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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.


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Designation for Argon Oxygen Decarburization.

Aplataer Process

A method of hot galvanizing in which the greater part of the bath is filled with molten lead on which floats a patented dividing liquid that, in turn, supports a layer of pure zinc only a few inches deep; that part of the bath surrounding the zinc is protected by a special lining so that the zinc cannot come into contact with the iron of the bath.

Apparatus Wire and Cable

Apparatus wire is an overall term used to describe a number of specific wire types including non-automotive battery cables, defroster wire, electric furnace cables, and gas tube sign ignition cables. Also included under this heading in AWG sizes 14 and heavier are appliance wire, fixture wire, machine tool wire, motor and transformer lead wire, pump or well cable, and switchboard and control wire.

Apparent Power

See Power, Apparent.

Appliance Wire and Cable

Appliance wiring material is a classification of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) covering insulated wire and cable intended for internal wiring of appliances and equipment. Each construction satisfies the requirements for use in particular applications.

Approach Angle

The angle created at the point rod or wire enters the drawing die where the material’s outside surface forms an angle with the die’s surface. It is the most important sector of a wiredrawing die in that it determines the rate of reduction and heat generated. See Reduction Zone.


Acceptable to the authority having legal enforcement. Per OSHA: a product that has been tested to standards and found suitable for general application, subject to limitations outlined in the nationally recognized testing lab’s listing.

Aqueous Cleaning

The use of water, often with the addition of detergents or other additives, to clean wire and wire products.

Aramid Yarn

Strength elements that provide tensile strength, support, and additional protection of fiber bundles. It is commonly referred to as Kevlar (a DuPont trademark).

Arbor Straightening

This term refers to straightening cold drawn wire through the use of offset dies positioned in a rotating arbor.


A flow of current across an insulating medium. Luminous discharge of electricity through a gas. Characterized by a change (approximately equal to the ionization potential of the gas) in the space potential in the immediate vicinity of the negatively charge electrode.

Arc Furnace

A type of furnace that heats by sending a heavy current flow through the material to be heated.

Arc Resistance

The time required for an arc to establish a conductive path in or across a material. Breakdown between two electrodes usually occurs as a conducting path is burned on the surface of the dielectric material.

Arc Welding

Welding accomplished by using an electric arc that may be formed between a metal or carbon electrode and the metal being welded; between two separate electrodes, as in atomic hydrogen welding; or between two separate pieces being welded, as in flash welding.


See Voltage, Arc-Over.

Arcing Fault

See Fault, Arcing.

Arcing Time

The time elapsing from the severance of the circuit to the final interruption of current flow.

Area of Conductor

The size of a conductor cross-section, measured in circular mils, square inches, etc.

Area Reduction

See Reduction of Area.


1) That part of a machine, whether rotating or stationary, which carries the winding and in which the principal electromotive force (EMF) is induced. 2) An electromagnet member, which is moved by magnetic force. This term is usually limited to the rotating part of a D.C. machine.

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