Scroll To Top


Home   »   Glossary/Dictionary
Term Description
A.C. Resistance The total resistance offered by a device in an alternating current circuit due to inductive and capacitive effects, as well as the direct current resistance
Abrasion resistance Ability of a wire, cable or material to resist surface wear
Accelerated Aging A test in which voltage, temperature, etc, are increased above normal operating values to obtain observable deterioration in a relatively short period of time. The plotted results give expected service life under normal conditions.
Accelerated Life Test A test in which certain factors such as voltage, temperature, etc., to which a cable is subjected are increased in magnitude above normal operating values to obtain observable deterioration in a reasonable period of time
Accelerator A chemical additive which hastens a chemical reaction under specific conditions
Activator A chemical additive used to initiate the chemical reaction in a specific chemical mixture
Active Current In an alternating current, a component in phase with the voltage; the working component as distinguished from the idle or watt-less component
Active Pressure In an A.C. circuit, the pressure which produces a current, as distinguished from the voltage impressed upon the circuit
Adhesion The state in which two surfaces are held together by interfacial forces which may be chemical or mechanical in nature
Admittance The measure of the ease with which an alternating current flows in a circuit. The reciprocal of impedance.
Aerial Cable A cable suspended in the air on a pole or other overhead structure
Aging The irreversible change in properties or appearance of a material with time and under specific conditions (usually accelerated representations of environmental states, such as high temperature, oxygen or other various conditions or media.)
Air Core Cable A telephone cable in which the interstices in the cable core are not filled with a moisture barrier
Air Spaced Coaxial Cable One in which air is the essential dielectric material. A spirally wound synthetic filament or spacer may be used to center the conductor.
Alloy A metal formed by combining two or more different metals to obtain desirable properties
Alpeth An aerial telephone cable having an aluminum shield
ALS A type of cable consisting of insulated conductors enclosed in a continuous closely fitting aluminum tube
Alternating Current (AC) Electric current that continually reverses its direction. It is expressed in hertz or Hz (cycles per second).
Alternating Voltage The voltage developed across a resistance or impedance through which alternating current is flowing
Ambient Temperature Any all-encompassing temperature within a given area
Ampacity The maximum current an insulated wire or cable can safely carry without exceeding either the insulation or jacket material limitations. (Same as Current Carrying Capacity.)
Ampere The unit of current. One ampere is the current flowing through one ohm of resistance at one volt potential.
AnnealRelief of mechanical stress through heat and gradual cooling. Annealing copper renders it less brittle.
AnodeThe electrode through which a direct current enters the liquid, gas or other discrete part of an electrical circuit; the positively charged pole of an electrochemical cell.
ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute
Anti-OxidantA substance that prevents or slows down oxygen decomposition (oxidation) of a material exposed to air
Anti-OxonantA substance which prevents or slows down material degradation due to ozone reaction
Arc Over VoltageThe minimum voltage required to create an arc between electrodes separated by a gas or liquid insulation under specified conditions
Arc ResistanceThe degree to which a material opposes the formation of a conductive path
Arc.!) A luminous glow formed by the flow of electric current through ionized air, gas or vapor between separated electrodes or contacts. 2) A portion of the circumference of a circle.
Area of conductorThe sized of a conductor cross section measured in circular mils, square inches, etc.
ArmorA braid or wrapping of metal, usually steel, used for mechanical protection. Generally placed over the outer sheath.
Armored CableA cable having a metallic covering for protection against mechanical injury
ASAThe American Standards Association. Former name of ANSI.
ASMEThe American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASPA filled direct burial telephone cable used in areas subject to rodent attack. It consists of a filled cable core, corrugated aluminum shield, corrugated steel tape, flooding compound and polyethylene jacket.
ASTMThe American Society for Testing and Materials
AttenuationPower loss in an electrical system. In cables, generally expressed in dB per unit length, usually 100 ft.
Audio FrequencyThe range of frequencies audible to the human ear. Usually 20-20,000 Hz.
AWGAbbreviation for American Wire Gauge
AWMDesignation for appliance wiring material
B. & S.Abbreviation for "Brown & Sharpe Wire Gauge" - same as American Wire Gauge
Balanced CircuitA circuit so arranged that the impressed voltages on each conductor of the pair are equal in magnitude but opposite in polarity with respect to ground
Band markingA continuous circumferential band supplied to a conductor at regular intervals for identification
Band WidthThe frequency range of transmitted electrical signals, expressed in Hertz.
Bare conductorA conductor having no covering, coating or cladding
BCFAbbreviation for billion conductor feet. A quantity derived by multiplying the number of conductors in a cable by the amount of cable. Usually used to indicate plant capacity or an annual requirement.
BinderA spirally served tape or thread used for holding assembled cable components in place awaiting subsequent manufacturing operations.
BondThe attachment at an interface between an adhesive and an adherent or between materials attached together by adhesive
Bond StrengthAmount of adhesion between surfaces, e.g., in bonded ribbon cable
BootA protective covering over any portion of a cable or conductor in addition to its jacket or insulation
BraidA fibrous or metallic group of filaments interwoven in cylindrical form to form a covering over one or more wires
Braid AngleThe smaller of the two angles formed by the shielding strand and the axis of the cable being shielded
Braid CarrierA spool or bobbin on a braider which holds one group of strands or filaments consisting of a specific number of ends. The carrier revolves during braiding operations.
Braid EndsThe number of strands used to make up one carrier. The strands are wound side by side on the carrier bobbin and lie parallel in the finished braid.
BrazingThe joining of ends of two wires, rods or groups of wires with a nonferrous filler metal at temperatures above 800F (427C).
Breakdown (Puncture)A disruptive discharge through insulation
Breakdown of InsulationFailure of an insulation resulting in a flow of current through the insulation. It may be caused by the application of too high voltage or by defects or decay.
Breakdown VoltageThe voltage at which the insulation between two conductors breaks down
BreakoutThe point at which a conductor or group of conductors break out from a multi-conductor cable to complete circuits at various points along the main cable
Building WireWire used for light and power, 600 volts or less, usually not exposed to outdoor environment
Bunch StrandingA group of wires of the same diameter twisted together without a predetermined pattern
Buried CableA cable installed directly in the earth without use of underground conduit. Also called "direct burial cable."
C.S.A.Abbreviation for Canadian Standards Association
CableA group of individually insulated conductors in twisted or parallel configuration, with or without an overall covering
Cable AssemblyA completed cable and its associated hardware ready to install
Cable FillerThe material used in multiple conductor cables to occupy the spaces formed by the assembly or components, thus forming a core of the desired shape (normally cylindrical).
CablingThe twisting together of two or more insulated conductors to form a cable
Cabling FactorUsed in the formula for calculating the diameter of an unshielded, unjacketed cable. D=Kd, where the cable diameter, K is the factor and d is the diameter of the insulated conductor.
Caged ArmorA construction using wires within a jacket to increase mechanical protection and tensile strength. This construction is sometimes used in submarine cables.
CapacitanceStorage of electrically separated charges between two plates having different potentials. The value depends largely on the surface area of the plates and the distance between them.
Capacitance CouplingElectrical interaction between two conductors caused by the capacitance between them
Capacitance, DirectThe capacitance measured directly from conductor to conductor through a single insulating layer
Capacitance, MutualThe capacitance between two conductors with all other conductors, including shield, short-circuited to ground
Capacitance, UnbalanceAn inequality of capacitance between the wires of two or more pairs which results in a transfer of unwanted signals from one pair to others
Capacitance, Unbalance To GroundAn inequality of capacitance between the ground capacitance of the conductors of a pair which results in a pickup of external source energy, usually from power transmission lines
CarrierThe basic woven grouping of a braided shield, consisting of one or several parallel ends
CathodeNegative pole of an electric source
Cathode ProtectionThe control of the electrolytic corrosion of an underground or underwater metallic structure by the application of an electric current through a sacrificial anode in such a way that the structure is made to act as a cathode of an electrolytic cell
CATVAn acronym for Community Antenna Television
CCTVClosed Circuit Television
Cellular PolyethyleneExpanded or "foam" polyethylene consisting of individual closed cells suspended in a polyethylene medium
Center-to-Center DistanceSee Pitch
Certificate of Compliance (C of C)A certificate which is normally generated by a Quality Control Department, which shows that the product being shipped meets customer's specification
Certified Test Report (CTR)A report providing actual test data on a cable. Tests are normally run by a Quality Control Department, which shows that the product being shipped conforms to test specifications.
Characteristic ImpedanceThe impedance that, when connected to the output terminals of a transmission line of any length, makes the line appear infinitely long. The ratio of voltage to current at every point along a transmission line on which there are no standing waves.
ChargeThe quantity of electricity held statically in a condenser or on an insulated conductor
Charging CurrentThe current produced when a DC voltage is first applied to conductors of an unterminated cable. It is caused by the capacitive reactance of the cable, and decreases exponentially with time.
Charging TimeThe time required for the voltage between two conductors of a cable to acquire a value equal to 98.2% of the magnitude of an instantaneous applied DC voltage change
Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene (CSPE)A rubbery polymer made by treating polyethylene with chlorine and sulfur dioxide. It is suitably compounded and crosslinked for application as jacket or as insulation. Manufactured by E.I. DuPont under trade name Hypalon.
CircuitThe complete path through which a current flows or part of the complete path, such as one conductor
Circuit SizesA popular term for building wire sizes 14 through 10 AWG
Circular Mil.The area of a circle one mil. (.001") in diameter; 7.845 x 10-7 sq. in. Used in expressing wire cross sectional area.
CL2Designation of cable which meets Vertical Tray flame test for Class 2 systems
CL2PDesignation of Plenum Cable which meets Steiner Tunnel flame test for Class 2 systems
CL2RDesignation of Riser Cable which meets Riser flame test for Class 2 systems
CL2XDesignation of cable which meets VW-1flame test for Class 2 systems
CL3Designation of cable which meets Vertical Tray flame test for Class 3 systems
CL3PDesignation of Plenum Cable which meets Steiner Tunnel test for Class 3 systems
CL3RDesignation of Riser Cable which meets Riser flame test for Class 3 systems
CL3XDesignation of cable which meets VW-1 flame test for Class 3 systems
CladdingA method of applying a layer of metal over another metal whereby the junction of the two metals is continuously welded
CMDesignation of cable which meets Vertical Tray flame test for Communication systems
CMPDesignation of Plenum cable which meets Steiner tunnel flame test for Communication systems
CMRDesignation of Riser cable which meets Riser flame for Communication systems
CMXDesignation of cable which meets VW-1 flame test for Communication systems
CoatTo cover with a continuous layer of compound (such as varnish) for purposes of finishing, protecting or enclosing. Usually comprises variable degrees of impregnation depending on the nature of the substance.
CoatingA material applied to the surface of a conductor to prevent environmental deterioration, facilitate soldering or improve electrical performance
Coaxial CableA cable consisting of two cylindrical conductors with a common axis, separated by a dielectric
Cold flowPermanent deformation of the insulation due to mechanical force or pressure (not due to heat softening).
Cold TestAny test to determine the performance of cables during or after subjection to a specified low temperature for a specified time
Color CodeA system for circuit identification through use of solid colors and contrasting tracers
Common Axis CablingIn multiple constructions, a twisting of all conductors about a "common axis" with two conductor groups then selected as pairs. This practice yields smaller diameter constructions than does a separate axis construction.
Common Mode(Noise), caused by a difference in "ground potential." By grounding at either end rather than both ends (usually grounded at source) one can reduce this interference.
Compact Stranded ConductorA unidirectional or conventional concentric conductor manufactured to a specified diameter, approximately 8 to 10% below the nominal diameter of a noncompact conductor of the same cross-sectional area
CompatibilityThe ability to dissimilar materials to exist in mutual proximity or contact without changing their physical or electrical properties
Composite CableA cable consisting to two or more different types or sizes of wires
CompoundAn insulating or jacketing material made by mixing two or more ingredients
Concentric StrandingA central wire surrounded by one or more layers of helically wound strands in a fixed round geometric arrangement
ConcentricityIn a wire or cable, the measurement of the location of the center of the conductor with respect to the geometric center of the surrounding insulation
ConductanceThe ability of a conductor to carry electric current. It is the reciprocal of resistance and is measured in mhos.
ConductivityThe capability of a material to carry electrical current - usually expressed as a percentage of copper conductivity (copper being 100%).
ConductorAn uninsulated wire suitable for carrying electrical current
ConduitA tube or trough in which insulation wire and cables are run
ConnectorA device used to physically and electrically connect two or more conductors
ContactsThe parts of a connector which actually carry the electrical current, and are touched together or separated to control the flow
Continuity CheckA test to determine whether electric current flows continuously throughout the length of a single wire in a cable
Continuous VulcanizationSimultaneous extrusion and vulcanization of rubber-like wire coating materials
Control CableA multi-conductor cable made for operation in control or signal circuits
CopolymerA polymer formed from two or more types of Monomer
Copper-CladSteel with a coating of copper welded to it, as distinguished from copper-plated. Same as Copperweld.
CopperweldThe trade name of Flexo Wire Division (Copperweld Steel Corp.) for their copper-clad steel conductors
CordA small, flexible insulated cable
CoreIn cables, a component or assembly of components over which additional components (shield, sheath, etc.) are applied
CoronaA discharge due to ionization of air around a conductor due to a potential gradient exceeding a certain critical value
Corona Effect (of A.C.)In wiring, the effect produced when two wires or other conductors having a great difference of voltage are placed near each other
Corona LossA loss or discharge which occurs when two electrodes having a great difference of pressure are placed near together
Corona ResistanceThe ability of an insulation to withstand a specified level of field-intensified ionization that does not result in the immediate complete breakdown of the insulation
Corona TestA test to determine the ability of a cable to withstand the formation of corona under an increasing applied voltage and to extinguish corona when a corona-producing voltage is reduced
CorrosionThe deterioration of a material by chemical reaction of galvanic action
CrazingThe minute cracks on the surface of plastic materials
CRCSAn acronym for continuous rigid cable support. Synonymous with tray.
CreepThe dimensional change with time of a material under load
CreepageElectrical leakage on a solid dielectric surface
Cross-LinkingIntroducing inter-molecular bonds between long chain thermoplastic polymers by chemical or electron bombardment means. The properties of the resulting thermosettingmaterials are usually improved.
CrosstalkSignal interference between nearby conductors by pickup of stray energy. It is also called induced interference.
CureSee Vulcanization
CurlThe degree to which a wire tends to form a circle after removal from a spool. An indication of the ability of the wire to be wrapped around posts in long runs.
CurrentThe rate of flow of electricity in a circuit, measured in amperes
Current PenetrationThe depth a current of a given frequency will penetrate into the surface of a conductor carrying the current
Current-Carrying CapacityThe maximum current an insulated conductor or cable can continuously carry without exceeding its temperature rating. It is also called ampacity.
Cut-ThroughResistance of solid material to penetration by an object under conditions or pressure, temperature, etc.
CV (Continuous Vulcanizations)Simultaneous extrusion and vulcanization of wire coating materials
CycleThe complete sequence of alternation or reversal of the flow of an alternating electric current
D.C.Abbreviation for "Direct Current"
Decibel (dB)A unit to express difference of power level. Used to express power gaining amplifiers or power loss in passive circuits of cables.
Delay LineA cable made to provide very low velocity of propagation with long electrical delay for transmitted signals
Derating FactorA factor used to reduce the current carrying capacity of a wire when used in environments other than that for which the value was established
DielectricAny insulating material between two conductors which permits electrostatic attraction and repulsion to take place across it
Dielectric AbsorptionThat property of an imperfect dielectric whereby there is an accumulation of electric charges within the body of the material when it is placed in an electric field
Dielectric BreakdownThe voltage at which a dielectric material is punctured, which is divisible by thickness to give dielectric strength
Dielectric Constant (K)The ratio of the capacitance of a condenser with dielectric between the electrodes to the capacitance when air is between the electrodes. Also called Permittivity and Specific Inductive Capacity.
Dielectric StrengthThe voltage which an insulation can withstand before breakdown occurs. Usually expressed as a voltage gradient (such as volts per mil).
Dielectric TestA test in which a voltage higher than the rated voltage is applied for a specified time to determine the adequacy of the insulation under normal conditions
Direct Burial CableA cable installed directly into the earth
Direct CapacitanceThe capacitance measured directly from conductor to conductor through a single insulating layer
Direct Current (DC)An electric current which flows in only one direction
Direct Current Resistance (D.C.R.)The resistance offered by any circuit to the flow of direct current
Dissipation FactorThe tangent of the loss angle of the insulating material. (Also referred to as loss tangent, tan S, and approximate power factor).
Double FootCombined length of one linear foot of paired material; i.e., one double foot is equal to one foot of positive material plus one foot of negative material. Usually used in determining thermocouple wire loop resistance.
Drain WireIn a cable, the uninsulated wire in intimate contact with a shield to provide for easier termination of such a shield to a ground point
DrawingIn wire manufacturing, pulling the metal through a die or series of dies to reduce diameter to a specific size
DuctAn underground or overhead tube for carrying electrical conductors
Duplex InsulatedIn the thermocouple industry, a combination of dissimilar metal conductors of a thermocouple or thermocouple extension wire
EccentricityLike concentricity, a measure of the center of a conductor's location with respect to the circular cross section of the insulation. Expressed as a percentage of displacement of one circle within the other.
EIAAbbreviation for Electronic Industries Association
ElastomerA rubber-like substance
ElectromagneticPertaining to the combined electric and magnetic fields associated with movements of electrons through conductors
Electromotive forcePressure or voltage. The force which causes current to flow in a circuit
ElectrostaticPertaining to static electricity or electricity at rest. A constant intensity electric charge.
ElongationThe fractional increase in length of a material stressed in tension
EMFSee Electromotive force
EMIAbbreviation for Electromagnetic Interference
EndsIn braiding, the number of essentially parallel wires or threads on a carrier
Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR)An ozone resistant rubber consisting primarily of ethylene propylene copolymer (EPM) or ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EDPM).
External InterferenceThe effects of electrical waves or fields which cause sounds other than the desired signal (static).
ExtrusionThe process of continuously forcing both a plastic or elastomer and a conductor core through a die, thereby applying a continuous coating of insulation or jacket to the core or conductor
FAAFederal Aeronautics Administration
FaradA unit of electrical capacity
Fatigue ResistanceResistance to metal crystallization which leads to conductors or wires breaking from flexing
FEPFluorinated Ethylene Propylene is a melt extrudable fluorocarbon resin
FieldArea through which pass electric and/or magnetic lines of force
Figure 8 CableAn aerial cable configuration in which the conductors and the steel strand which supports the cable are integrally jacketed. A cross section of the finished cable approximates the figure "eight".
Filled CableA telephone cable construction in which the cable core is filled with material that will prevent moisture from entering or passing through the cable
Filler1) A material used in multi-conductor cables to occupy large interstices formed by the assembled conductors. 2) An inert substance added to a compound to improve properties or decrease cost.
FilmA thin plastic sheet
Flame ResistantThe ability of a material to resist propagating a flame once the heat source is removed
Flame RetardanceAbility of a material to prevent the spread of combustion by a low rate of travel so the flame will not be conveyed
FlammabilityThe measurement of the material's ability to support combustion
Flammability TestA test to determine the ability of a cable to resist ignition when placed near a source of heat or flame and to self-extinguish when removed from this source
Flat CableA cable with two smooth or corrugated but essentially flat surfaces
Flat ConductorA wire having a rectangular cross section as opposed to round or square conductors
Flat Conductor CableA cable with a plurality of flat conductors
Flex LifeThe measurement of the ability of a conductor or cable to withstand repeated bending
FlexibilityThe ease with which a cable may be bent
FlexibleThe quality of a cable or cable component which allows for bending under the influence of outside force, as opposed to limpness which is bending due to the cable's own weight
Foamed plasticsInsulations having a cellular structure
FPLDesignation of cable which meets Vertical Tray flame test for Fire Protection Signaling Systems
FPLPDesignation of Plenum cable which meets Steiner Tunnel test for Fire Protection Signaling Systems
FPLRDesignation of Riser cable which meets Riser flame test for Fire Protection Signaling Systems
FR-1A flammability rating established by underwriters Laboratories for wires and cables that pass a specially designed vertical flame test. This designation has been replaced by VW-1.
FrequencyNumber of times an alternating current reverses itself in one second. Expressed Hertz (Hz), which is one cycle per second.
FT1A flammability rating established by CSA for wires or cables that pass a specially designed vertical flame test
FT4A flammability rating established by CSA for multi-conductor cables that pass a specially designed vertical tray fire test
FT6A flammability rating established by CSA for multi-conductor cables that pass a horizontal flame and smoke test sometimes referred to as the "Steiner Tunnel Test".
Gang StripSimultaneous stripping of all conductors in a flat or ribbon cable
Gas Filled CableA self-contained pressure cable in which the pressure medium is an inert gas having access to the insulation
GaugeA term used to denote the physical size of a wire
GroundA conducting connection between an electrical circuit and the earth or other large conducting body to serve as an earth thus making a complete electrical circuit
GTOGas, tube, oil
GTO cableGas, tube, oil ignition cable
HalarA trade name of Ausimont USA for their copolymer or ethylene and chlorotrifluoroethylene. Abbreviation ECTFE
HalogenAny of the five elements: Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. These elements may be combined with insulation compounds to enhance flame retardancy.
Hard Drawn Copper WireCopper wire that has not been annealed after drawing
HarnessAn arrangement of wires and cables, usually with many breakouts, which have been tied together or pulled into a rubber or plastic sheath, used to interconnect an electric circuit
Hash Mark StripeA noncontinuous helical strip applied to a conductor for identification
Heat DistortionDistortion or flow of a material configuration due to application of heat
Heat EnduranceThe time of heat aging that a material can withstand before failing a specific physical or electrical test
Heat ResistanceAbility of a substance to maintain physical and chemical identity and electrical integrity under specified temperature conditions
Heat sealA method for sealing by thermal fusion
Heat ShockA test to determine stability of a material by sudden exposure to a high temperature for a short period of time
Helical StripeA continuous, colored, spiral stripe applied to a conductor for circuit identification
HenryUnit of inductance such that the induced voltage in volts is numerically equal to the rate of change in current in amperes per second
Hermetically SealedA gastight enclosure that has been completely sealed by fusion or other comparable means
Hertz(Hz)A term replacing cycles-per-second as a unit of frequency
High VoltageGenerally, wire or cable with an operating voltage of over 35,000 volts
Hi-potA test designed to determine the electrical integrity of an insulation
HIPPI (High Performance Parallel Interface)An ANSI standard which defines the mechanical, electrical, and signal protocol requirements for a simplex, high performance, point to point interface between data processing equipment
Hook-up WireA single insulated conductor used for low-current, low voltage (usually under 600 volts) applications within enclosed electronic equipment
HygroscopicCapable of absorbing and retaining moisture
HypalonDuPont's trade name for their chlorosulfonated polyethylene, an ozone resistant synthetic rubber
HzAn abbreviation or hertz
ICEAInsulated Cable Engineers Association (formerly IPCEA)
IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission, similar to the ISO in structure and scope
IEEEInstitute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
Impact StrengthA test for determining the mechanical punishment a cable can withstand without physical or electrical breakdown by impacting with a given weight, dropped a given distance, in a controlled environment
ImpedanceThe total opposition that a circuit offers to the flow of alternating current or any other varying current at a particular frequency. It is a combination of resistance R and resistance X, measures in ohms.
IMSAInternational Municipal Signal Association Specifications for Fire Alarm Cable
Induced CurrentAn electrical current set up in a circuit by cutting lines of force; a current caused by electromagnetic induction
InductanceThe property of a circuit or circuit element that opposes a change in current flow, thus causing current changes to lag behind voltage changes. It is measured in henrys
Inductive CouplingCrosstalk resulting from the action of the electromagnetic field of one conductor on the other
InsulationA material having high resistance to the flow of electric current. Often called the dielectric in radio frequency cable.
Insulation Resistance (I.R.)That resistance offered by an insulation to an impressed DC voltage, tending to produce a leakage current through the insulation
Insulation ThicknessThe wall thickness of the applied insulation
Interaxial Spacing1) Center-to-center conductor spacing in paired wire or 2) Center-to-center spacing between conductors in flat cable
Interconnecting CableThe wiring between modules, between units, or the larger portions of a system
InterferenceAny undesired electrical signal induced into a conductor by electrical or electromagnetic means
IntersticesVoids or valleys between individual strands in a conductor or between insulated conductors in a multi-conductor cable
IonizationGenerally, the dissociation of an atom or molecule into positive or negative ions or electrons. Restrictively the state of an insulator whereby it facilitates the passage of current due to the presence of charged particle usually induced artificially.
IP (Intelligent Peripheral Interface)An ANSI standard that defines the mechanical and electrical interface requirements for peripheral devices attached to and between computers
IrradiationIn insulations, the exposure of the material to high energy emissions for the purpose of favorably altering the molecular structure by crosslinking
ISAInstrument Society of America
ISOInternational Standards Organization
JacketAn outer covering, usually nonmetallic, mainly used for protection against the environment
JAN SpecificationJoint Army-Navy specification (forerunner of present Military Specifications).
Jumper CableA short cable interconnecting two wiring boards or devices
KiloA numerical prefix denoting 1000
LacquerA liquid resin or compound applied to textile braid to prevent fraying, moisture absorption, etc.
Laminated TapeA tape consisting of two or more layers of different materials bonded together
LayThe axial distance required for one cabled conductor or conductor strand to complete one revolution about the axis around which it is cabled
Lay DirectionThe twist in the cable as indicated by the top strands while looking along the axis of the cable away from the observer. Described as "right hand" or "left hand".
Leakage CurrentThe undesirable flow of current through or over the surface of an insulation
Life CycleA test to determine the length of time before failure in a controlled, usually accelerated, environment
Limits of ErrorThe maximum deviation (in degrees or percent) of a thermocouple or thermocouple extension wire from standard emf-temperature to be measured
LOCOAbbreviation for loss of coolant accident, a system malfunction associated with nuclear generating stations
Longitudinal ShieldA tape shield, flat or corrugated, applied longitudinally with the axis of the core being shielded
Loop ResistanceThe total resistance of two conductors measured round trip from one end
Loss FactorThe product of the dissipation and dielectric constant of an insulating material
Low Loss DielectricAn insulation material that has a relatively low dielectric loss, such as polyethylene or Teflon
Magnetic FieldThe region within which a body or current experiences magnetic forces
Magnetic FluxThe rate of flow of magnetic energy across or through a surface (real or imaginary).
Magnetic NoiseChanges in the current level within a cable caused by an external magnetic field
MCMOne thousand circular Mils
MegaradA unit for measuring radiation dosage. Equal to one million rads.
MegohmOne million ohms
MemberA group of insulated wires to be cabled with other stranded groups into multiple-membered cable
MessengerThe linear supporting member, usually a high strength steel wire, used as the supporting element of a suspended aerial cable. The messenger may be an integral part of the cable, or exterior to it.
MhoThe unit of conductivity. The reciprocal of an ohm.
MHzMegahertz (one million cycles per second).
MicrophonicsNoise in a system caused by mechanical vibrations
MicrowaveA short (usually less than 30cm.) electrical wave
MilA unit used in measuring diameter of a wire or thickness of insulation over a conductor. One one thousandth of an inch (.001").
Mis-MatchA termination having a different impedance than that for which a circuit or cable is designed
Modules of ElasticityThe ratio of stress to strain in an elastic material
Moisture AbsorptionThe amount of moisture, in percentage, that a material will absorb under special conditions
Moisture ResistanceThe ability of a material to resist absorbing moisture from the air or when immersed in water
MonomerThe basic chemical unit used in building a polymer
MPDesignation of multi-purpose cable that meets Vertical Tray flame test
MPPDesignation of multi-purpose cable that meets Steiner Tunnel test
MPRDesignation of multi-purpose cable that meets Riser flame test
MTWThermoplastic insulated machine tool wire
MulticonductorMore than one conductor within a single cable complex
Mutual CapacitanceCapacitance between two conductors when all other conductors including ground are connected together and then regarded as an ignored ground
Mutual InductanceThe ratio of voltage induced in one conductor to the time rate of current change in the separate conductor causing this induction
MylarDuPont trademark for polyester material used in the form of a tape
National Electric CodeNational Electrical Code. A consensus standard published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and incorporated in OSHA regulations
NBSNational Bureau of Standards
NECAbbreviation for National Electrical Code
NEMANational Electrical Manufacturers Association
NeopreneGeneric name for polychloroprene synthetic rubber, used for jacketing when suitably compounded
NFFPAbbreviation of National Fire Protection Association
NoiseUnwanted and/or unintelligible signals picked up on a cable circuit
NylonA group of polymers which are used for wire and cable jacketing
OFC/OFNDesignation of Fiber Optic cable which meets Steiner Tunnel test
OFCR/OFNRDesignation of Riser Fiber Optic cable which meets Riser flame test
OhmUnit of resistance such that a constant current of one ampere produces a force of one volt
OSHAAbbreviation for Occupation Safety and Health Act. Specifically the Williams-Steiger law passed in 1970 covering all factors relating to safety in places of employment
Overall DiameterFinished diameter over wire or cable
OvercoatIndividual strands of tin copper wire stranded together and then covered with a tin coating
OverlapThe amount the trailing edge laps over the leading edge of a tape wrap
Oxygen IndexPercentage of oxygen necessary to support combustion of a specified material
OzoneA highly active form of oxygen produced by the passage of electric discharges or sparks through air or oxygen
P.O.S.Abbreviation for point-of-sale
Pair2 insulated wires of a single circuit associated together
PairingThe union of 2 insulated single conductors through twisting
PAPA commonly used term for air core (unfilled) direct burial telephone cable with a corrugated aluminum shield
Parallel CableTwo insulated conductors in parallel in a cable
PASPAn air core (unfilled) direct burial telephone cable used in areas subject to rodent attack. It consists of an unfilled cable core, corrugated aluminum shield, corrugated steel tape, flooding compound and polyethylene jacket.
Peak voltageThe maximum instantaneous voltage
Percent ConductivityConductivity of a material expressed as a percentage of that of copper
PeriodicityThe uniformly spaced variations in the insulating diameter of a transmission cable that result in reflections of a signal, when its wavelength or a multiple thereof is equal to the distance between two diameter variations
PermittivitySee dielectric constant
PickDistance between two adjacent crossover points of braid filaments
PitchIn flat cable, the nominal distance between the index edges of two adjacent conductors
Pitch DiameterDiameter of a circle passing through the center of the conductors in any layer of a multiconductor cable
Plastic DeformationChange in dimensions under load that is not recovered when the load is removed
PlasticizerA chemical agent added to plastics to make them softer and more pliable
PlenumThe air return path of a central air handling system, either ductwork or open space over a dropped ceiling
Plenum cableCable approved by Underwriters Laboratories for installation in plenums without the need for conduit
PolyesterPolyethylene terephthalate which is used extensively in the production of a high strength moisture resistant film used as a cable core wrap
PolyethyleneA thermoplastic material having the chemical identity of polymerized ethylene
PolymerA substance made of many repeating chemical units of molecules. The term polymer is often used in place of plastic, rubber, or elastomer.
PolyolefinA genetic name for a thermoplastic based upon the unsaturated hydrocarbons known as olefins. When combined with butylene or styrene polymers they form compounds such as polyethylene and polypropylene.
PolypropyleneA thermoplastic polymer of propylene
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)A thermoplastic material composed of polymers of vinyl chloride which may be rigid or elastomeric, depending on specific formulation
PorosityMultiple air voids in an insulation or jacket wall
PottingThe sealing of a cable termination or other component with liquid which thermosets into an elastomer
Power FactorThe ratio of resistance to impedance. The ratio of the actual power of an alternating current to apparent power. Mathematically, the cosine of the angle between the voltage applied and the current resulting.
Primary InsulationThe first layer of nonconductive material applied directly over a conductor
Propagation DelayTime required for a signal to pass from the input to the output of a device
Propagation TimeTime required for an electrical wave to travel between two points on a transmission line
Pulling EyeA devise fastened to a cable to which a hook may be attached in order to pull the cable into or from a duct
PulseA current or voltage that changed abruptly from one value to another and back to the original value in a finite length of time. Used to describe one particular variation in a series of wave motions.
Pulse CableA type of coaxial cable constructed to transmit repeated high voltage pulses without degradation
PyrometerSee thermocouple Thermometer
QuadA four conductor cable in which opposite conductors are paired
R.E.A.Rural Electrification Administration
RadThe unit of radiation dose which is absorbed, equal to 100 ergs/gram
Rated TemperatureThe maximum temperature at which an electric component can operate for extended periods without loss of its basic properties
Rated VoltageThe maximum voltage at which an electric component can operate for extended periods without undue degradation
ReactanceThe opposition offered to the flow of alternating current by inductance or capacitance of a component or circuit
Recovered EdgeEdge of a flat cable or conductor from which measurements are made
Reference JunctionThe junction of a thermocouple which is at a known reference temperature. Also known as the "cold" junction. It is usually located at the emf measuring device
Reflection LossThe part of a signal which is lost due to reflection of power at a line discontinuity
Reflow SolderingThe process of connecting two solder-coated conductive surfaces by remelting of the solder to cause fusion
RegistrationAlignment of one object with relation to another. Also called Register.
ReinforcementA material used to reinforce, strengthen or give dimensional stability to another material
ResinAn organic substance of natural or synthetic origin characterized by being polymeric in structure and predominantly amorphous. Most resins, though not all, are of high molecular weight and consist of long chain or network molecular structure.
ResistanceIn DC circuits, the opposition a material offers to current, measured in ohms. In AC circuits, resistance is the real component of impedance, and may be higher than the value measured at DC.
Retractile CableA cable that returns by its own stored energy from an extended condition to its original contracted form
RFIAbbreviation for Radio Frequency Interference
RG/UAbbreviation for Radio Government, Universal, RG is the military designation for coaxial cable and U stands for "general utility."
Ribbon CableA flat cable of individually insulated conductors lying parallel and held together by means of adhesive or woven textile yarn
Ridge MarkerOne or more ridges running laterally along the outer surface of a plastic insulated wire for purposes of identification
Ringing OutThe process of locating or identifying specific conductive paths by means of passing current through selected conductors
Rise TimeThe time required for the initially zero potential existing on a transmission line (which is terminated in its characteristic impedance) to change from 10% to 90% of its full DC value after a DC potential source is instantaneously applied
RMS or rmsAbbreviation for Root Mean Square
Rockwell HardnessA test for determining hardness in which a hardened steel ball or diamond point is pressed into the material under test
RoentgenThe amount of radiation that will produce one electrostatic unit of ion per cubic centimeter volume
Rope Lay ConductorA conductor composed of a central core surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid groups of wire
Rope StandA conductor composed of a center group of twisted strands surrounded by layers of helically laid groups of wire
Round ConductorA conductor whose cross section is substantially circular
RoutingThe path followed by a cable or conductor
RulanDuPont's trade name for their flame-retardant polyethylene insulation material
RuptureIn the breaking strength or tensile strength tests the point at which the material physically comes apart, as opposed to elongation, yield strength, etc.
SAEAbbreviation for Society of Automotive Engineers
SCSI(Small Computer System Interface) AN ANSI standard which defines mechanical, electrical, and functional requirements for interconnection of small computers and peripherals and other small computer systems
Secondary InsulationA high resistance dielectric material which is placed over primary insulation to protect it from abrasion
Self-ExtinguishingThe characteristic of a material whose flame is extinguished after the igniting flame is removed
Self-supporting Aerial CableA cable consisting of one or more insulated conductors factory-assembled with a messenger which supports the assemblage and which may or may not form a part of the electric circuit
Self-supporting CableAny assemblage of conductors which incorporates a steel rope or steel sheath for added tensile strength, thus enabling it to be suspended between widely spaced supports
Semi-Conducting TapeA tape of such resistance that when applied between two elements of a cable, the adjacent surfaces of the two elements will maintain substantially the same potential
SemiconductorA material that has a resistance characteristic between that of insulators and conductors
Semi-Rigid PVCA hard semi-flexible polyvinylchloride compound with low plasticizer content
SeparatorA layer of insulating material such as textile, paper, polyester, etc. Used to improve stripping qualities and flexibility and to provide mechanical or electrical protection to the underlying components
ServeA filament or group of filaments such as fibers or wires, wound around a central core
Served Wired ArmorSpiral wrap of soft galvanized steel wires wrapped around a cable to afford mechanical protection and increase the cable pulling tension characteristics
SheathThe outer covering or jacket of a cable
ShieldA metallic layer placed around a conductor or group of conductors to prevent electrostatic interference between the enclosed wire and external fields
Shield CoverageThe physical area of a cable that is optically covered by the shielding material. Expressed in percent.
Shield EffectivenessThe relative ability of a shield to screen out undesirable signals
Shock TestA test to determine the ability of a cable to withstand a violent physical concussion such as might occur during handling or use
SignalA current used to convey information, either digital, analog, audio or video
Signal CableA cable designed to carry current of usually less than one ampere per conductor
SinteringFusion of a spirally applied tape wrap jacket by the use of high heat to a homogeneous continuum. Usually employed for fluorocarbon, non-extrudable materials
Skin EffectThe tendency of alternating current, as its frequency increases, to travel only on the surface of a conductor
SNMA cable designed for use in hazardous locations consisting of insulated conductors in an extruded nonmetallic jacket which is then covered with an overlapping spiral metal tape & wire shield
Solid ConductorA conductor consisting of a single strand of wire
SpacingDistance between the closest edges of two adjacent conductors
SpanIn flat cables, the distance from the reference edge of the first conductor to the reference edge of the last conductor or the distance between the centers of the first & last conductor expressed in inches or centimeters.
Spark TestA test designed to locate imperfections (usually pinholes in the insulation of a wire or cable by application of a voltage for a very short period of time while the wire is being drawn through the electrode field
Specific GravityThe ratio of the density (mass per unit volume) of a material to that of water
Specific Inductive Capacity (S.I.C.)Same as dielectric constant
Spiral WrapThe helical wrap of a material over a core
Stability FactorThe difference between the percentage power factor at 80 volts/mil and at 40 volts/mil measured on wire immersed in water 75C for a specified time
Standing WaveThe stationary pattern of waves produced by two waves of the same frequency traveling in opposite directions on the same transmission line
Standing Wave Ration (SWR)A ratio of the maximum amplitude to the minimum amplitude of a standing wave stated in current or voltage amplitudes
Static ConditionUsed to denote the environmental conditions of an installed cable rather than the conditions existing during cable installation
StrandA single uninsulated wire
Stranded ConductorA conductor composed of individual groups of wires twisted together to form an entire unit
Strip ForceThe force required to remove a small section of insulating material from the conductor it covers
Suggested Working VoltageAC voltage that can be applied between adjacent conductors
Surface ResistivityThe resistance of a material between two opposite sides of a unit square of its surface. It is usually expressed in ohms
SurgeA temporary and relatively large increase in the voltage or current in an electric circuit or cable. Also called transient.
SurlynDuPont's trade name for their thermoplastic resin with ionic crosslinks`
Sweep TestA method to determine the frequency response of a cable by generating an RF voltage whose frequency is varied at a rapid constant rate over a given range
Switchboard CableA cable used within and between the central office and main frames and the switchboard
Tank TestA voltage dielectric test in which the test sample is submerged in water and voltage is applied between the conductor and water as ground
Tape WrapA spirally applied tape over an insulated or uninsulated wire
Tear StrengthThe force required to initiate or continue a tear in a material under specified conditions
TeflonA DuPont company trademark for a family of fluorocarbon resins
Temperature RatingThe maximum temperature at which an insulating material may be used in continuous operation without loss of its basic properties
Tensile StrengthThe pull stress required to break a given specimen
Thermal RatingThe maximum and/or minimum temperature at which a material will perform its function without undue degradation
Thermal ShockA test to determine the ability of a material to withstand heat and cold by subjecting it to rapid and wide changes in temperature
ThermocoupleA device consisting of 2 dissimilar metals in physical contact, which when heated will develop an EMF output.
Thermocouple ElementA thermocouple designed to be used as part of an assemble, but without associated parts such as the terminal block, connecting head, or protecting tube
Thermocouple Extension WireA pair of wires of dissimilar alloys having such emf-temperature characteristics complimenting the thermocouple which is intended to be used, such that when properly connected allows the emf to be faithfully transmitted to the reference junction
Thermocouple Wire (Grade)A pair of wires of dissimilar alloys having emf-temperature characteristics calibrated to higher temperature levels than the extension type of thermocouple wire
ThermoplasticA material which softens when heated and becomes firm on cooling
ThermosetA material which hardens or sets by heat, chemical or radiation cross-linking techniques and which, once set, cannot be resoftened by heating
THHN90C, 600V, nylon jacketed building wire for dry locations
THWN75C, 600V, nylon jacketed building wire for wet and dry locations
Tin Overcoat (TOC)Tinned copper wire, stranded, then coated with tin
Tinned copperTin coating added to copper to aid in soldering and inhibit corrosion
TinselA type of electrical conductor comprised of a number of tiny threads, each thread having a fine, flat ribbon of copper or other metal closely spiraled about it. Used for small size cables requiring limpness and extra-long flex life.
TopcoatBare (untinned) copper wire, stranded, then coated with tin
Transfer ImpedanceDefined as the ratio of internal longitude in a voltage to external current flow on the cable shield. It's used to determine shield effectiveness against both the ingress & egress of interfering signals
Transmission LineA signal-carrying circuit controlled electrical characteristics used to transmit high- frequency or narrow-pulse signals
Transmission LossThe decrease or loss in power during transmission of energy from one point to another. Usually expressed in decibels.
TrayA cable tray is a unit or assembly of units or sections, and associated fittings made of non-combustible materials forming a rigid structural system used to support cables
Tray cable A factory-assembled multiconductor or multipair control, signal or power cable specifically approved under the National Electrical Code for installation in trays
Triaxial Cable A cable construction having three coincident axes, such as conductor, first shield and second shield all insulated from one another
Triboelectric Noise Noise generated in a shielded cable due to variations in capacitance between shielding and conductor as the cable is flexed
Triple (Triad) A cable consisting of three insulated single conductors twisted together
Triplex A cable composed of three insulated single conductor cables twisted together
Tubing A tube of extruded nonsupported plastic or metallic material
Twin Cable A cable composed of two separately insulated stranded conductors laid parallel under a common covering
Twin Coaxial Cable A single cable consisting of two separate coaxial cables laid adjacent and parallel or twisted together
Twisted pair A twisted pair is composed of 2 small separately insulated wires twisted together without a common covering
UF Thermoplastic underground feeder and branch circuit cable
UHF Abbreviation for Ultra High Frequency, 300 to 3000 MHz
UL Abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit independent organization, which operated a listing service for electrical and electronic materials and equipment
Unbalanced circuit A transmission line in which voltages of the 2 conductors are unequal with respect to ground
Unilay More than one layer of helically laid wires with the direction of lay and length of lay the same for all layers
Valley Any void between the insulated conductors of a cable or between a cable and its core. See also INTERSTICE.
VHF Abbreviation for Very High Frequency. 30 to 300 MHz
Video Pair Cable A transmission cable containing low-loss pairs with an impedance of 125 ohms. Used for TV pick ups, closed circuit TV, telephone carrier circuits, etc.
Volt A unit of electrical pressure. One volt is the amount of pressure that will cause one ampere of current in one ohm of resistance
Voltage Electrical potential or electromotive force expressed in volts
Voltage rating The highest voltage that may be continuously applied to a wire in conformance with standards or specifications
Voltage Standing Wave Ration (VSWR) The ratio of the maximum effective voltage to the minimum effective voltage measured along the length of a mis-matched radio frequency transmission line
Volume Resistivity(Specific Insulation Resistance) The electrical resistance between opposite faces of a 1 cm. cube of insulation material, commonly expressed in ohms-cm
Vulcanization An irreversible process during which a rubber or polymeric compound through a change in its chemical structure (for example, crosslinking) becomes thermoset
VW-1 A flammability rating established by Underwriters Laboratories for wires and cables that pass a specifically designed vertical flame test, formerly designated FR-1
Wall thickness The thickness of the applied insulation or jacket
Water Absorption Water by percent weight absorbed by a material after a given immersion period
Watt A unit of electrical power. One watt is equivalent to the power represented by one ampere of current under a pressure of one volt in a DC circuit'
Wavelength The distance, measured in the direction of propagation, of a repetitive electrical pulse or waveform between two successive points
Wicking The longitudinal flow of liquid in a wire or cable due to capillary action
Wire A single conductor, typically with a covering of insulation
Wire Gauge A measure of the diameter of sizes of wires. The sizes are expressed by numbers.
Working Voltage See Voltage Rating
XLP Crosslinked polyethylene
Yield Strength The minimum stress at which a material will start to physically deform without further increase in load
Zytel DuPont's trade name for nylon resins