Glossary

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There are 83 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
C
Centigrade or Celsius

C.S.A.
Canadian Standards Association; the Canadian counterpart of Underwriters Laboratories.

Cable
A stranded conductor with or without insulation and other coverings (single-conductor cable) or a combination of conductors (multiple-conductor cable). In fiber optics, a jacketed fiber or jacketed bundle in a form which can be terminated.

Cable Core
The portion of an insulated cable lying under a protective covering.

Cable Core Binder
A wrapping of tapes or cords around the conductors of a multiple conductor cable used to hold them together.

Cable Filler
The material used in multiple conductor cables to occupy the interslices formed by the assembly of the insulated conductors, thus forming a cable core.

Cable Sheath
The protective covering applied to cables.

Cable Tray
A rigid structural system used to support cables and raceways. Types of cable trays include ladder, ventilated trough, ventilated channel and solid bottom.

Cabling
Twisting together two or more insulated conductors by machine to form a cable. In fiber optics, a method by which a group or bundle of fibers is mechanically assembled.

Cabling Factor
Used in the formula for calculating the diameter of an unshielded, unjacketed cable. D=Kd, where D is the cable diameter, K is the factor and d is the diameter of one insulated conductor.

Calibration
The process of setting a measurement instrument by use of standards.

Capacitance
The ability of a dielectric material between conductors to store energy when a difference of potential exists between the conductors. Cable capacitance is usually measured in picofarads (pF) per unit length.

Capacitance, Direct
The capacitance measured from one conductor to another conductor through a single insulating layer.

Capacitance, Mutual
The capacitance between two conductors (typically of a pair) with all other conductors, including shield and short circuited to ground.

Carrier
The woven element of a braid consisting of one or more ends (strands) which creates the interlaced effect. Also, a spindle, spool, tube or bobbin (on a braiding machine) containing yarn or wire, employed as a braid.

Category
Rating of a cable established by TIA/EIA to indicate the level of electrical performance.

Cathode
Negative pole of an electric source.

CEC
Canadian Electrical Code; Canada’s version of the US National Electrical Code (NEC)

CEE
European Standards Agency; International Commission on Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment.

Certificate of Compliance (C of C)
A written statement, normally generated by a Quality Control Department, which states that the product being shipped meets customer’s specifications.

Certified Test Report (CTR)
A report reflecting actual test data on the cable shipped. Tests are normally conducted by the Quality Control Department and show that the product being shipped meets the required test specifications.

Characteristic Impedance
The ratio of voltage to current at every point along a transmission line at the point the voltage is applied. The impedance which makes a transmission cable seem infinitely long, when connected across the cable’s output terminals

CIC
Control and Instrumentation Cable, same as ACIC except not armoured

Cigarette Wrap
Tape insulation wrapped longitudinally instead of spirally over a conductor

Circuit
A complete path over which electrons can flow from the negative terminals of a voltage source through parts and wires to the positive terminals of the same voltage source.

Circuit Breaker
A device that can be used to manually open or close a circuit and to automatically open a circuit at a predetermined level of overcurrent without damage to itself.

Circuit Voltage
The root-mean-square (effective) difference of potential between any two conductors of the circuit.

Circular Mil Area (CMA)
The square of a conductor diameter in mils, of thousandths of an inch. Example a 30 AWG conductor has a diameter of 10 mils and a CMA of 100. Used to determine conductor sizes.

Cladding
Method of applying a layer of metal over another metal whereby the junction of the two metals is continuously welded. In fiber optics, a sheathing intimately in contact with the core of a higher refractive index material which serves to provide optical insulation and protection to the reflection interface.

CMA
Circular-Mil Area

Coated Copper
A copper conductor which has been coated with a metallic substance. A tin coating is applied to protect copper from chemical attack by sulfur-based insulation compounds; nickel coating is sometimes used with conductors rated for extremely high temperatures.

Coaxial Cable
Cable consisting of two cylindrical conductors with a common axis, separated by a dielectric.

Coaxial Connector
A connector that has a coaxial construction and is used with coaxial cable.

Coil Effect
The inductive effect exhibited by a spiral-wrapped shield, especially above audio frequencies.

Cold Bend
A cold chamber test to determine effects of specified temperatures on cable which has been wrapped around a mandrell.

Cold Bend Test
Test to measure a cable's ability to withstand cold temperature.

Cold Flow
Permanent deformation of the insulation due to mechanical force of pressure (not due to heat softening).

Color Code
A color system for wire or circuit identification by use of solid colors, tracer braids, surface printing, etc.

Combination Unilay
A stranding configuration that uses two strand sizes to achieve a 3% reduction in the conductor diameter without compression.

Common Axis Cabling
In multiple cable constructions, a twisting of all conductors about a “common axis” to result in smaller diameter constructions. Tends to result in greater susceptance to electromagnetic and electrostatic interference.

Composite (Clad) Wire
A wire having a core of one metal with a fused outer shell of different metals.

Composite Cable
A cable consisting of two or more different types or sizes of wires.

Composite Conductor
Two or more strands of different metals assembled and operated in parallel.

Compound
An insulating or jacketing material made by mixing two or more ingredients.

Compressed
A stranding configuration with concentric strands in which all layers or the outer layer only is passed through a die to reduce the conductor diameter by 3%.

Concentric Stranding
A group of uninsulated wires twisted around a center core with subsequent layers spirally wrapped around the core, alternating lay directions, to form a single conductor.

Concentricity
In a wire or cable, the measurement of the location of the center of the conductor with respect to the geometric center of the insulation. Expressed in percent.

Conductance
The ability of a conductor to carry electric current; reciprocal of resistance. Measured in mhos (ohm backwards).

Conductivity
the capability of material to carry electrical current, expressed as a percentage of copper conductivity with copper being 100%.

Conductor
a substance, usually metal, used to transfer electrical energy from point to point.

Conduit
A tube in which insulated wire and cables are run.

Connector
A device used to physically and electrically connect two or more conductors.

Constantan
An alloy used in making thermocouples wires. An alloy of copper, nickel manganese and iron.

Contact
The part of a connector that carries the electrical current; two contacts are touched together or separated to control the flow.

Continuity Check
A test to determine whether electric current flows continuously throughout the length of a single wire or individual wires in a cable.

Continuous Load
An electrical load in which the maximum current is expected to continue for three hours or more.

Contrahelical
Cable spiraling in an opposite direction than the preceding layer within a wire or cable.

Control Cable
A multiconductor cable made for operation in control of signal circuits.

Conventional Concentric
A stranding configuration in which individual wire are stranded concentrically with no reduction in overall diameter. Typically used for bare conductors.

Copolymer
A polymer formed from two or more types of monomer.

Copper
The most widely used electrical conductor in wires and cables. Some of the common types of electrical coppers and copper alloys are: Electrolytic tough pitch copper (ETPC) has a minimum copper content of 99.9%. Annealed conductivity averages 101% with a 100& minimum. Commonly used for wire and bus bars.

Copper-Clad Steel
Steel with coating of copper welded to it; same as Copperweld®.

Cord
A small, flexible insulated cable.

Corona
A luminous discharge due to ionization of the gas surrounding a conductor.

Corona Resistance
The time that the insulation will withstand a specified level of field intensified ionization that does not result in the immediate complete breakdown of the insulation.

Corrosion
Deterioration of material by chemical reaction of galvanic action.

Coverage
The calculated percentage which defines the completeness with which a metal braid covers the underlying surface. The higher percentage of coverage, the greater the protection against external interference.

Covering
Textile braid or jacket of rubber, plastics or other materials applied over wire and cables to provide mechanical protection and identification.

Creep
The dimensional change with time of a material under load.

Creepage Path
The path across the surface of a dielectric between two conductors.

Crimp
Act of compressing a connector barrel around a cable in order to make an electrical connection.

Cross-Linked
Inter-molecular bonds between long-chain thermoplastic polymers due to chemical or electron bombardment. The properties of the resulting thermo-setting material are usually improved.

Cross-Linked Polyethylene (XLPE)
A common thermoset insulation material for building wire and cable. Polyethylene made from petroleum and natural gas undergoes a cross-linking chemical reaction that causes compound molecules to bond, forming heavier molecules with the desired physical and chemical properties.

Cross-Sectional Area (csa)
The area of a conductor exposed by cutting the conductor perpendicularly to its length, expressed in circular-mils, thousands of circular-mil, square inches, or square millimeters.

Crosstalk
Undesired electrical currents in conductors caused by electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling from other conductors or from external sources. Also, leakage of optical power from one optical conductor to another.

CSA
Canadian Standards Association, a non-profit independent organization which operates a listing service for electrical and electronic materials and equipment. The Canadian counterpart of the Underwriters Laboratories.

Cure
To change the physical properties of a material by chemical reaction.

Curing Cycle
The time, temperature and pressure required for curing.

Curl
The degree to which a wire tends to form a circle after removal from a spool. An indication of the ability of the wire to be wrapped around posts in long runs.

Current
The rate of flow of electricity in a circuit, measured in amperes.

Current-Carrying Capacity
Maximum current an insulated conductor or cable can continuously carry without exceeding its temperature rating; also called ampacity.

Cut-Through Resistance
The ability of a material to withstand mechanical pressure usually a sharp edge or small radius without separation.

Cycle
The complete sequence including reversal of the flow of alternating electric current.