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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

Active Current

In an alternating current, a component in phase with the voltage. The working component as distinguished from the idle or wattless component.

Active Power

See Power, Active.

Active Pressure

In an AC circuit, the pressure that produces a current, as distinguished from the voltage impressed upon the circuit.

Active Wire

The wire in armature winding that produces useful voltage. That portion of the winding in which induction takes place.


Designation for armored cable containing latex rubber insulated conductors.


Designation for varnished cambric insulation, polyvinyl chloride interlocked armor, 5000V.


1) In the steel producing industry, materials added to the molten bath of steel or to the molten steel in the ladle to produce the chemical composition required for the specific steel order. 2) In the coolant industry, water and other chemical additions added to maintain the proper chemistry of the fluid used in metalworking operations. These are referred to as additives and include but are not limited to fluids to enhance lubrication, detergency, pH, corrosion inhibitors and reduce residue. 3) Additions to lube oil can be made to modify their operating characteristics, such as extreme pressure functions.


Force of attraction between the molecules (or atoms) of two different phases, such as liquid brazing filler metal and solid copper, or plated metal and basis metal, or enamels and base wire. These interfacial forces may be chemical or mechanical in nature.


Usually a synthetic material that, when applied to tapes, potting operations, etc., permits materials to be bonded together.

Adhesive Bonded

Cables where bonding is accomplished by adding an adhesive coating to the surface of the cable components (wire insulation, cable jacket or spacer), and joining and curing the adhesive to form a cable. See Bonded Cable.

Adhesive Wear

Wear that can be created when two metals are pressed together. The tops of those surfaces (asperities) act as contact points. The local pressures are very high and a plastic deformation occurs. In the contact areas, metallic bonding forms a local weld. When the components slide together, the welds break, the surfaces are damaged and adhesive wear (sliding wear) occurs.

Adiabatic Extrusion

An idealized auto thermal extrusion in which no heat is lost to the surroundings.

Adjacent Conductor

Any conductor next to another conductor either in the same multi-conductor cable layer or in adjacent layers.

Adjustable Die

See Die, Adjustable

Adjustable Frequency Inverter

An industrial drive that provides adjustable speed operation with a squirrel cage induction motor. It is obtained by converting fixed-frequency alternating current to adjustable DC voltage. It can provide many functions that are done by typical DC motors or SCR controllers.


The measure of ease with which an alternating current flows in a circuit. The reciprocal of impedance.


The adhesion in an extremely thin layer of molecules (as of gases, solutes or liquids) to the surfaces of solid bodies or liquids they are in contact with.


Technique used to expose coolant to air in an attempt to minimize the growth of anaerobic bacteria. In some cases it is a technique used to remove heat through evaporation. Negative reaction could be the entrapment of air bubbles within oil, which could result in a breakdown of performance or oxidation of valuable ingredients.

Aerial Cable

A cable suspended in the air on poles or other overhead structure.


Designation for asbestos-insulated, single solid or stranded conductor fixture wire. Impregnated with moisture-resisting, flame-retarding compound. With or without braid. Type AF, single conductor asbestos insulated fixture wire 300V, 150°C. Usage and manufacture was undercut by increasing concern about the use of asbestos.

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