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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

Zelonite Process

A procedure to soften water where complex minerals and synthetic resin compounds contain sodium. When hard water comes in contact with them, the calcium and magnesium salts in the water are exchanged for sodium, thus removing the hardness.

Zero Guy

A horizontal guy between poles to provide clearance and transfer strain.

Zero Sequence

Having no phase shift.


A German machine for deter­mining the length of the bearing of wiredrawing dies. Takes its name from the designation “z,” which is used in German literature for this measurement.

Zig-zag Springs

A high carbon steel spring form commonly used for furniture applications. The particular spring properties result from the wire being bent into various zig-zag shapes. The wire forms are then stretched and attached to the seating and backrest frames. The radius of curvature imparted to a length of zigzag spring is very important.

Zigzag Connection

A connection of polyphase windings in which each branch generates phase displaced voltages.


Element, chemical symbol Zn. A bluish-white, lustrous metal derived from ores that also contain lead, silver, copper, germanium and cadmium. The pure metal is malleable and ductile even at ordinary temperature. It can be electro-deposited, and is used primarily as a galvanized protective coating for steel (especially steel destined for use in construction, transportation and electrical equipment). Its most important alloys are brass and bronze.

Zinc Ammonium Chloride

A solution of zinc ammonium chloride at a temperature of about 70°C (158°F) provides a suitable flux for galvanizing.

Zinc Ash

A zinc iron alloy that forms on the surface of the molten zinc in a galvanizing bath. It can be minimized by the use of an inert chemical covering the zinc bath.

Zinc Dross

See Dross.

Zinc For Galvanizing

Four grades of zinc ingots (99.99 percent, 99.95 percent, 99.5 percent and 98.5 percent are generally used. B.S. 1005 lays down methods of sampling and analysis. Only silicon and phosphorus, of the usual steel impurities, have a noticeable effect on the quality of the zinc coating. It has been said that a medium silicon content of about 0.2 percent gives the best appearance and adhe­sion in galvanizing. In the steel wire industry, if the wire is not to be redrawn after galvanizing, addi­tions of cadmium and aluminum are beneficial, but when redrawing is necessary, aluminum alone should be used.

Zinc Phosphate

In the wire industry, this material is used in solution for coating wire to provide a lubricant carrier.

Zinc Wire

Applications range from certain electrical uses and fittings for zinc-strip window frames to reinforcing filters in the production of zinc sulfate and for tying containers. Because of the stiffness of rolled zinc wire, the initial drawing stages must be carried out at low speeds and with small drafts to prevent overheating and edge cracking. The amounts of reduction that can be affected are materially influenced by the aluminum content.

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