Automotive cable is measured using the American Wire Gauge system, although on occasion, some manufacturers have used the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineering) gauge system for displaying the wire size. Wire gauge is the measurement of how large a wire is in diameter (also know as the cross sectional area). Wire gauge is applicable to both electrical and non-electrical wires.
American Wire Gauge is the standard wire gauge system used in the United States. AWG measures the non-ferrous round conductor sizes of the wire. The wire numbers and gauge sizes have an inverse relationship. The higher the gauge number, the smaller and thinner the wire size. Wire sizes that are larger than zero are indicated by the number of zeros followed by a backslash and a 0 (zero). For example, 0000 is written as 4/0. The table below shows the gauge size and the cross sectional measurement of automotive cable under the American Wire Gauge system.
Automotive cable with American Wire Gauge measurements
|AWG||Metric (mm2)||Circular Mil|
SAE Wire Gauge, determined by the Society of Automotive Engineering, is the wire standard used in the automotive and boating industries. The main difference between the two is the diameter of the conductor part of the cable. SAE Wire Gauge sizes are somewhere between 5 to 12 percent smaller than the same AWG size. SAE wires are also generally stiffer, since they have fewer but larger gauge strands.
Automotive cable with SAE Wire Gauge measurements
|SAE Wire Gauge||Metric (mm2)||Circular Mil|
Aside from using the American Wire Gauge or SAE Wire Gauge systems, certain automotive cable manufacturers will use three numbers for the wire gauge sizes. A size of "4/0 - 364/30" indicates the gauge size as well as the strand count. "4/0 - 364/30" simply refers to a 4 AWG cable made with 364 strands of 30 AWG wire. The reason this sizing is used is because wire sized using the SAE Wire Gauge have larger and fewer strands than those sized using the standard American Wire Gauge. By indicating the strand count and the gauge of each strand, people will know the exact size of the strands for their automotive cable.
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