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Centigrade or Celsius


A stranded conductor with or without insulation and other coverings (single-conductor cable) or a combination of conductors (multiple-conductor cable). In fiber optics, a jacketed fiber or jacketed bundle in a form which can be terminated.

Cable Assembly

Typically, the cable and associated connectors ready to install.

Cable Clamp

A device used to give mechanical support to the wire bundle or cable at the rear of a plug or receptacle.

Cable Clamp Adapter

A mechanical adapter that attaches to the rear of a plug or receptacle to allow the attachment of a cable clamp.

Cable Core

The portion of an insulated cable lying under a protective covering.

Cable Core Binder

A wrapping of tapes or cords around the conductors of a multiple conductor cable used to hold them together.

Cable Filler

The material used in multiple conductor cables to occupy the interslices formed by the assembly of the insulated conductors, thus forming a cable core.

Cable Sheath

The protective covering applied to cables.

Cable Tray

A rigid structural system used to support cables and raceways. Types of cable trays include ladder, ventilated trough, ventilated channel and solid bottom.

Cable Vulcanizer

Compression molding machine used to repair cable jacketing that has had a part removed for splicing, to add connectors and other devices or to replace damaged sections.


Twisting together two or more insulated conductors by machine to form a cable. In fiber optics, a method by which a group or bundle of fibers is mechanically assembled.

Cabling Factor

Used in the formula for calculating the diameter of an unshielded, unjacketed cable. D=Kd, where D is the cable diameter, K is the factor and d is the diameter of one insulated conductor.


The process of setting a measurement instrument by use of standards.


The ratio of the electrostatic charge on a conductor to the potential difference between the conductors required to maintain that charge.

Capacitance, Direct

The capacitance measured from one conductor to another conductor through a single insulating layer.

Capacitance, Mutual

The capacitance between two conductors (typically of a pair) with all other conductors, including shield and short circuited to ground.


The woven element of a braid consisting of one or more ends (strands) which creates the interlaced effect. Also, a spindle, spool, tube or bobbin (on a braiding machine) containing yarn or wire, employed as a braid.


Community Antenna Television


Rubber-insulated Brewery Cord.


Closed-Circuit Television


Belgium Approval Agency; Comite Electrotechnique Belge Service de la Marque.


European Standards Agency; International Commission on Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment.


European Standards Agency; European Committee for Electrotechnical Norms.

Certificate of Compliance (C of C)

A written statement, normally generated by a Quality Control Department, which states that the product being shipped meets customer’s specifications.

Certified Test Report (CTR)

A report reflecting actual test data on the cable shipped. Tests are normally conducted by the Quality Control Department and show that the product being shipped meets the required test specifications.

Characteristic Impedance

The impedance that when connected to the output terminals of a transmission line, of any length, makes the line appear indefinitely long.

Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE)

Rubbery polymer used for insulation and jacketing of wire and cable. Manufactured by Dow Chemical under the trade name Tyrin.


Control and Instrumentation Cable, same as ACIC except not armoured

Cigarette Wrap

Tape insulation wrapped longitudinally instead of spirally over a conductor.


A complete path over which electrons can flow from the negative terminals of a voltage source through parts and wires to the positive terminals of the same voltage source.

Circuit Breaker

A device that can be used to manually open or close a circuit and to automatically open a circuit at a predetermined level of overcurrent without damage to itself.

Circuit Sizes

A popular term for building wire sizes 14 through 10 AWG.

Circuit Voltage

The root-mean-square (effective) difference of potential between any two conductors of the circuit.

Circular Mil

The area of a circle one mil (.001") in diameter; 7.854 x 10-7 sq. in. Used in expressing wire cross sectional areas.

CL Series

Coil Lead Wire – CL is followed by a number series indicating it’s rated baking temperature


Method of applying a layer of metal over another metal whereby the junction of the two metals is continuously welded. In fiber optics, a sheathing intimately in contact with the core of a higher refractive index material which serves to provide optical insulation and protection to the reflection interface.

Closed End Splice

An insulated splice in which two or more wires overlap and enter the splice from the same end of the barrel.


Circular-Mil Area

Coated Copper

A copper conductor which has been coated with a metallic substance. A tin coating is applied to protect copper from chemical attack by sulfur-based insulation compounds; nickel coating is sometimes used with conductors rated for extremely high temperatures.

Coaxial Cable

A cable consisting of two cylindrical conductors with a common axis, separated by a dielectric.

Coaxial Connector

A connector that has a coaxial construction and is used with coaxial cable.

Coil Effect

The inductive effect exhibited by a spiral-wrapped shield, especially above audio frequencies.

Cold Bend

Generally refers to a test to determine cable or wire characteristics at low temperatures.

Cold Flow

Permanent deformation of the insulation due to mechanical force of pressure (not due to heat softening).

Color Code

A color system for wire or circuit identification by use of solid colors, tracer braids, surface printing, etc.

Combination Unilay

A stranding configuration that uses two strand sizes to achieve a 3% reduction in the conductor diameter without compression.

Common Axis Cabling

In multiple cable constructions, a twisting of all conductors about a “common axis” to result in smaller diameter constructions. Tends to result in greater susceptance to electromagnetic and electrostatic interference.

Compact Conductor

Stranded conductor rolled to deform the round wires to fill the normal interstices between the wires in a strand.

Compact Stranding

A stranding configuration with concentric strands in which each layer is passed through a compacting die to reduce the conductor diameter by approximately 10%.

Composite (Clad) Wire

A wire having a core of one metal with a fused outer shell of different metals.

Composite Conductor

Two or more strands of different metals assembled and operated in parallel.


An insulating or jacketing material made by mixing two or more ingredients.


A stranding configuration with concentric strands in which all layers or the outer layer only is passed through a die to reduce the conductor diameter by 3%.

Compression Cable

A pipe-type cable in which the pressure medium is separated from the insulation by a membrane or sheath.­­­­which a wire has been inserted.

Contact Size

The largest size wire which can be used with the specific contact. Also, the diameter of the engagement end of the pin.

Continuity Check

A test to determine whether electrical current flows continuously throughout the length of a single wire or individual wires in a cable.

Continuous Load

An electrical load in which the maximum current is expected to continue for three hours or more.

Continuous Vulcanization

Simultaneous extrusion and vulcanization of rubber-like wire coating materials.


Cable spiraling in an opposite direction than the preceding layer within a wire or cable.

Control Cable

A multiconductor cable made for operation in control of signal circuits.

Controlled Impedance Cable

Package of two or more insulated conductors where impedance measurements between respective conductors are kept essentially constant throughout the entire length.

Conventional Concentric

A stranding configuration in which individual wire are stranded concentrically with no reduction in overall diameter. Typically used for bare conductors.


A compound resulting from the polymerization of two different monomers.


Steel with a coating of copper welded to it before drawing as opposed to copper-plated. Synonymous with Copperweld.


The trade name of Flexo Wire Division (Copperweld Steel Corp.) for their copper-clad steel conductors.


A small, flexible insulated cable.

Cord Set

Portable cords fitted with a wiring device at one or both ends.


In cables, a component or assembly of components over which other materials are applied, such as (additional components) shield, sheath or armor. In fiber optics, the transparent glass or plastic section with a highly refractive index through which the light travels by internal reflections.

Core Wire

The center strand of a stranded conductor, around which the other strands are wrapped in spiral layers.


A discharge due to ionization of air around a conductor due to a potential gradient exceeding a certain critical value.

Corona Resistance

The time that the insulation will withstand a specified level of field intensified ionization that does not result in the immediate complete breakdown of the insulation.


The destruction of the surface of a metal by chemical reaction.


The calculated percentage which defines the completeness with which a metal braid covers the underlying surface. The higher percentage of coverage, the greater the protection against external interference.


Textile braid or jacket of rubber, plastics or other materials applied over wire and cables to provide mechanical protection and identification.


The minute cracks on the surface of plastic materials.


The dimensional change with time of a material under load.


The conduction of electricity across the surface of a dielectric.

Creepage Path

The path across the surface of a dielectric between two conductors.

Creepage Surface

An insulating surface which provides physical separation as a form of insulation between two electrical conductors of different potential.


Act of compressing a connector barrel around a cable in order to make an electrical connection.

Crimp Termination

Connection in which a metal sleeve is secured to a conductor by mechanically crimping the sleeve with pliers, presses or automated crimping machines.


Inter-molecular bonds between long-chain thermoplastic polymers due to chemical or electron bombardment. The properties of the resulting thermo-setting material are usually improved.

Cross-Linked Polyethylene (XLPE)

A common thermoset insulation material for building wire and cable. Polyethylene made from petroleum and natural gas undergoes a cross-linking chemical reaction that causes compound molecules to bond, forming heavier molecules with the desired physical and chemical properties.

Cross-Sectional Area (csa)

The area of a conductor exposed by cutting the conductor perpendicularly to its length, expressed in circular-mils, thousands of circular-mil, square inches, or square millimeters.


Undesired electrical currents in conductors caused by electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling from other conductors or from external sources. Also, leakage of optical power from one optical conductor to another.


Canadian Standards Association, a non-profit independent organization which operates a listing service for electrical and electronic materials and equipment. The Canadian counterpart of the Underwriters Laboratories.


Same as SJ except extra-flexible conductor.


Same as SJO except extra-flexible conductor.


The chemical symbol for copper.


To change the physical properties of a material by chemical reaction.

Curing Cycle

The time, temperature and pressure required for curing.


The degree to which a wire tends to form a circle after removal from a spool. An indication of the ability of the wire to be wrapped around posts in long runs.


The rate of transfer of electricity. Practical unit is the ampere which represents the transfer of one coulomb per second. In a simple circuit, current (I) produced by a cell or electromotive force (E) when there is an external resistance (R) and internal resistance (r) is: I=E/R%2Br

Current-Carrying Capacity

The maximum current an insulated conductor can safely carry without exceeding its insulation and jacket temperature limitations.

Cut-Through Resistance

The ability of a material to withstand mechanical pressure usually a sharp edge or small radius without separation.


Continuous Vulcanization


The complete sequence, including reversal, of the flow of an alternating electric current.

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