American wire gauge (AWG) is a standard wire gauge system used predominantly in the United States and Canada for the diameters of a single non-ferrous, solid, round conductor. Increasing gauge numbers give decreasing wire diameters.
Single core and stranded
The cross-sectional area of each gauge is an important factor for determining its current-carrying capacity and resistance. The AWG of a stranded wire is determined by the total cross-sectional area of the conductor. Because there are also small gaps between the strands, a stranded wire will be about 5% thicker than a solid wire with the same AWG.
AWG/Metric wire size equivalents and ampacities
In Europe, wire size is expressed as the number of strands and cross sectional area in mm2. For example. 7/0.2 means 7 strands of wire each 0.2mm diameter. In America the AWG numbering scheme is applied not only to individual strands but also to equivalent size bunches of smaller strands. For example. 24 AWG could be made of 1 strand of 24 AWG wire (1/24) or 7 strands of 32 AWG wire (7/32). Standard metric wire sizes do not correspond exactly to American wire sizes. The table below provides approximations of the closest equivalents for the wires most commonly found in the audio industry. The rated ampacities are just rule of thumb.
|AWG||Conductor ø (mm)||AWG stranding||Metric stranding||Max A for wiring||Maximum A for power|
|32||0.20||1/32, 7/40, 19/44||1/0.2, 7/0.08||0.53||0.091|
|30||0.25||1/30, 7/38, 19/42||1/0.25, 7/0.1||0.86||0.142|
|28||0.32||1/28, 7/36, 19/40||1/0.315, 7/0.125||1.4||0.226|
|26||0.40||1/26, 7/34, 19/38||1/0.4, 7/0.15, 19/0.1||2.2||0.361|
|24||0.53||1/24, 7/32, 19/36||1/0.5, 7/0.2, 19/0.12, 30/0.1||3.5||0.577|
|22||0.64||1/22, 7/30, 19/34||1/0.6, 7/0.25, 19/0.15, 30/0.12||7||0.92|
|20||0.81||1/20, 7/28, 19/32||16/0.2, 44/0.12||11||1.5|
|18||0.98||1/18, 19/30, 33/32||19/0.25, 24/0.2, 96/0.1||16||2.3|
- ^ ASTM Standard B 258-02, Standard specification for standard nominal diameters and cross-sectional areas of AWG sizes of solid round wires used as electrical conductors, ASTM International, 2002
- ^ Metric/AWG wire size equivalents
- ^ Wire gauge and current limits including skin depth and strength, PowerStream Technology
- Donald G. Fink and H. Wayne Beaty, Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers, Eleventh Edition,McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978, ISBN 0-07-020974-X, page 4-18 and table 4-11.
- Wire-Size Gauge (AWG) vs. Resistance…what’s REALLY with this AWG stuff? by Dave Wissel