Glossary of Wire & Cable Terminology

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


S - a) Abbreviation for silver-plated copper. Also abbreviated as SPC. b) 600 volt senior service rubber insulated portable cord. 18 AWG two conductor through 6 AWG four conductor.

2S - Abbreviation for silver-plated copper double shield.

SA - a) Abbreviation for silver-covered alloy. b) Nomenclature for silicone rubber insulation with high temperature barrier or glass overall for use up to 125° C.

S BABAND - A band of microwave frequencies. See frequency band.

SC - Abbreviation for silver-covered copper. Also abbreviated as SCC.

2SC - Abbreviation for two silver-plated copper shields.

SCB - Abbreviation for silver-plated cadmium bronze. Also abbreviated as SCCad Br.

SCBerC - Abbreviation for silver-covered beryllium-copper alloy.

SCC - Abbreviation for silver-covered copper. Also abbreviated as SC.

SCCA - Abbreviation for silver-covered copper-clad aluminum. Also abbreviated SCCAL.

SCCad Br - Abbreviation for silver-covered cadmium bronze. Also abbreviated as SCB.

SCCAL - Abbreviation for silver-covered copper-clad aluminum. Also abbreviated SCCA.

SCCS - Abbreviation for silver-covered copper-clad steel. Also abbreviated as SCS.

SCHSCA - Silver-coated high strength copper alloy.

SCPE - Semi-conducting polyethylene.

SCS - Abbreviation for silver-covered copper-clad steel. Also abbreviated as SCCS.

SCW - Abbreviation for silver-plated Copperweld® conductor. Copperweld® is a trademark of the Copperweld Steel Company.

SD - Abbreviation for soft drawn (annealed).

SECONDARY INSULATION - A high resistance dielectric material which is placed over primary insulation to protect it from abrasion.

SECTOR STRAND - A group of wires laid in triangular shape with rounded corners, for use as one conductor of a three conductor cable with 120° angle between faces, and with 90° angle for a four conductor cable.

SEGMENTAL CONDUCTOR - In single conductor cables one million (1,000,000) CM or more, the conductors are divided into three or four segments, insulated from each other by paper tapes, to reduce current resistance in AC circuits.

SELENIUM CURE - Process used in curing Neoprene® and rubber jacketed wires and cables. The process
makes a dense, tough, durable jacket. Neoprene® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

SELF-EXTINGUISHING - The characteristic of a material whose flame is extinguished after the igniting flame is removed.

SELF-SUPPORTING AERIAL CABLE - A cable consisting of one or more insulated conductors assembled
or cabled with a steel core or attached to a separate steel cable, which supports the weight of the cable. It may be from pole to pole or in a vertical position on a tower.

SELF-SUPPORTING CABLE - A cable with a steel support strand capable of supporting the cable weight across spans.

SEMI-CONDUCTING JACKET - A jacket having a sufficiently low resistance so that its outer surface can be kept at substantially ground potential by a grounded conductor in contact with it at frequent intervals.

SEMI-CONDUCTOR - Any of a class of solids whose electrical conductivity is between that of a conductor and that of an insulator in being nearly as great as that of a metal at high temperatures and nearly absent at Low temperatures.

SEMI-RIGID - Rigid to some degree or in some part.

SEMI-TIGHT BUFFER - Type of optical fiber cable construction where each fiber is loosely surrounded by a protective coating to a diameter of 900 microns.

SEPARATOR - Layer of insulating material between: (a) Conductors and insulation; and (b) Between cable components and jacket.

SERVING OF A CABLE - A serve is a separator applied directly over the conductor. The serve may consist of one or a combination of materials such as paper, cotton, silk, nylon, or rayon. These materials may be applied spirally or laterally.

SF - Fixture wire, silicone rubber insulated. Can be solid or stranded.

SFF - Same as SF but in flexible grade stranding.

SH-A - Portable power cable, commonly known as shovel cable, Neoprene® jacket, usually three or four conductors individually shielded. Cable rated 5 kV. Neoprene® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

SH-B - Similar to SH-A except shield over all conductors.

SH-C - Similar to SH-B except with grounds.

SH-D - Similar to SH-A except with grounds.

SHEATH - The outer covering or jacket over the insulated conductors to provide mechanical protection for the conductors.

SHF - Abbreviation for super high frequency. See frequency band.

SHIELD - In cables, a metallic layer placed around a conductor or group of conductors to prevent electrostatic or electromagnetic interference between the enclosed wires and external fields.

SHIELD COVERAGE (PERCENTAGE) - The physical area of a cable that is actually covered by the shielding material and is expressed in percent.

SHIELDED CONDUCTOR - An insulated conductor which has been shielded by a copper braid or tape, aluminum foil, copper foil, or a semi-conductive vinyl. The purpose is to confine the electrical field.

SHIELDED MULTI-CONDUCTOR CABLE - A cable with a multiplicity of conductors with a metallic or nonmetallic shield over the cable core.

SHORTS - Less than standard lengths of wire or cable which are generated by making cuts for special orders, i.e., remnants.

SHRINK TUBING - A thermoplastic tube, when heated, shrinks and cures to a smaller diameter. Used to seal joints, etc.

SHUNT WIRE - A conductor joining two parts of an electric circuit to divert part of the current.

SIGNAL - A current used to convey information, either digital, analog, audio, or video.

SIGNAL CABLE - A cable designed to carry current of less that 1 ampere per conductor.

SIGNAL GENERATOR - A device used to furnish current at a known frequency, modulated, and to deliver a measured voltage only at the terminals of the generator without appreciable radiation at any other point.

SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO - At any point in an electronic circuit, device, or transmission system, the ratio of one parameter of a desired signal to the same or corresponding parameter of the noise. In broadcast communication the signal-to-noise ratio is often quoted in decibels and the noise parameter taken as its root mean square value.

SIL/DAC-VI - Abbreviation for Dacron braid over silicon rubber, Type VI, per MIL-C-17.

SILICONE - A thermoplastic elastomer insulation with excellent heat resistance.

SILICONE IMPREGNATED - The complete saturation of insulating tapes or braids with a silicone varnish compound. The process may be performed under a vacuum. The compound serves as a heat and flame-retardant as well as a binder.

SIMPLEX CABLE - A single fiber optical cable.

SINGLE-MODE FIBER - An optical waveguide in which only one mode propagates due to its small core diameter of approximately 9 microns.

SINTERED - Usually refers to curing of PTFE. To cause to become a coherent mass by heating without melting.

SIS - XLP (cross-linked polyolefin) switchboard wire.

SJ - 300 volt junior service rubber insulated UL approved portable cord, rubber jacket. 18 AWG two conductor through 16 AWG four conductor.

SJO - 300 volt junior service rubber insulated UL approved portable cord, Neoprene® jacket. Neoprene® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

SJT - 300 volt junior service vinyl insulated UL approved portable cord, vinyl jacket.

SJTO - 300 volt. Same as SJO except all thermoplastic construction.

SKELETON BRAID - Widely separated braid of fiber, copper, or steel may be used to hold core together, for reinforcing jacket or for shielding.

SKIN EFFECT - In an alternating current system, a phenomenon that occurs at increased frequencies causing an increase in resistance of the conductor causing the outer skin to carry most of the current. The phenomenon increases in intensity the higher the frequency.

SLEEVING - A braided, knitted, woven tube.

SNCCS - Abbreviation for silver-covered nickel-covered copper-clad steel.

SO - A 600 volt senior service Neoprene® jacket UL approved portable cord; 18 AWG two conductor through 10 AWG four conductor. Neoprene® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

SOLDER - A metal or metallic alloy used when melted to join metallic surfaces; an alloy of lead and tin so used.

SOLDERABLE NYLON LITZ - Litz wire made up of soldereze strands with a nylon serve overall.

SOLDEREZE - Magnet wire insulated with polyurethane base enamel.

SOLID CONDUCTOR - A conductor composed of one wire. Generally 18 AWG through 6 AWG, used where flexibility is not required.

SONAR - Acronym from sound navigation ranging. A method of detecting and locating underwater objects by transmitting a pulse of sound energy, usually ultrasonic, then measuring the return “reflected” echo.

SP-1 - Lamp cord, parallel, all rubber, two conductor, 300 volt.

SP-2 - Similar to SP-1 except heavier insulation.

SP-3 - Similar to SP-1 except heavier insulation, also may have a ground.

SPACE FACTOR - Given values in coil winding for amount of space available.

SPARK TEST - A test given to wire or cable to determine if there are defects in the insulation. A semi-destructive test, in that it will find weak spots in insulation by a spark breaking through thin spots or pinholes in the jacket when a high voltage potential from the conductor to an outside source is applied. Where these sparks emanate, the cable is cut, thus shortening the cable. This test should only be run once on a wire or cable.

SPC - Abbreviation for silver-plated copper. Also abbreviated as S.

SPECIFIC GRAVITY - The ratio of the density (mass per unit volume) of a material to that of water.

SPECIFIC INDUCTIVE CAPACITY - Dielectric constant of insulating material. Abbreviated as K, SK, SIC.

SPHINCTER RING - A high ratio heat shrinkable strain relief grommet that can be placed over the cable assembly after the assembly is fabricated.

SPIRAL SHIELD - A metallic shield of fine stranded wires applied spirally rather than braided.

SPIRAL WRAP - The helical wrap of a material over a core.

SPLICE - A permanent joint between two optical waveguides.

SPOOL - Circular container on which wire is wound for storage or transit, usually made of plastic, paper, or metal.

SP SHIELD - Abbreviation for silver-plated shield.

SPT-1 - Same as SP-1 except in plastic.

SPT-2 - Same as SP-2 except in plastic.

SPT-3 - Same as SP-3 except in plastic.

sq. - Abbreviation for square.

SR - Abbreviation for silicone rubber insulated cable, 600 volt.

SRAW - Abbreviation for silicone rubber insulated, overall glass braid, with nickel-plated copper conductor,
flexible stranding, 600 volt.

SRL - Abbreviation for structural return loss.

SRML - Abbreviation for silicone rubber motor lead.

SS - Abbreviation for stainless steel.

SSC - Abbreviation for silver-covered strip.

SSPE - Abbreviation for semi-solid polyethylene. Also abbreviated as SS poly.

SS Poly - Abbreviation for semi-solid polyethylene. Also abbreviated as SSPE.

SSPS - Abbreviation for semi-solid polystyrene.

SSTFE - Abbreviation for semi-solid tetrafluorethylene, TFE.

SSTUBE - Abbreviation for stainless steel tube.

ST - Same as SJT, except 600 volt.

STABILITY FACTOR - The difference between the percentage power factor at 80 volts/mil and at 40 volts/mil measured on wire immersed in water at 75° C for a specific time.

STANCOTE® - Standard Wire & Cable Co. trade name for plastic insulated wire.

STANDING WAVE RATIO - In a transmission line, waveguide or analogous system, a figure of merit used to express the efficiency of the system in transmitting power, specifically taking into account the mismatch between source, line, and load. The standing wave ratio S is given by the formula:

S = Vmax / Vmin = Imax / Imin

In an ideally matched system, S=1 indicating the presence of a pure traveling wave and no reflected power. As the proportion of power reflected increases, S approaches infinity, which value would indicate a pure standing wave.

STANFLELEX® - Standard Wire & Cable Co. trade name for rubber jacketed portable cords and cables.

STATIC - Disturbing effects produced in a radio, telephone, or television receiver by atmospheric or various natural or man-made electrical disturbances.

STATIONARY DUTY - See continuous duty.

STEP INDEX - In fiber optics the refractive index profile characterized by a uniform refractive index within the core and a sharp decrease at the core cladding interface. It usually refers to a multi-mode fiber.

STRAND - A single uninsulated wire.

STRANDED CONDUCTOR - A conductor made with a specified number of strands. Rope lay strand, for example, is a conductor made of multiple groups of strands (filaments). A 7 x 19 rope lay strand has 19 wires laid into a group and then seven such groups cabled laid into a conductor.

STRENGTH MEMBER - Included in a cable configuration for purposes of adding tensile strength only. Does not conduct any power or signal.

STRIP INSULALATIONS - Strip process insulation consists of one or more longitudinal strips of unvulcanized thermosetting material folded around a conductor and vulcanized after application.

SUBMARINE CABLE - Cable used underwater from one point to another for power or communication. Lead sheath and/or rubber jacket.

SUBSTRATE - Insulating material of a printed circuit.

SUGGESTED WORKING VOLTAGE - Usually refers to the AC voltage that can be applied between adjacent conductors.

SUPER HIGH FREQUENCY - See frequency band.

SUSCEPTANCE - Symbol B. The imaginary part of the admittance, Y, which is given by:

Y = G + iB

where G is the conductance and i equals Glossary of Wire Cable Terminology. For a circuit containing both resistance, R, and reactance, X, the susceptance is given by:

B = -X / (R2 + X2)

SV - Vacuum cleaner cord 18/2, 300 volt, light duty rubber, portable.

SVO - Same as SV except with Neoprene® jacket. Neoprene® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

SVT - Same as SV except non marking plastic jacket.

SWEEP TEST - A method to determine the frequency response of a cable by generating an RF voltage whose frequency is varied at a rapid constant rate over a given range. A test commonly made on coaxial

SWEPT COAX - Coaxial cable which has been checked by the sweep test and certified by the manufacturer.

SWITCHBOARD WIRE - High temperature insulated wire such as TA or AVB, used to wire switchboards and control apparatus. It is heat, flame, and corrosive vapor resistant.

SYN. RUB. - Abbreviation for synthetic conductive rubber.

SYNTH - Abbreviation for synthetic.

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