AWG Wire Size Chart Can Help You Choose the Right Wire Size
In the electrical industry, wire size is very important. It determines how much current it can safely carry. The smaller the wire, the less it can carry. However, too large a wire can also cause problems. The reason is that longer distances between the wire and its terminations increase resistance. This increases the amount of energy needed to keep the signal flowing, which can lead to power losses and heat build-up in the wire. This can be dangerous for both the conductor and the terminals. So it is vital that you choose the right gauge wire for your job.
In order to avoid this, a awg wire size chart can help you choose the right wire for your needs. The awg wire size chart lists the common AWG sizes and their diameters in an easy to read format. A wire gauge is a device used to measure the diameter of an electrical conductor. It consists of a circular piece of metal with a slot that the wire is placed into. It also has a scale printed on it that allows you to see the AWG number of each size.
The American Wire Gauge (AWG) system of wire size has been in use since 1857, and is the most popular method of describing the physical size of solid copper and some aluminum conductors. It is based on a simple principle: current-carrying capacity of a wire is directly proportional to its diameter. Having the ability to calculate a wire’s conductor size on the fly while working in the field is important for anyone that works with electricity. That is why having a awg wire size chart that can be easily understood and quickly consulted in the field is so valuable.
While most of the world uses a metric-based system for measuring gauge, AWG continues to be the standard in North America. The smallest and largest AWG size is 0000 and 40, with the diameter of a 0000 wire being 0.005 inches and that of a 40 AWG being 0.46 inches. As the AWG size decreases, the wire diameter will double every six steps down.
AWG numbers can be a bit confusing because they are not the same as metric sizes. They are a logarithmic measurement of the diameter and cross-sectional area of solid round copper wires used as electrical conductors, with a different formula than the metric system.
The AWG measurements are made on the bare wire itself, meaning that insulation and jacketing are not included in the size calculation. For stranded wires, it is more accurate to use the equivalent diameter of a bare wire by measuring the bare wire’s corresponding circumference and then finding the AWG size in the table using the formula radius squared times pi or, if you prefer, circular mils. A good starting point is ASTM B258 -18, which specifies the standard nominal diameters and cross-sectional areas of AWG sizes of solid round copper conductors. This page also has a chart that shows how the AWG numbers translate into metric measurements. awg wire size chart