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Saturday, 30 July 2011 09:36

AWG definition

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American wire gauge (AWG), also known as the Brown & Sharpe wire gauge, is a standardized wire gauge system used since 1857 predominantly in the United States and Canada for the diameters of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting wire.[1] The cross-sectional area of each gauge is an important factor for determining its current-carrying capacity.

The steel industry does not use AWG and prefers a number of other wire gauges. These include W&M Wire Gauge, US Steel Wire Gauge, and Music Wire Gauge.

Increasing gauge numbers give decreasing wire diameters, which is similar to many other non-metric gauging systems. This gauge system originated in the number of drawing operations used to produce a given gauge of wire. Very fine wire (for example, 30 gauge) requires more passes through the drawing dies than does 0 gauge wire. Manufacturers of wire formerly had proprietary wire gauge systems; the development of standardized wire gauges rationalized selection of wire for a particular purpose.

The AWG tables are for a single, solid, round conductor. The AWG of a stranded wire is determined by the total cross-sectional area of the conductor, which determines its current-carrying capacity and electrical resistance. Because there are also small gaps between the strands, a stranded wire will always have a slightly larger overall diameter than a solid wire with the same AWG.

AWG is also commonly used to specify body piercing jewelry sizes, especially smaller sizes.[2]

Last modified on Saturday, 07 July 2012 12:53
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