(American Wiring Gauge) A U.S. measurement standard of the diameter of non-ferrous wire, which includes copper and aluminum. In general, the thicker the wire, the greater the current-carrying capacity and the longer the distance it can span.The smaller the AWG number, the thicker the wire. While it seems a contradictory measurement, it is because the metal is pulled through a series of increasingly smaller dies to create the final wire size. The AWG number is the number of dies. The more dies, the larger the number and the smaller the diameter.Wire used for communications typically ranges from 18 to 26 AWG. For electric service, number 10, 12 and 14 AWG wires are typically used from the electric panel to the outlets. Number 8 and 10 AWG are used for home appliances such as an electric range or dryer.
The standard measurement of gauge in United States for all metals other than iron and steel.The gauge numbers are retrogressive; in other words, the larger the number, the thinner the conductor. The AWG number indicates the approximate number of wires that, laid side-byside, span one inch. Historically, the AWG number indicated the number of times during the manufacturing process that the copper wire was cold drawn through the wire machine, with each draw involving a die of slightly smaller diameter in order to reduce the diameter of the wire a bit more.The contemporary process involves many fewer draws. A 24-gauge (AWG) wire, for example, has a diameter of 0.0201 in. (0.511mm), a weight of 1.22 lbs/kft (1.82 kg/km), maximum break strength of 12.69 lbs (5.756 kg), and DC resistance ohms of 25.7/kft (84.2/km). Twisted-pairs commonly employed in telco networks vary from 19 to 28 gauge, with the most common being 24 gauge. Table A-3 provides diameter, weight, and resistance comparisons of bare copper wire gauges.AWG originally was known as Brown and Sharp (B&S) Wire Gauge. See also gauge, Imperial Standard Wire Gauge, and metric gauge.