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


T - The old UL designation for switchboard wire insulated with thermoplastic lead wire.

TA - The UL designation for switchboard wire insulated with thermoplastic and a high temperature barrier.

TAGT - Stranded nickel-clad copper conductor insulated with fused PTFE tape, high temperature barrier, and PTFE impregnated glass braid. 600 volt, 250° C rating.

TANK TESEST - A voltage dielectric test in which the test sample is submerged in water and voltage is applied between the conductor and water as ground.

TC - a) Abbreviation for tinned copper. b) Type TC power and control tray cable.

2TC - Abbreviation for tinned copper double shield.

3TC - Abbreviation for tinned copper triple shield.

4TC - Abbreviation for tinned copper quadruple shield.

TCCS - Abbreviation for tinned copper-clad steel.

TCW - Abbreviation for tinned Copperweld®. Copperweld® is a trademark of the Copperweld Steel Company.

TEFLON® - Teflon® is DuPont de Nemours Co.'s trade name for their family of fluorocarbon resins including Teflon® TFE (tetrafluoroethylene), Teflon® FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), and Teflon® PFA (perfluoroalkoxy). See tetrafluorethylene and perfluoroalkoxy.

TEFLON® IMPREGNATED - Refers to the saturation of a heat resistant fibrous glass braid with Teflon® suspension. After saturation, the Teflon® is cured. Teflon® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

TEFZEL® - Trademark of the DuPont de Numerous Co. Abbreviation ETFE. See ethylene tetrafluoroethylene.

TELEMETRY CABLE - Cable used for the transmission of information from instruments to the peripheral recording equipment.

TELEPHONE WIRE - This is a general term referring to many different types of communication wire. It refers to a class of wires and cables rather than a specific type.

TELLURIUM CURE - A curing process similar to selenium cure, except a different element is used.

TEMP. - Abbreviation for temperature.

TEMPERATURE COEFFICIENT OF RESISTANCE - The amount of resistance change of a material per degree of temperature change.

TEMPERATURE RATING - The maximum temperature at which an insulating material may be used in continuous operation without loss of its basic properties.

TENSILE STRENGTH - The pull stress required to break a given specimen. In fiber optics, the maximum allowed pulling force until a specific attenuation is reached. The stated value is short-term.

TERMINALAL - Any fitting used for making a convenient electrical connection.

TEST LEAD - A flexible, insulated lead wire which usually has a test probe on one end. It is ordinarily used for making temporary electrical connections. The insulation normally is rubber, the standard colors are red and black.

TEST REPORTS - The permanent records made by a wire manufacturer of the tests performed on a batch of wire to a specification.

TETRAFLUOROETHYLENE - A fluorocarbon resin. Abbreviation TFE.

TEW - Nomenclature for appliance wire by Canadian Standards Association (CSA), plastic insulated, solid or stranded conductor, 600 volt.

TEXTILE BRAID - Any braid made from threads of cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers.

TF - The UL designation for fixture wire, solid soft copper conductor, insulated with thermoplastic lead wire.

TFE - Abbreviation for tetrafluoroethylene.

TFF - Same as TF, except stranded copper conductor.

TG - PTFE tape with overall glass braid, stranded nickel-clad copper conductor.

TGGT - Flexible stranded nickel-coated copper conductor with PTFE tapes, covered by wrapped fiberglass yarns. A fiberglass braid jacket is applied over insulation and is treated with high-temp saturant. 600 volt, 250° C rating.

THERMALAL RATING - The maximum and/or minimum temperature at which a material will perform its function
without undue degradation.

THERMAL RESISTANCE - The resistance of a substance to conductivity of heat.

THERMAL SHOCK - A test to determine the ability of a material to withstand heat and cold by subjecting it to rapid and wide changes in temperature.

THERMOCOUPLE - A union of dissimilar metals in which a voltage is generated due to a change in temperature. The voltage is usually in micro or milli volts.

THERMOCOUPLE EXTENSION - Same as thermocouple lead wire.

THERMOCOUPLE LEAD WIRE - An insulated pair of wires used from the couple to a junction box or to the recording instrument.

THERMOCOUPLE WIRE - Wire drawn from special metals or alloys and calibrated to established specifications such as for the U.S. Bureau of Standards or Instruments Society of American standards.

THERMOPLASTIC - A material which softens when heated and becomes firm on cooling.

THERMOSET - A material which hardens or sets when heat is applied, and which, once set, cannot be re-softened by heating. The application of heat is called “curing”.

THERMOSTAT WIRE - Single or multi-conductor wire, bare soft solid copper conductor, usually PVC insulated. May be twisted and/or jacketed. May have enameled or nylon covered conductors and may have a metal armor covering. May also have a high temperature barrier insulation. It is used to transmit electrical signals between the thermostat and the heating or cooling unit.

THHN - Building wire, plastic insulated, 90° C, 600 volt, nylon jacket. Used in dry locations.

THINNET - RG58 type coaxial cable used in local area network configurations.

THW - Building wire, plastic insulated, heat, flame, and moisture resistant, 75° C.

THWN - Same as THW with overall nylon jacket. Used in dry and wet locations.

TIGHT BUFFER - Type of fiber optic cable construction where each fiber is tightly buffered by a protective thermoplastic coating to a diameter of 900 microns.

TINNED COPPER - Tin coating added to a copper conductor or braid to aid in soldering and inhibit corrosion.
Abbreviated as TC.

TINSEL CORD - Extra flexible cord made with tinsel conductors to give the ultimate in flexibility. Used mostly in the communications field on headsets, handsets, and anywhere that repeated flexibility is necessary.

TINSEL WIRE - A low voltage, stranded wire in which each strand is very thin copper ribbon spirally wrapped around a textile yarn. Insulation is generally a textile braid. Intended for use where severe flexing is expected.

TOKEN RING - A star-wired ring architecture used for computer LAN data communications.

TOLERANCE - a) The allowable deviation from a standard especially the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece; or b) The variance between the quantity ordered and the quantity shipped, generally accepted in the wire industry to be plus or minus 10%.

TOPCOAT - Bare (untinned) copper wire, stranded, then coated with pure tin.

TPDDI - Abbreviation for twisted pair distributed data interface.

TPE - A highly flexible jacket material of thermoplastic elastomer.

TP-PMD - Abbreviation for twisted pair physical medium dependent.

TR - Abbreviation for (certified) test reports. See certified test reports

TRACER STRIPE - When color coding is accomplished by more than one stripe on the same wire. The first stripe, or widest, is called the base stripe, the others, usually narrower, are called tracer stripes.

TRANSFER MOLD - A type of rubber mold. The term derived from the method used of moving the compound into the cavity of the mold. The compound is forced or transferred by pressure, from a cavity in the top of the mold through sprues, into the lower section.

TRANSFORMER - A device for transferring electrical energy in an AC circuit by means of electromagnetic induction. Each circuit is represented by a winding around a common magnetic core, the ratio of the voltage in the two circuits being (in an ideal transformer) equal to the ratio of the number of turns. From Ohm’s Law and the Conservation of Energy Principle, it follows that (except for losses) the product of current and voltage is the same in both circuits.

TRANSMISSION LINE - Synonymous with power line. One or more insulated conductors arranged to transmit electrical energy signals from one locality to another.

TRANSMITTER - A driver and a source used to change electrical signals to optical signals.

TRAP WIRE - A low voltage wire used at hinge points, where severe flexing occurs, usually in burglar alarm systems. It is made with tinsel conductor to withstand the repeated flexing.

TRAY - A metal raceway for holding cable.

TRAY CABLE - A factory assembled multi-conductor control, signal, and power cable specifically approved under the NEC for installation in trays.

TRIAIAD - A group of three insulated conductors twisted together with or without a sheath overall. Usually color coded for identification. Also called a triplex.

TRIAXIAL - Refers to a three conductor cable with one conductor in the center, a second circular conductor concentric with the first, and a third circular conductor insulated from and concentric with the first and second, usually with insulation, and a braid or impervious sheath overall.

TRIBOELECTRIC NOISE - Noise generated in a shielded cable due to variations in capacitance between shielding and conductor as the cable is flexed.

TRIPLEX - A group of three insulated conductors twisted and/or sheathed or held together mechanically. Usually color coded or ridge marked. Also called triad.

TUBING - A tube of extruded non supporting plastic or metallic material.

TV - Abbreviation for Television. The transmission of images by means of radio waves or wires.

TV CAMERA CABLE - A portable, flexible cable consisting of several coaxial cables and other conductors cabled together, overall shield and usually Neoprene® jacketed. It is used to carry signals between the camera and transmitter and plate and heater currents to the camera. Neoprene® is a trademark of the DuPont de Nemours Co.

TW - The UL designation for thermoplastic insulated wire for use in conduit, underground, and wet locations. It is a common building wire having a bare soft copper conductor, which may be either solid or stranded.

TWINAX - A shielded coaxial cable with two central conductors. Also called twinaxial.

TWINAXIAL - A shielded coaxial cable with two central conductors. Also called twinax.

TWIN CABLE - A pair of insulated conductors of 8 AWG or larger, twisted or laid parallel and/or sheathed or held together mechanically under a common covering.

TWIN WIRE - A pair of insulated conductors of 9 AWG or smaller, twisted or bonded together and not identifiable from each other.

TWISTED PAIR - Two insulated conductors twisted together without a common covering.

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