Wire Gauge and Current Limits Including Skin Depth and Tensile Strength (2024)

Wire Gauge and Current Limits Including Skin Depth and Tensile Strength (4)
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AWG Wire Sizes (see chart below)

AWG: In the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system, wire size diameters can be calculated by applying the formula D(AWG)=.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 gage every 6 gauge decrease gives a doubling of the wire diameter, and every 3 gauge decrease doubles the wire cross sectional area. Similar to dB in signal and power levels. An approximate but accurate enough form of this formula contributed by Mario Rodriguez is D = .460 * (57/64)(awg +3) or D = .460 * (0.890625)(awg +3).

Metric Wire Gauges (see table below)

Metric Gauge:In the Metric Gauge scale, the gauge is 10 times the diameter in millimeters,so a 50 gauge metric wire would be 5 mm in diameter. Note that in AWG thediameter goes up as the gauge goes down, but for metric gauges it is theopposite. Probably because of this confusion, most of the time metric sizedwire is specified in millimeters rather than metric gauges.

Load Carrying Capacities (see table below)

Definition: ampacity is the current carryingcapability of a wire. In other words, how many amps can it transmit? Thefollowing chart is a guideline of ampacity or copper wire current carryingcapacity following the Handbook of Electronic Tables and Formulas forAmerican Wire Gauge. As you might guess, the rated ampacities are just arule of thumb. In careful engineering the voltage drop, insulationtemperature limit, thickness, thermal conductivity, and air convection andtemperature should all be taken into account. The Maximum Amps for PowerTransmission uses the 700 circular mils per amp rule, which is very veryconservative. The Maximum Amps for Chassis Wiring is also a conservativerating, but is meant for wiring in air, and not in a bundle. For short lengthsof wire, such as is used in battery packs you should trade off the resistanceand load with size, weight, and flexibility. NOTE: For installations that needto conform to the National Electrical Code, you must use their guidelines.Contact your local electrician to find out what is legal!

Maximum Frequency for 100% Skin Depth Chart

This data isuseful for high frequency AC engineering. When high frequency AC is conductedby a wire there is a tendency for the current to flow along the outside of thewire. This increases the effective resistance. The frequency listed in thetable shows the frequency at which the calculated skin depth is equal to theradius of the wire, and is an indication that above this frequency you shouldstart considering the skin effect when calculating the wire's resistance.

Breaking Force for Copper Wire

This estimate is based on nick-free soft annealed Cu wire having a tensile strength of 37000 pounds per square inch.

AWG gauge Conductor
Diameter Inches
Conductor
Diameter mm
Conductor cross section in mm2 Ohms per 1000 ft. Ohms per km Maximum amps for chassis wiring Maximum amps for
power transmission
Maximum frequency for
100% skin depth for solid conductor copper
Breaking force Soft Annealed Cu 37000 PSI
0000 0.46 11.684 107 0.049 0.16072 380 302 125 Hz 6120 lbs
000 0.4096 10.40384 84.9 0.0618 0.202704 328 239 160 Hz 4860 lbs
00 0.3648 9.26592 67.4 0.0779 0.255512 283 190 200 Hz 3860 lbs
0 0.3249 8.25246 53.5 0.0983 0.322424 245 150 250 Hz 3060 lbs
1 0.2893 7.34822 42.4 0.1239 0.406392 211 119 325 Hz 2430 lbs
2 0.2576 6.54304 33.6 0.1563 0.512664 181 94 410 Hz 1930 lbs
3 0.2294 5.82676 26.7 0.197 0.64616 158 75 500 Hz 1530 lbs
4 0.2043 5.18922 21.1 0.2485 0.81508 135 60 650 Hz 1210 lbs
5 0.1819 4.62026 16.8 0.3133 1.027624 118 47 810 Hz 960 lbs
6 0.162 4.1148 13.3 0.3951 1.295928 101 37 1100 Hz 760 lbs
7 0.1443 3.66522 10.6 0.4982 1.634096 89 30 1300 Hz 605 lbs
8 0.1285 3.2639 8.37 0.6282 2.060496 73 24 1650 Hz 480 lbs
9 0.1144 2.90576 6.63 0.7921 2.598088 64 19 2050 Hz 380 lbs
10 0.1019 2.58826 5.26 0.9989 3.276392 55 15 2600 Hz 314 lbs
11 0.0907 2.30378 4.17 1.26 4.1328 47 12 3200 Hz 249 lbs
12 0.0808 2.05232 3.31 1.588 5.20864 41 9.3 4150 Hz 197 lbs
13 0.072 1.8288 2.63 2.003 6.56984 35 7.4 5300 Hz 150 lbs
14 0.0641 1.62814 2.08 2.525 8.282 32 5.9 6700 Hz 119 lbs
15 0.0571 1.45034 1.65 3.184 10.44352 28 4.7 8250 Hz 94 lbs
16 0.0508 1.29032 1.31 4.016 13.17248 22 3.7 11 k Hz 75 lbs
17 0.0453 1.15062 1.04 5.064 16.60992 19 2.9 13 k Hz 59 lbs
18 0.0403 1.02362 0.823 6.385 20.9428 16 2.3 17 kHz 47 lbs
19 0.0359 0.91186 0.653 8.051 26.40728 14 1.8 21 kHz 37 lbs
20 0.032 0.8128 0.519 10.15 33.292 11 1.5 27 kHz 29 lbs
21 0.0285 0.7239 0.412 12.8 41.984 9 1.2 33 kHz 23 lbs
22 0.0253 0.64516 0.327 16.14 52.9392 7 0.92 42 kHz 18 lbs
23 0.0226 0.57404 0.259 20.36 66.7808 4.7 0.729 53 kHz 14.5 lbs
24 0.0201 0.51054 0.205 25.67 84.1976 3.5 0.577 68 kHz 11.5 lbs
25 0.0179 0.45466 0.162 32.37 106.1736 2.7 0.457 85 kHz 9 lbs
26 0.0159 0.40386 0.128 40.81 133.8568 2.2 0.361 107 kHz 7.2 lbs
27 0.0142 0.36068 0.102 51.47 168.8216 1.7 0.288 130 kHz 5.5 lbs
28 0.0126 0.32004 0.080 64.9 212.872 1.4 0.226 170 kHz 4.5 lbs
29 0.0113 0.28702 0.0647 81.83 268.4024 1.2 0.182 210 kHz 3.6 lbs
30 0.01 0.254 0.0507 103.2 338.496 0.86 0.142 270 kHz 2.75 lbs
31 0.0089 0.22606 0.0401 130.1 426.728 0.7 0.113 340 kHz 2.25 lbs
32 0.008 0.2032 0.0324 164.1 538.248 0.53 0.091 430 kHz 1.8 lbs
Metric 2.0 0.00787 0.200 0.0314 169.39 555.61 0.51 0.088 440 kHz
33 0.0071 0.18034 0.0255 206.9 678.632 0.43 0.072 540 kHz 1.3 lbs
Metric 1.8 0.00709 0.180 0.0254 207.5 680.55 0.43 0.072 540 kHz
34 0.0063 0.16002 0.0201 260.9 855.752 0.33 0.056 690 kHz 1.1 lbs
Metric 1.6 0.0063 0.16002 0.0201 260.9 855.752 0.33 0.056 690 kHz
35 0.0056 0.14224 0.0159 329 1079.12 0.27 0.044 870 kHz 0.92 lbs
Metric 1.4 .00551 .140 0.0154 339 1114 0.26 0.043 900 kHz
36 0.005 0.127 0.0127 414.8 1360 0.21 0.035 1100 kHz 0.72 lbs
Metric 1.25 .00492 0.125 0.0123 428.2 1404 0.20 0.034 1150 kHz
37 0.0045 0.1143 0.0103 523.1 1715 0.17 0.0289 1350 kHz 0.57 lbs
Metric 1.12 .00441 0.112 0.00985 533.8 1750 0.163 0.0277 1400 kHz
38 0.004 0.1016 0.00811 659.6 2163 0.13 0.0228 1750 kHz 0.45 lbs
Metric 1 .00394 0.1000 0.00785 670.2 2198 0.126 0.0225 1750 kHz
39 0.0035 0.0889 0.00621 831.8 2728 0.11 0.0175 2250 kHz 0.36 lbs
40 0.0031 0.07874 0.00487 1049 3440 0.09 0.0137 2900 kHz 0.29 lbs
Voltage Drop Calculator by Gerald Newton http://www.electrician2.com

The following calculator calculates the voltage drop, and voltageat the end of the wire for American Wire Gauge from 4/0 AWG to 30 AWG, aluminumor copper wire. (Note: It just calculates the voltage drop, consult the abovetable for rules-of-thumb, or your local or national electrical code or yourelectrician to decide what is legal!) Note that the voltage drop does notdepend on the input voltage, just on the resistance of the wire and the load inamps.

This chart of American Wire Gauge (AWG) wire sizes and rated ampacities is data intended for the pleasure of our readers only. Typographical errors, etc. are probable, since the typist is not a professional (our CEO). Please point out errors. The data listed are incomplete and should be used as a guideline only. Please contact manufacturers for the latest data.

We hope that this information is helpful. Now go out and design something that needs a charger, power supply, or battery pack!

Wire Gauge and Current Limits Including Skin Depth
				  and Tensile Strength (2024)

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