Convert AWG to MM With a Square Wire Gauge
The American Wire Gauge (AWG) system is based on the area of a wire's circular cross section, allowing electricians and engineers to quickly calculate the resistance and relative capacity of one gauge vis-a-vis another.
However, because π(an irrational number) is used to calculate the area of a circle from its diameter, there is an inherent degree of imprecision within these results. To resolve the pi dilemma, some manufacturers in Europe have begun producing wire with a square cross section.
While there may not be a way to completely reconcile these two different standards of precision, you can use arithmetic to map the AWG system onto the metric square gauge system with reasonable accuracy.
1. Determine the cross sectional area for the AWG size in question. As below it is a complete chart of AWG sizes and their respective areas, The units used in this chart are square millimeters.
2. Enter the area into your calculator and press the square root key (often denoted "sqrt" or with the square root symbol itself).
3. Round the result to the nearest tenth of a millimeter. For example, if the result is 2.034 mm, round it to 2.0 mm. If the result is 4.568 mm, round it to 4.6 mm.
While some wire manufacturers can fabricate custom sizes of square wire (for a premium price), the standard range is between 0.015 and 0.125 of an inch (0.145 square mm and 10.08 square mm, respectively). This range of cross sectional areas correlates to a range of AWG sizes between 7 and 25.
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