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The Facts on American Wire Gauge (AWG)

 

 

What is American Wire Gauge?rca connector
The American Wire Gauge (AWG), a wire-sizing standard also known as the Brown and Sharpe wire gauge, is used in North America to measure and regulate the thickness of conductive wires made from nonferrous metals. AWG is not to be confused with the Washburn and Moen (W&M), US Steel, or Music Wire gauging methods, which are used only for steel-based wire.


When did the American Wire Gauge system come into use?
AWG was developed in 1856 by J.R. Brown and Sharpe, a small firm in Providence, Rhode Island that specialized in the crafting and repair of watches, clocks, and mathematical instruments. That same year, Lucien Sharpe presented the new system to the Waterbury Brass Association. Convinced that Brown and Sharpe’s gauging system would greatly improve uniformity throughout the wire manufacturing industry, Waterbury Brass Association made a movement to adopt the standard. By February of 1857, eight major American manufacturers had signed resolutions to adhere to the Brown and Sharpe gauge standard; the following month, a nationwide circular was distributed, introducing the new wire gauge standard to the American public.

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What do the gauge numbers mean?
The American Wire Gauge system is based on a total of 44 standardized wire sizes: 0-40, as well as the additional 00, 000, and 0000 gauges (the thickest of all). It may seem a little counterintuitive, but the higher a gauge number is, the thinner the wire will be. This is because each gauge is named after the number of sizing dies the wire needs to be drawn through to reach the correct diameter (for example, a 24 gauge wire is drawn through 24 different sizing dies).

 

 


American Wire Gauge Chart
AWG DIAMETER AREA WEIGHT
(KG PER METER)
TURNS OF WIRE
(PER INCH)
0000 (4/0) 0.46" (11.7mm) 212 kcmil (107mm²) 0.953 2.17
000 (3/0) 0.41" (10.4mm) 168 kcmil (85 mm²) 0.756 2.44
00 (2/0) 0.365" (9.27mm) 133 kcmil (67.4 mm²) 0.599 2.74
0 0.325" (8.25 mm) 106 kcmil (53.5 mm²) 0.475 3.08
1 0.289" (7.35 mm)  83.7 kcmil (42.4 mm²) 0.377 3.46
2 0.258" (6.54 mm) 66.4 kcmil (33.6 mm²) 0.299 3.88
3 0.229" (5.83 mm)  52.6 kcmil (26.7 mm²) 0.237 4.36
4 0.204" (5.19 mm) 41.7 kcmil (21.2 mm²) 0.188 4.89
5 0.182" (4.62 mm) 33.1 kcmil (16.8 mm²) 0.149 5.5
6 0.162" (4.12 mm) 26.3 kcmil (13.3 mm²) 0.118 6.17
7 0.144" (3.66 mm) 20.8 kcmil (10.5 mm²) 0.0938 6.93
8 0.128" (3.26 mm) 16.5 kcmil (8.37 mm²) 0.0744 7.78
9 0.114" (2.91 mm) 13.1 kcmil (6.63 mm²) 0.059 8.74
10 0.102" (2.59 mm) 10.4 kcmil (5.26 mm²) 0.0468 9.81
11 0.0907" (2.30 mm) 8.23 kcmil (4.17 mm²) 0.0371 11
12 0.0808" (2.05 mm) 6.53 kcmil (3.31 mm²) 0.0294 12.4
13 0.0720" (1.83 mm) 5.18 kcmil (2.62 mm²) 0.0234 13.9
14 0.0641" (1.63 mm) 4.11 kcmil (2.08 mm²) 0.0185 15.6
15 0.0571" (1.45 mm) 3.26 kcmil (1.65 mm²) 0.0147 17.5
16 0.0508" (1.29 mm) 2.58 kcmil (1.31 mm²) 0.0116 19.7
17 0.0453" (1.15 mm) 2.05 kcmil (1.04 mm²) 0.00922 22.1
18 0.0403" (1.02 mm) 1.62 kcmil (0.823 mm²) 0.00732 24.8
19 0.0359" (0.912 mm) 1.29 kcmil 0.653 mm²) 0.0058 27.9
20 0.032" (0.812 mm) 1.02 kcmil 0.518 mm²) 0.0046 31.3
21 0.0285" (0.723 mm) 0.810 kcmil (0.410 mm²) 0.00365 35.1
22 0.0253" (0.644 mm) 0.642 kcmil (0.326 mm²) 0.00289 39.5
23 0.0226" (0.573 mm) 0.509 kcmil (0.258 mm²) 0.00229 44.3
24 0.0201" (0.511 mm) 0.404 kcmil (0.205 mm²) 0.00182 49.7
25 0.0179" (0.455 mm) 0.320 kcmil (0.162 mm²) 0.00144 55.9
26 0.0159" (0.405 mm) 0.254 kcmil (0.129 mm²) 0.00114 62.7
27 0.0142" (0.361 mm) 0.202 kcmil (0.102 mm²) 0.000908 70.4
28 0.0126" (0.321 mm) 0.16 kcmil (0.081 mm²) 0.00072 79.1
29 0.0113" (0.286 mm) 0.127 kcmil (0.0642 mm²) 0.000571 88.8
30 0.01" (0.255 mm) 0.101 kcmil (0.0509 mm²) 0.000453 99.7
31 0.00893" (0.227 mm) 0.0797 kcmil (0.0404 mm²) 0.000359 112
32 0.00795" (0.202 mm) 0.0632 kcmil (0.032 mm²) 0.000285 126
33 0.00708" (0.18 mm) 0.0501 kcmil (0.0254 mm²) 0.000226 141
34 0.00630" (0.16 mm) 0.0398 kcmil (0.0201 mm²) 0.000179 159
35 0.00561" (0.143 mm) 0.0315 kcmil (0.0160 mm²) 0.000142 178
36 0.005" (0.127mm) 0.025 kcmil (0.0127 mm²) 0.000113 200
37 0.00445" (0.113 mm) 0.0198 kcmil (0.01 mm²) 0.0000893 225
38 0.00397" (0.101 mm) 0.0157 kcmil (0.00797 mm²) 0.0000708 252
39 0.00353" (0.0897 mm) 0.0125 kcmil (0.00632 mm²) 0.0000562 283
40 0.00314" (0.0799 mm) 0.00989 kcmil (0.00501 mm²) 0.0000445 318

 


Which wire gauges am I most likely to encounter?Interlink LightSpeed

Even though 44 different wire diameters are recognized within the AWG standard, they’re not all widely used, and most people are likely to encounter only a small range of them. Below are a few common cable types we use ever day, as well as the AWG sizes that correspond to them:

For more great information on American Wire Gauge, including wire diameter formula, check out Wikipedia's section on AWG.

 

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