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UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2011 Supplemental Handout

Prof. Steven Errede

American Wire Gauge (AWG) & Metric Gauge Wire Sizes
AWG Wire Sizes (see table below)
AWG: In the American Wire Gauge (AWG), diameters can be calculated by applying the formula: D(AWG) = 0.005 * 92 ((36-AWG)/39) inch. For the 00, 000, 0000 etc. gauges you use -1, -2, -3, which makes more sense mathematically than “double nought.” This means that in American Wire Gauge every 6 gauge decrease gives a doubling of the wire diameter, and every 3 gauge decrease doubles the wire cross sectional area – just like calculating dB’s in signal levels. Metric Wire Gauges (see table below)

Metric Gauge: In the Metric Gauge scale, the gauge is 10 times the diameter in millimeters, thus a 50 gauge metric wire would be 5 mm in diameter. Note that in AWG the diameter goes up as the gauge goes down. Metric is the opposite. Probably because of this confusion, most of the time metric sized wire is specified in millimeters rather than metric gauges. Load Carrying Capacities (see table below)

The following chart is a guideline of “ampacity”, or copper wire current-carrying capacity following the Handbook of Electronic Tables and Formulas for American Wire Gauge. As you might guess, the rated “ampacities” are just a rule of thumb. In careful engineering the insulation temperature limit, thickness, thermal conductivity, and air convection and temperature should all be taken into account. The Maximum Amps for Power Transmission uses the 700 circular mils per amp rule, which is very conservative. The Maximum Amps for Chassis Wiring is also a conservative rating, but is meant for wiring in air, and not in a bundle. For short lengths of wire, such as is used in battery packs, you should trade off the resistance and load with size, weight, and flexibility.

© Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 2005-2008. All Rights Reserved.

1

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2011 Supplemental Handout

Prof. Steven Errede

AWG Gauge

Diameter
(Inches)

Diameter
(mm)

Ohms per 1000′
(@ T=20oC)

Ohms per km
(@ T=20oC)

Max amps for
chassis wiring

Max amps for
power X-mission

0000
000
00
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Metric 2.0
33
Metric 1.8
34
Metric 1.6
35
Metric 1.4
36
Metric 1.25
37
Metric 1.12
38
Metric 1
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47

0.4600
0.4096
0.3648
0.3249
0.2893
0.2576
0.2294
0.2043
0.1819
0.1620
0.1443
0.1285
0.1144
0.1019
0.0907
0.0808
0.0720
0.0641
0.0571
0.0508
0.0453
0.0403
0.0359
0.0320
0.0285
0.0254
0.0226
0.0201
0.0179
0.0159
0.0142
0.0126
0.0113
0.0100
0.0089
0.0080
0.00787
0.00710
0.00709
0.00630
0.00630
0.00560
0.00551
0.00500
0.00492
0.00450
0.00441
0.00400
0.00394
0.00350
0.00310
0.00280
0.00250
0.00220
0.00200
0.00176
0.00157
0.00140

11.6840
10.40384
9.26592
8.25246
7.34822
6.54304
5.82676
5.18922
4.62026
4.11480
3.66522
3.26390
2.90576
2.58826
2.30378
2.05232
1.82880
1.62814
1.45034
1.29032
1.15062
1.02362
0.91186
0.81280
0.72390
0.64516
0.57404
0.51054
0.45466
0.40386
0.36068
0.32004
0.28702
0.254
0.22606
0.2032
0.200
0.18034
0.18000
0.16002
0.16002
0.14224
0.14000
0.12700
0.12500
0.11430
0.11200
0.10160
0.10000
0.08890
0.07874
0.07112
0.06350
0.05588
0.05080
0.04470
0.03988
0.03556

0.0490
0.0618
0.0779
0.0983
0.1239
0.1563
0.1970
0.2485
0.3133
0.3951
0.4982
0.6282
0.7921
0.9989
1.2600
1.5880
2.0030
2.5250
3.1840
4.0160
5.0640
6.3850
8.0510
10.150
12.800
16.140
20.36
25.67
32.37
40.81
51.47
64.9
81.83
103.2
130.1
164.1
169.4
206.9
207.5
260.9
260.9
329.0
339.0
414.8
428.2
523.1
533.8
659.6
670.2
831.8
1049
1323
1659
2143
2593
3348
4207
5291

0.160720
0.202704
0.255512
0.322424
0.406392
0.512664
0.646160
0.815080
1.027624
1.295928
1.634096
2.060496
2.598088
3.276392
4.132800
5.208640
6.569840
8.282000
10.44352
13.17248
16.60992
20.94280
26.40728
33.29200
41.98400
52.93920
66.78080
84.19760
106.1736
133.8568
168.8216
212.8720
268.4024
338.4960
426.7280
538.2480
555.6100
678.6320
680.5500
855.7520
855.7520
1079.120
1114
1360
1404
1715
1750
2163
2198
2728
3442
4341
5443
7031
8507
10984
13802
17359

380
328
283
245
211
181
158
135
118
101
89
73
64
55
47
41
35
32
28
22
19
16
14
11
9
7
4.7
3.5
2.7
2.2
1.7
1.4
1.2
0.86
0.700
0.530
0.510
0.430
0.430
0.330
0.330
0.270
0.260
0.210
0.200
0.170
0.163
0.130
0.126
0.110
0.090

302
239
190
150
119
94
75
60
47
37
30
24
19
15
12
9.3
7.4
5.9
4.7
3.7
2.9
2.3
1.8
1.5
1.2
0.92
0.729
0.577
0.457
0.361
0.288
0.226
0.182
0.142
0.1130
0.0910
0.0880
0.0720
0.0720
0.0560
0.0560
0.0440
0.0430
0.0350
0.0340
0.0289
0.0277
0.0228
0.0225
0.0175
0.0137

2

© Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 2005-2008. All Rights Reserved.

UIUC Physics 436 EM Fields & Sources II Fall Semester, 2011 Supplemental Handout

Prof. Steven Errede

© Professor Steven Errede, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 2005-2008. All Rights Reserved.

3


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