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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


Designation for heavy duty, rubber insulated portable cord. Stranded copper conductors with separator and individual rubber insulation. Two or more color-coded conductors cabled with filler, wrapped with separator and rubber jacketed overall, 600V.

S Cord

Cord used for sturdy construction requirements such as vacuum cleaners, motors, washing machines or portable tools such as electric drills. These cords consist of two or more stranded conductors with a serving between the copper and the insulation to prevent the fine strands from sticking to the insulation. Fillers are twisted together with the conductors to make a round assembly. A jacket of high quality rubber covers the complete cord.

S/N Ratio

Signal-to-noise ratio. Useful information in a single (optical or electrical) compared to the noise that tends to interfere with transmission of information.


Designation for silicone asbestos insulated, 90°C (140°F), dry and damp locations, 200°C (392°F) special applications.


Designation for Solid Aluminum Conductor.

Sacrificial Protection

Corrosion prevention by coupling a metal to one that is more electrochemically active in the environment, which is sacrificed.

Safety Factor

The ratio of the maximum stress something can withstand to the estimated stress it can withstand. For instance, for a wire rope it would be the ratio of its break­ing strength to the total permiss­ible rope stress. Note: safety factor can also refer to other forces, such as voltage.

Sag Snub

The point where a conductor is temporarily attached to a stationary object to allow tension to be applied to the conductor during the sagging process.

Sag, Conductor

The vertical distance between a suspended conductor and an imaginary straight line connecting the points of suspension. Sag may be measured at the mid point between the suspensions, the lowest point of the conductor or any specified point.

Sag, Final

Sag under specified conditions after the conductor has experienced non-elastic elongation from ice and wind loads as well as long term creep (permanent non-elastic elongation due to constant stress) if applicable.

Sag, Initial

Sag generally specified at a given temperature (ambient or conductor) prior to external ice or wind loads and long-term creep (permanent non-elastic elongation due to constant stress).

Sag, Maximum

Sag at the midpoint between two supports that are at the same elevation. If the attachment points are not at the same elevation, the maximum sag occurs at some calculated offset from the mid-span.

Sag, Total

Sag generally specified at a given temperature (ambient or conductor) including all external mechanical loads such as ice and/or wind and long-term creep.

Salt Bath Annealing

See Annealing, Salt Bath.

Salt Spray Test

A test to detect localized corro­sion in stainless and coated steel wires, samples are sometimes exposed in a suitable container to a mist produced by atomizing a 20 percent salt solution. See ASTM B 117 specification.


One or more units of product (or a relatively small quantity of a bulk material) that is withdrawn from a lot or process stream, and that is tested or inspected to provide information about the properties, dimensions or other quality characteristics of the lot or process stream. Not to be confused with specimen.


A process that uses the reaction between a fat (triglycerides) and a base, such as sodium or potassium hydroxide, to produce “soap.” The chemical reaction in which an ester is heated with an aqueous alkali such as sodium hydroxide to form an alcohol and the sodium salt of the acid corresponding to the ester.

Sapphire Die

See Dies, Ruby.

Satin Finish

The finish obtained by mechanically brushing the surface with wire bristle brushes or by buffing with suitable abrasive. See Scratch Brushed Finish.


Designation for Slow Burning wire. Three cotton braids, impregnated 90°C (140°F).

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