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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


The conformity to, or deviation from, specified angular dimensions in the cross-section of a shape.

Anneal Deoxidizing

A sub-critical anneal process performed in an inert atmosphere to minimize oxidation, remove internal strains after cold reduction, decrease hardness and tensile strength and develop maximum ductility.

Annealed Wire

Wire that has been softened by heating. The heat treatment relaxes mechanical properties such as tensile.

Annealed-in-Process Wire

Wire annealed at an intermediate stage between rod size and finished size in order to produce a softer wire of fairly uniform temper and to prevent exceeding maximum reduction and brittleness.


Heating to and holding at a suitable temperature and then cooling at a suitable rate, for such purposes as reducing hardness, improving machinability, facilitating cold working, producing a desired microstructure or obtaining desired mechanical, physical or other properties. When applied to ferrous alloys, it implies a heat treatment designed to soften a cold-worked structure by recrystallization or subsequent grain growth or to soften an age-hardened alloy by causing a nearly complete precipitation of the second phase in relatively coarse form.

Annealing, Aluminum Wire

Annealing temperatures for aluminum and its alloys range from 350 to 450°C (662 to 842°F), depending on the quality. In certain cases, with pure aluminum and some aluminum alloys, it is possible to partially anneal fully hard drawn material to achieve inter­mediate tempers.

Annealing, Black

Annealing where no special precautions are taken to ensure the product being free from scale or discolora­tion.

Annealing, Bright

Annealing in a protec­tive medium, usually with reducing gases, to prevent discoloration of the bright sur­face.

Annealing, Continuous Strand

1) Annealing by means of a machine, which can be placed between the final capstan of a drawing machine and the spooler, so that wire is drawn, annealed and spooled in one operation. 2) Annealing conducted by passing a wire through a heated medium to soften it. Generally, this is conducted as a portion of another process such as galvanizing.

Annealing, Copper Wire

Copper has a comparatively low anneal­ing temperature, usually between 200 to 400°C (392 to 752°F), depending on many fac­tors. It oxidizes rapidly, therefore, it must be protected during industrial annealing opera­tions unless an oxide scale is desired. Annealing in non-oxidizing atmosphere is suitable for copper wire in coils or on bobbins used, but cooling after annealing must take place in the complete absence of air to avoid oxidative discoloration.

Annealing, Cyclic

A process consisting of heating metal to a temperature above the upper limits of the critical temperature range followed by transfer to a salt bath quench furnace, which is maintained at a suitable temperature below the lower limits of the critical temperature range.

Annealing, Flame Strand

Annealing by passing the wire continuously through a line of gas flame jets controlled with great accuracy.

Annealing, Full

Annealing a ferrous alloy by austenitizing and then cooling slowly through the transformation range. The term is meant to denote an annealing cycle that produces minimum strength and hardness, but for the actual value to be known requires the composition and starting condition of the material as well as the time-temperature cycle.

Annealing, Isothermal

Heating to and holding at some temperature above the transformation range, then cooling to and holding at a suitable temperature until the austenite to pearlite transformation is com­plete, and finally cooling freely.

Annealing, Loop Processing

Wire or rod coiled into overlapping loops on a conveyor which runs through the furnace and makes it possible to use a much shorter furnace than in strand processing.

Annealing, Open

Another name for black annealing.

Annealing, Partial

An imprecise term used to denote a treatment given to cold-worked material to reduce their strength to a controlled level or to affect stress relief. To be meaningful, the type of material, the degree of cold work, and the time-temperature schedule must be stated.

Annealing, Process

Heating, usually to a temperature below the transformation range, to remove the effects of cold work and permit further cold work.

Annealing, Resistance

See Annealing, Continuous Strand

Annealing, Salt Bath

Annealing metal wire by immersion in a molten salt mixture at temperatures up to 700°C (1292°F). Annealing is uniform and the adhering salt film protects the coils against scaling when they are removed from the bath.

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