Because stranded wire is usually made up of more than one strand, the overall bundle diameter must be at least 13% greater than that of a solid wire.

The AWG system has 44 standard wire sizes. These range from 0 to 40 AWG. In general, the higher the number, the thinner the wire. A gauge number is named after the number of sizing dies it must pass through to become the specified size. Thus, a wire of 24 gauge will need to go through twenty sizing dies. Besides that, AWG number is also the basis for calculating the outside diameter of a wire in metric terms.

American wire gauge, or AWG, is a standardized system of measurement for electrical wires. It is also used for nonferrous electrically conducting wire. In the steel industry, however, wire thickness gauges are standardized with different numbers. For this reason, the data below does not apply to steel wire. And the American Wire Gauge has many applications beyond traditional wiring. The following are just some of them:

## It is used to determine the current-carrying capacity of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting wire

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard describes the diameter of a round, solid, electrically conducting wire. AWG is a convenient unit of measurement for wire diameter, because it makes the calculation of its diameter and packing ratio easier. A wire gauge go-no-go tool or caliper can help determine the diameter of a wire. AWG is also often written as 1/0, 2/0, and 3/0, where 3/0 means “three aught” wire.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) maintains a standard for wire gauge. It helps to standardize a variety of industries, including electrical wiring. This organization offers charts for different wire gauges. The standard also includes nominal diameters, cross-sectional areas, and AWG sizes of solid round wires used as electrical conductors.

The current-carrying capacity of a round, solid, nonferrous electrically-conducting wire is measured in Amperes-Watt (AWG) units. AWG nr. 4 is half the diameter of AWG nr. 8. AWG nr. 2 is double the diameter of AWG nr. 8, doubling the cross-sectional area and quadruples the conductance. Lower gauge wires have greater resistance than higher gauge wires and are generally used for lightweight applications.

In order to determine the current-carrying capacity, wire should be at least 20 awg. An 18-gauge wire is good for general-purpose wiring and low-voltage electrical circuits. Its temperature rating is 80degC and 176degF. A thicker wire is preferred when the current-carrying capacity needs to be higher than 20 amps.

Generally, a round solid nonferrous electrically-conductive wire is larger than its diameter. AWG is also used to compare wire thicknesses. As a result, AWG is useful for determining the size and weight of wire. A thicker wire has less resistance than thinner wire, so a smaller AWG is necessary for long cable runs. Lower AWG wires are often needed for Power over Ethernet. Cat5 cables are commonly 22-26 AWG.

## It is based on the diameter of the conductor

When calculating the resistance of a wire, you need to know how big the conductor’s cross section is. The diameter of a solid conductor is based on its diameter in mils, while the diameter of a stranded one depends on its number of strands. The cross sectional area of a conductor can change by six times. The cross sectional area of a stranded conductor is four times that of a solid conductor.

There are several ways to measure the diameter of a conductor. The American Wire Gauge (AWG), diameter, Circular Mils, cross-sectional area, and Society of Engineers sizing methodology are all used to measure the size of conductors. In addition to these common measurement methods, there are also many specialized standards. For example, IEC 60228 Ed. 3.0 uses IEC size numbers; UL 1581 Table 20.1 and 20.3 specify round stranded compressed conductors. For conductors with diameters greater than 2000 kcmil, ASTM B8-11 specifies the appropriate size.

As a rule, the resistance of a conductor is directly proportional to its length and inversely proportional to its cross-section area. The length of a wire doesn’t change when its diameter is halved, but the resistance increases because the wire is thicker. Similarly, a wire stretched twice its length increases the resistance by four times. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that stretching a wire doubles its resistance.

## It is inversely proportional to the diameter of the conductor

AWG is a measure of the physical size and current carrying capacity of wires and is given a fixed numerical designation. In other words, a higher number means a smaller conductor. The wire gauge rank determines the weight per unit length and resistance of the wire. This gauge is also the same as the AWG. The difference is that AWG doesn’t account for the insulation of the conductor.

For a single conductor, the AWG number is inversely proportional to the diameter. For example, a solid round conductor of size 18 AWG has a diameter of one millimeter. The resistance of a conductor is inversely proportional to the square of its diameter. This relationship applies to other solid conductors, such as copper, as well.

There are two systems for measuring the AWG size of a conductor. The American system has 40 gradations and a diameter of 0.46 inches, while the British system starts at 7/0 and goes down to #50. The American system is the more common of the two. CSA measures the diameter inversely and is inversely proportional to the gauge. Moreover, the AWG gradation is inversely proportional to the diameter of a conductor.

In the AWG system, a conductor with a diameter of four/0 AWG is identified by its cross section area in thousands of circular mils. One kcmil equals 0.5067 mm2. Therefore, a conductor of four/0 AWG has a cross section of 250 kcmil. Similarly, a wire with a diameter of 0.162 inch is designated as size 250 kcmil.

As a rule of thumb, larger diameter wires are more expensive, but in reality, smaller diameter wires are generally more efficient. Signal carrying wires typically carry relatively low amounts of power. The AWG isn’t as important for signal integrity, as proper shielding and cable-pair twisting is more important. However, the AWG can enhance the physical strength of a cable.