The awg wire size chart shows the standard numbering system used to determine the diameter of electrical conductors. It is important to know the size of a particular gauge wire so that you can choose the right one for your needs. For example, thicker wires are better suited for heavier-duty applications than thinner ones. Also, higher wires are better able to carry more current safely than smaller ones.
AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, which is a standardized method of identifying the diameter of solid round wires. This system was introduced in 1857 to replace the various gauge measurements used by different manufacturers. The system uses integers with larger numbers denoting smaller wires. It is similar to Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) and Birmingham Wire Gauge (BWG). In the chart below, you will see that a wire with a number of 36 AWG has a diameter of 0.005 inches. The smallest wire with a number of 0000 AWG has a diameter of 0.46 inches. In between, there are 40 steps, or Gauges, that range in diameter from 0000 to 36 AWG.
Another factor to consider when choosing a wire is its amperage capacity, which indicates how much current it can handle. The larger the gauge number, the lower the current-carrying capacity of the wire. For instance, a 16 AWG wire can safely carry a maximum of 10 amps. On the other hand, a 10 AWG wire can only carry up to 6 amps.
In addition to current-carrying capacity, the awg wire size chart includes voltage drop levels, which are calculated by measuring the distance that electricity travels through the wire and accounting for any resistance. It is recommended that the total voltage drop should be no more than 2.5% of the supply voltage. This will help ensure that the current does not melt the wire and cause a fire hazard.
If you are using a stranded wire, you will need to add the diameter and number of strands into your calculation. To do this, simply measure the bare diameter of the wire and find the circular mils value in the table that corresponds to your measurement. Then multiply that number by the number of strands to get the cross sectional area of the stranded wire.
Keep in mind that the awg wire size chart only applies to single-stranded solid wires. This is because stranded wires have gaps between the individual copper strands. This makes it difficult to calculate their cross-sectional areas from the AWG gauge numbers alone. This is why it is important to take the time to measure a single strand of stranded wire and then refer to the chart for a precise estimate. Alternatively, you can use the formula D(AWG)=.005*92((36-AWG)/40) to approximate diameters of solid stranded wires. However, this is only a rough approximation. In reality, you should always use a precision measuring instrument. awg wire size chart