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The Book of Terms

The Book of TermsThe WJI Book of Wire & Cable Terms: an interactive experience of learning and sharing
This book, written by industry volunteers and containing more than 5,000 entries, is an asset for newcomers to wire and cable.

At the same time, it also represents an opportunity for industry veterans to give back by either updating or adding to the more than 5,000 entries. This is an honor system process. Entries/updates must be non-commercial, and any deemed not to be so will be removed. Share your expertise as part of this legacy project to help those who will follow. Purchase a printed copy here.


All   0-9   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

Q Factor

Ratio of coil reactance to effective coil resistance that is the measure of electrical loss in a coil.


Designation for Quality Assurance.


Designation for Qualified Products List, issued by the U.S. government.

QR Compounds

Silicone elastomers that are various polymers in which the main polymer chain consists of alternating silicone and oxygen atoms in combination with either methyl or phenyl. Some vinyl groups are introduced to facilitate peroxide crosslinking. Silicones have outstanding properties, especially resistance to high temperatures.


An assembly of four separately insulated conductors. May be either a multiple-twin quad in which two twisted pairs are twisted together, or a star quad in which four wires are twisted about a common axis. A cable containing a number of units each consisting of four twisted pairs about a common axis is known as a quad-pair cable. Also, a series-parallel combination of transistors with increased reliability because failure of one transistor will not disable the entire circuit.


Three-bay machine that can twist four wires together. They can be cable braided and shielded wires with varying lay lengths.

Quadruplex Cable

A cable composed of four conductors twisted together, usually three insulated with one bare neutral.


Having four conductors twisted together.


1) The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that relate to its ability to satisfy a given need (fitness-for-use concept of quality). 2) Degree of excellence of a product or service (comparative concept). Often determined subjectively by comparison against an ideal standard or against similar products or services available from other sources. 3) A quantitative evaluation of the features and characteristics of a product or service (quantitative concept).

Quality Assurance

All the planned and systematic actions to provide confidence that a product, service, structure, system or component will perform satisfactorily.

Quality Characteristic

Any dimension, mechanical property, physical property, functional characteristic or appearance characteristic that can be used as a basis for measuring the quality of a unit of product or service.

Quality Control

The segment of any operation concerned with the maintenance of high uniform standards on all materials manufactured.

Quality Designation, Steel

A ranking system for different quality standards for different applications of the same product. A quality name generally related to the intended application of wire (e.g., cold rolling quality, merchant quality, plating quality, special quality, etc.).

Quantitative Metallography

Determination of specific characteristics of a microstructure by making quantitative measurements on micrographs or metallographic images. Quantities so measured include volume concentration of phases, grain size, particle size or secondary phases and surface area-to-volume ratio of microconstituents.


A temper of nonferrous alloys characterized by tensile strength about midway between those of dead soft and half hard tempers.


See Quenching.

Quench Aging

Aging which follows rapid cooling.

Quench Cracking

Fracture of a metal during quenching from elevated temperature. Most frequently observed in hardened carbon steel, alloy steel, or tool steel parts of high hardness and low toughness. Cracks often emanate from fillets, holes, corners, or other stress raisers and result from high stresses due to the volume changes accompanying transformation to martensite.

Quench Fluids

The fluid used in quenching operations, which range from plain water, water-soluble oils to straight oils. The material used depends upon the final use application.

Quench Hardening

1) For alpha-beta alloys, like certain copper and titanium alloys, quench hardening is the process where the alloy is solution-treated and then quenched to develop a martensite-like structure. 2) For ferrous alloys, see Hardening.

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