DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WIRE, CABLE, CONDUCTOR AND OTHER TERMINOLOGIES BASICS
November 03, 2020
Wire. A slender rod or filament of drawn metal. (This definition restricts the term wire to what would ordinarily be understood by the term solid wire. In the definition the word slender is used in the sense that the length is great in comparison with the diameter.
If a wire is covered with insulation, it is properly called an insulated wire, although the term wire refers primarily to the metal; nevertheless, when the context shows that the wire is insulated, the term wire will be understood to include the insulation.)
Conductor. A wire or combination of wires not insulated from one another, suitable for carrying a single electric current. (The term conductor does not include a combination of conductors insulated from one another, which would be suitable for carrying several different electric currents. Rolled conductors, such as busbars, are, of course, conductors but are not considered under the terminology given here.)
Stranded Conductor. A conductor composed of a group of wires or any combination of groups of wires. (The wires in a stranded conductor are usually twisted or braided together.)
Cable. A stranded conductor (single-conductor cable) or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiconductor cable). The component conductors of the second kind of cable may be either solid or stranded, and this kind may or may not have a common insulating covering. The first kind of cable is a single conductor, while the second kind is a group of several conductors.
Strand. One of the wires or groups of wires of any stranded conductor.
Stranded Wire. A group of small wires used as a single wire. (A wire has been defined as a slender rod or filament of drawn metal. If such a filament is subdivided into several smaller filaments or strands and is used as a single wire, it is called stranded wire.
There is no sharp dividing line of size between a stranded wire and a cable. If used as a wire, for example in winding inductance coils or magnets, it is called a stranded wire and not a cable. If it is substantially insulated, it is called a cord, defined below.)
Cord. A small cable, very flexible and substantially insulated to withstand wear. (There is no sharp dividing line in respect to size between a cord and a cable and likewise no sharp dividing line in respect to the character of insulation between a cord and a stranded wire.)
Concentric Strand. A strand composed of a central core surrounded by one or more layers of helically laid wires or groups of wires.