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
Abrasion Resistance: A measure of the
ability of a wire covering to resist damage by mechanical means.
Adhesive Bonded: Cables bonded by adding an adhesive coating to the
surface of the cable components, then joining and curing the adhesive to
form a cable. See Bonded Cable.
Adhesive Lined Tubing: Dual-wall tubing with an inner layer that melts and
flows when heated, filling voids in the areas being covered, and forming a
mechanical bond to the substrate.
Alternative Current: An electrical current whose direction is reversed at
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials, American Standard
D2671: Standard Test Methods for Heat-Shrinkable Tubing for Electrical
D638: Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics.
(American Wire Gauge): A method of specifying conductor size. Lower gauge
numbers indicate larger conductor size.
Blocking: The sticking together of insulated wires;
usually caused by heat.
Bonding Temperatures: Temperature above which adhesive melts and flows
sufficiently to form an adhesive bond between substrates.
Braid: A weave of
metal fibers used as a shield covering for an insulated conductor or group
of insulated conductors.
Bunch Stranding: A method of twisting individual strands to form a finished
A communal circuit over which data or power is conducted.
Bushing: A device used to line an opening, which prevents abrasion to any
wires and cables that are being passed through that opening.
Cable: Two or more wires in a twisted or parallel
Cable Clamp: A mechanical clamp attached to the cable side of a
termination assembly to support the cable or wire bundle.
Cable Clamp Adapter: A mechanical clamp attaches to the rear of the a
termination assembly to allow the attachment of a cable clamp.
Cable Sheath: The overall protective covering applied to cables.
Capacitance: The property of an electrical conductor that permits the
storage of energy as a result of electrical displacement.
Capacity factor: The ration of the actual output of a generating facility
over the period of time over the theoretical energy output of the
generating facility operated as its rated capacity over the same time
Carrier: A group of strands or ends used to form a finished band.
Chemical Resistance: The ability of insulation to withstand the presence
of materials that can deteriorate the insulation or can cause dielectric
loss of insulating qualities.
Circular Mil Area (CMA): A unit of area equal to the area of a circle
whose diameter is 1 mil (0.001 inch). Used chiefly in specifying
cross-sectional areas of conductors.
Color Code: A means of identifying cable components using solid colors or
stripes. Also the scheme that assigns a number 0 to 9 for each of 10
Compound: An insulating or jacketing material made by formulating
polymeric materials and additives.
Compound Under Strands (CUS): A problem that occurs when loose stranding,
or overheating during extrusion, allows compounds to get under individual
strands or conductors.
Concentric Stranding: A method of stranding conductor.
Conductivity: The capability of a material to carry electrical current.
Conductor: The metallic strand or strands used to carry an electric
Conductor Resistance: The resistance to flow of the electrical current
along a conductor.
Corrosion: Damage to the surface of a metal by chemical reaction.
Contact: The element in a conductor that makes the actual electrical
Measurement of electrical resistance of mated contacts when assembled in a
typical service use.
Continuity: A continuous path for the flow of current in an electrical
Continuous Operating Temperature: Maximum temperature at which a component
will maintain an acceptable lifetime performance.
Colorant: Pigment additives used to introduce color to tubing. Both
natural colored PVC and clear PVC can be colored.
Compound: A chemical mixture of base resin and desired additives, which
can be extruded into tubing.
Concentricity: A comparison of the thinnest wall thickness to the thickest
Core: The inner wall of dual wall, heat shrinkable tubing.
Cross-linking: The formation of three-dimensional covalent bonds between
molecular chains in a polymer, thereby improving the mechanical and
Cross-links: Covalent bonds linking one polymer chain to another. They
have the characteristic property of thermosetting polymer materials.
(Canadian Standards Association): An agency that has developed standard
specifications for products with particular emphasis on safety.
Current: A movement or flow of electrons.
Dielectric: A material that serves as an
insulator. The amount of resistance to voltage in a given insulation.
Direct Current: A form of power transmission and distribution in which
electricity flows in a single unchanging direction.
Direct Current Resistance (DCR): The resistance offered by any circuit to
the flow of direct current.
Drain Wire: In a cable, an un-insulated conductor laid over the component
in a foil-shield cable.
Elastic Memory: The ability of a crosslinked
polymer to be deformed to a predetermined shape, hold that shape for a
period and return to its original shape.
Elastometer: A material that exhibits very low or zero crystalinity and a
high degree of flexibility.
Elongation: The fractional increase in the length of a material stressed
Encapsulant: Description related to the way dual-wall tubing products and
precoated molded parts melt and flow when heated.
Expanded ID (EID): The specified minimum (as supplied) internal diameter of
Expansion Ratio: An expression of how much larger the inside diameter of a
tubing is before shrinking.
Flame Resistance: The ability of a material
to not propagate flame once the heat source is removed.
Flame Retardant: An additive that is included in tubing compounds to
improve resistance to burning.
Flammability: The measure of a material's ability to support combustion.
Gauge: A term used to denote the physical size of a
Ground: A connection, intentional or accidental, between an electrical
circuit and the earth or some conduction body.
Ground Connector: A conductor that provides a current return path from an
electrical device to the ground.
Hardness: An easily determined measurement of
resistance to penetration that correlates well with mechanical strength
and rigidity. Usually measured using Shore or Rockwell scales.
Distortion: Distortion of the flow or configuration of a material due to
the application of heat.
Shrinkable: Tubing that is capable of being reduced in size when exposed
Hookup wire and cable: Wiring used to connect various points in electrical
Hot-melt adhesive: An adhesive that becomes activated by heating. When
heated, it melts, flows over the substrate surface and forms an adhesive
Hygroscopic: Capable of absorbing moisture from the air.
ID (Internal Diameter): The inside of
internal diameter of a tubing.
Impulse Test: A high voltage test designed to locate pinholes in the
insulation of a wire or cable by applying a voltage while the wire or
cable is being drawn through an electrode.
Inductance: One cause of reactance.
Insulating Joint: A device, which mechanically couples and electrically
insulates the sheath and armor of contiguous lengths of cable.
Insulation Resistance: The electrical resistance between two conductors
separated by an insulating material.
Insulation, Thermal: A nonconductive material that prevents the passage of
Irradiation: In insulations, the exposure of the material to a high-energy
emissions for the purpose of favorably altering the molecular structure
Jacket: An outer protective sheath over primary
insulation, braids, shields, cable components, or over the cable itself.
In fiber optics, a jacket is a covering over a single fiber, bundle of
fibers or cable, which protects against the environment.
Longitudinal Shield: A tape shield, flat
or corrugated, applied longitudinally with the axis of the core being
Tape applied longitudinally with the axis of the core being covered.
Modulus of Elasticity: The ratio of
stress to strain in an elastic material.
Moisture Absorption: The amount of moisture, in percentage, that a
material will absorb under specified conditions.
Moisture Resistance: The ability, of a material to resist absorbing
moisture from the air, or when immersed in water.
Neoprene: A synthetic rubber with good resistance
to oil, chemical and flame. Also called polychloroprene.
Nominal: A description applied to a dimension representing the center of
the range of tolerance or a value if no tolerance is applied.
Oil Aging: Cable aged in an accelerated manner by
placement in an oil bath and heated to a preset temperature for a stated
Operating Temperature: The maximum internal temperature at which a system,
harness, or connector may operate in a continuous service, generally
expressed as a time and temperature.
Operating Temperature Range: The range between the maximum and the minimum
internal temperature of insulation in a system, harness or connector in
continuous service. The lower limit is determined by low temperature flex
Oxygen Index: Percentage of oxygen necessary to support combustion in a
Ozone: Reactive form of oxygen, typically found around electrical
discharges and present in the atmosphere in small quantities.
Plastic Deformation: A change in
dimension that occurs when an object or material is under load, which is
not recovered when the load is removed.
Plasticizer: A chemical agent added to plastics to make them softer and
Polyester: Polyethylene terephthalate, used extensively as a
moisture-resistant cable core wrap.
Polyethylene: A thermoplastic material having excellent electrical
Polyhalocarbon: A general name for polymers containing halogen atoms. The
halogens are fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine.
Polymer: A compound consisting of long molecular chains formed from
monomers occurring as repetitive “building blocks”.
Polyolefin: A generic term for cross-linkable thermoset polymers.
Polyolefin heat shrink tubing is usually made from polyethylene and its
Polypropylene: A thermoplastic that is similar to polyethylene, with the
exception of being stiffer and having a higher softening point
(temperature); also possesses excellent electrical properties.
Porosity: Multiple voids in an insulation cross- section.
Pull Tension: The
maximum pulling force that can be safely applied to a cable without
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): A general-purpose thermoplastic widely used for
wire and cable insulations and jackets.
Primary Insulation: The inner member of a dual-wall wire insulation. The
insulation applied directly on the conductor.
Radiation Crosslinking: The act of
crosslinking a material with ionizing radiation.
Rated Temperature: The maximum temperature at which a component can
operate for extended periods with acceptable changes in its basic
Rated Voltage: The maximum voltage at which an electric component can
operate for extended periods without undue degradation.
Recovery (Heat Shrinkable Components): Heat activation of the elastic
memory effect to cause expanded tubing to return to its originally
Recovered ID: The internal diameter of heat shrinkable tubing after being
allowed to recover fully.
Recovery Temperature: The midpoint of the recovery versus temperature
curve of heat shrinkable tubing.
Resin: The base material in a plastic compound.
Resistance: A measure of the difficulty in moving electrical current
through a conductor or insulation when a voltage is applied.
Secondary Insulation: A nonconductive
material that protects a cable’s conductor against abrasion and provides a
second electrical barrier.
Selenium Cure: Process used to cure neoprene and rubber-jacketed wires and
Self-Extinguishing: Characteristic of a material whose flame is
extinguished after the igniting flame source is removed.
Semi-Rigid: A cable containing a flexible inner core and relatively
Semi-Solid: An insulation cross-section having a partially open space
between the conductor and the insulation perimeter.
Serve: A filament or group of filaments, such as fibers or wires, which
are wound around a central core.
Serving: A wrapping applied over a wire or the core of a cable.
Sheath: See Cable Sheath.
Shore Hardness: A series of scales used to indicate hardness. The Shore A
scale is most commonly used to measure the hardness of plastic tubing.
Within a given scale, a higher number indicates a harder material.
Shield: In cables, a metallic layer placed around a cable’s conductor to
prevent electrostatic or electromagnetic interference between the enclosed
wires or external fields.
Shield Coverage: Amount of outer cable covered by the shielding material.
Shrink Ratio: The nominal ratio of expanded diameter to recovered diameter
of heat shrinkable tubing.
Silicone: A material made from silicon and oxygen, which can be found
either in thermosetting elastomer form, which is noted for its high heat
resistance, or as a liquid.
Silicone Treating: A silicone liquid treatment applied to insulated
conductors to allow for easy jacket stripping.
Sleeve: The insulated or metallic or metallic covering over the barrel of
Specific Gravity: The ratio of the density (mass per unit volume) of a
material to the density of water.
Splice: A joining of conductors, generally from separate sheaths.
Splice Closure: A device used to protect a cable or wire splice.
Strain Relief: The reduction of the stress or strain on an object that is
obtained through the use of an outer covering of tubing to provide
Tear Strength: The force required to initiate
or continue a tear in a material under specified conditions.
Temperature Rating: The maximum temperature at which an insulating
material may be used in continuous operation without loss of its basic
Tensile Strength: The ratio of the amount of axially applied force
required to break or rupture a piece of tubing to the cross-sectional area
of the tubing. It is expressed in units of force/area, such as pounds per
square inch (psi).
Thermal Aging: Exposure to a thermal condition or programmed series of
conditions for preset periods of time.
Thermal Rating: The effect of heat of cold applied at such a rate that
non-uniform thermal expansion or contraction occurs within a given
material or combination of materials.
Thermoplastic: A polymer that can be repeatedly melted and solidified with
only minimal degradation of the properties each cycle. Common examples are
polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene.
Thermoset: A polymer, such as polyolefin, in which irreversible chemical
“curing” or “set” takes place (the molecule chains are cross-linked in
UL (Underwriters Laboratories): A
nonprofit independent testing organization that operates a listing service
for electronic materials and equipment.
224: An Underwriters Laboratories standard that gives requirements for
heat-shrink tubing, cross-linked tubing and insulating tubing made of
extruded thermosetting, elastomeric, or thermoplastic polymers.
Ultraviolet Degradation: The degradation caused by long-term exposure of
tubing to sunlight or other ultraviolet rays.
Stabilizer: An additive to tubing compounds that protects against loss of
discoloration when it is exposed to the outdoors.
Urethane: See Polyurethane.
Wall Thickness: The thickness of the applied
insulation or jacket.
Water Absorption: A
test to determine the water absorbed by a material after a given immersion