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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.


All   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


Designation for: 1) Nanometer, or 10-9 m. 2) Newton, or 1 kg m/s2. Measures force.

N-Conductor Cable

A cable having N-conductors that are insulated from one another. “N” represents the number of insulated conductors in the cable.

N-Conductor Concentric Cable

A cable composed of an insulated central conductor with conductors concentrically twisted around it and separated from each other by layers of insulation.


Designation for Numerical Control.

Nail Wire

Mild or medium carbon steel wire in round, oval and square shapes with a bright finish. Thick sizes are finished from rod and thin sizes from direct-drawn or annealed wire that all must be able to provide the essential hardness consistent with the sizes and types of nail.

National Electrical Code®

Designations for the United States electrical code. A U.S. consensus standard published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and incorporated in OSHA regulations. The types and sizes of electrical conductors and methods by which building wire is installed are established by this agency. Local codes that have the force of law generally follow national codes. The Canadian designation is CEC.

Natural Diamond Die

See die entries.

Natural Rubber

Rubber by itself is lacking in many properties required of wire and cable insulating and jacketing materials. However, by proper compounding and mixing with other products, it can be converted to a material with excellent physical properties, good electrical properties and fair to moderate ozone resistance and chemical resistance.




Designation for Natural Butyl Rubber.


Designation for a blend of acrylonitrile butadiene rubber and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).


Designation for New British Standard. See British Standard Wire Gauge.


Designation for normally closed contacts on a switch, relay or controller.

Necked Down

See Necking.


Localized reduction in area of a specimen during tensile deformation. The narrowing, or constricting to a smaller cross-sectional area, which occurs while a test piece is being pulled. The narrowing of the diameter of a wire at the point at which a break is about to occur, as appears in tensile testing.


1) See National Electrical Code. 2) Designation for Natural Electrical Code (ANSI/NFPA 70).

Needle Die Polishing Machine

Employs a rotating needle and revolving die spindle fed with diamond powder for polishing wiredrawing dies.


Connected to the negative terminal of a power supply.

Negative Butt Lap

See Butt Lap.

Negative Lap Wound

See Taped Insulation.

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