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The Book of Terms

The Book of TermsThe WJI Book of Wire & Cable Terms: an interactive experience of learning and sharing
This book, written by industry volunteers and containing more than 5,000 entries, is an asset for newcomers to wire and cable.

At the same time, it also represents an opportunity for industry veterans to give back by either updating or adding to the more than 5,000 entries. This is an honor system process. Entries/updates must be non-commercial, and any deemed not to be so will be removed. Share your expertise as part of this legacy project to help those who will follow. Purchase a printed copy here.


0-9   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Amplitude Modulated.

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of the medium surrounding an object.

American Wire Gauge

A standard used in the determination of the physical size of a conductor determined by its circular mil area. Formerly known as Brown & Sharpe Gauge, it is the system most commonly used in the U.S. for describing the size of copper wire. 1 Mil equals 0.001 inch. The lower the AWG number, the larger the diameter.


A gas, NH3, used as a protective at­mosphere during heat treatment.

Ammonia, Burnt

This results from the partial combustion of cracked ammonia with air. When dried and re-circulated, it is a cheap protective atmosphere for bright thermal treatment of practically every metal and alloy.

Ammonia, Cracked

A gas mixture obtained by passing heated anhydrous ammonia over suitable catalysts. Consists of a mixture of 75 percent hydrogen and 25 percent nitrogen. Used as an atmosphere for the bright annealing of practically every metal and alloy.


The maximum current an insulated wire or cable can safely carry without exceeding a predetermined maximum temperature. The same as Current Carrying Capacity.

Ampere (amp)

The unit of current. One ampere is the current flowing through one ohm of resistance at one volt potential.


A measure of magnetomotive force, especially as developed by an electric current, and defined as the magnetomotive force developed by a coil of one turn through which a current of one ampere flows.

Ampere’s Rule

A positive charge that moves horizontally is deflected by a force to the right if it is moving in a region where the magnetic field is vertically upward.


A device that enables an input signal to directly control a larger energy flow. The process of increasing the strength of an input.


Height of a waveform that represents signal strength. The maximum value of a wave.


Designation for aircraft wire.


A signaling format that uses continuous physical variables such as voltage amplitude or frequency variations to transmit information.

Analog Signal

A signal in which the intelligence is represented by continuously varying quantities.

Angle of Incidence

The angle between an incident ray and the normal to a reflecting surface.

Angle of Refraction

Angle formed between a refracted ray and the normal to the surface. This angle lies in a common plane with the angle of incidence.

Angle, Roll Over

The sum of the vertical angles between the conductor and the horizontal on both sides of the traveler; excessive roll over angles can cause premature splice failures.


In rolling metals where all forces are transmitted through the rolls, the maximum angle that can be attained between the roll radius at the first contact and the line of roll centers. Operating angles less than the angle of bite are called contact or rolling angles.

Angular Velocity

The average time rate of change of angular position.

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