Understanding American Wire Gauge Number(AWG) System

Understanding American Wire Gauge Number System (AWG):

American Wire Gauge NumberWires provide low resistance pathways for electric currents.
Commercially Wire comes in solid core form, stranded form, or braided forms.

Solid Core Wire(Single strand wire):
The solid core wire is used in breadboards based circuits.
Stranded Wire(Multi strand wire):
In stranded wire, the main conductor is comprised of a number of individual strands of copper wires.
This type of wire becomes better conductor than solid-core wire as it has greater surface area.

Braided Wire:
This type of wire is made up of a number of individual strands of wire braided together.
They are frequently used as an electromagnetic shield in noise reduction cables.

Let us discuss in this shot post about the gauge number system of the wires/cables.

What is gauge number?
AWG = American Wire Gauge Number
A wire’s diameter is usually expressed in terms of a gauge number. Gauge means diameter.

In the gauge system, as a wire’s diameter increases, the gauge number decreases. At the same time, the resistance of the wire decreases.

When large currents are expected in the circuit, smaller-gauge wires ( which will have large diameter) should be used.

If large current is passed through a large-gauge wire (which will have small-diameter), the wire will become melt. For rubber-insulated wire, the allowable current should be reduced by 30%.

Gauge Number System Chart for insulated copper wire at 20°C:

GAUGE DIAMETER (IN) DIAMETER (mm) Allowable Current (A)
8 0.128 inches 3.2512 mm  50
10 0.102 inches 2.5908 mm  30
12 0.081 inches 2.0574 mm  25
14 0.064 inches 1.6256 mm  20
16 0.051 inches 1.2954 mm  10
18 0.040 inches  1.016 mm  5
20 0.032 inches 0.8128 mm  3.2
22 0.05 inches  1.27 mm  2.0
24 0.020 inches  0.508 mm  1.25
26 0.016 inches  0.4064 mm  0.80
28 0.013 inches  0.3302 mm  0.53
30 0.010 inches  0.254 mm  0.31

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