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Wire Ampacity

High Current Testing

Several things can go wrong when a wire or cable is subjected to an electrical current exceeding its design limitation and none of them are good. These include, but are not limited to, melting of the insulation, smoking, insulation degradation, promotion of intermetallic growth between the plating and conductor, melting of the conductor, melting of the conductor plating, and conductor embrittlement. Thankfully, if the wire/cable is being used within its temperature and current ratings, the wire should experience very little of the above phenomena. Read more

Maximum Harness Ampacity

The fundamental concept here is harness ampacity: the maximum amount of current transferred down a wire harness without exceeding the temperature rating for any component. Read more

Circuit Protection Selection Guidance

Circuit protection devices have existed since 1864; one would think that selection of circuit protection would be a straight forward task. However, it is not. NASA developed a seven-step process for circuit protection selection and both EN3179 and AS50881 provide some guidance. In a past article, Lectromec began to consider the differences between two major […] Read more

How to Derate a Wire Harness

One of the question that we frequently receive at Lectromec is regarding the derating of wire harnesses. For those unfamiliar with the topic, we have covered this extensively in past articles. The quick summary of this is that due to the temperature rating of a wire, there is only a certain amount of electrical current […] Read more

Ampacity Improvements

When electrical current flows down a conductor, it gets warm due to resistive heating. The more current that flows, the warmer the conductor gets. Depending on the wire gauge, conductor conductivity, and ambient temperature of the wire location, the conductor temperature reaches the maximum certified temperature. This maximum electrical current is where the outward heat […] Read more

How to prevent overheating of wire harnesses in space

In the aircraft industry, a lot of effort goes into thermal management of the electrical wire interconnection system (EWIS). If not effectively managed, systems fail to operate and may lead to failures. A recent example of this is the case with the Boeing 787 battery issues (read the Report on Boeing 787 […] Read more