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IEC 60228: Wikis


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IEC 60228 is the International Electrotechnical Commission's international standard on conductors of insulated cables.

Among other things, it defines a set of standard wire cross-sectional areas:

International standard wire sizes (IEC 60228)
0.5 mm2 0.75 mm2 1 mm2 1.5 mm2 2.5 mm2 4 mm2
6 mm2 10 mm2 16 mm2 25 mm2 35 mm2 50 mm2
70 mm2 95 mm2 120 mm2 150 mm2 185 mm2 240 mm2
300 mm2 400 mm2 500 mm2 630 mm2 800 mm2 1000 mm2

In engineering applications, it is often most convenient to describe a wire in terms of its cross-section area, rather than its diameter, because the cross section is directly proportional to its strength and weight, and inversely proportional to its resistance. The cross-sectional area is also related to the maximum current that a wire can carry safely.

This document is one considered Fundamental in that it does not contain reference to any other standard.


Also Known As

This document is equivalent to:

  • CEI 60228
  • EN 60228


The document describes several aspects of the conductors for electrical cables



This refers to the flexibility of a conductor

  • Class 1: Solid conductor
  • Class 2: stranded conductor intended for fixed instalation
  • Class 5: Flexible conductor
  • Class 6: Very Flexible conductor


The nominal(see below) cross-sectional area for standard conductors including the following:

  • Class 2: Minimum number of strands required to make particular conductor size
  • Class 5&6: Maximum diameter of any component strand of the conductor


The required maximum resistance (in ohms/km)of each conductor size, class and type (both plain copper and metal coated)

Purpose of the document


This document and its precursors were created due to a need for a standard definition of cable conductor size. The main problem being that not all copper has the same resistivity value, so, for example, a 4mm^2 conductor from two different suppliers may have different resistance values. Instead this document describes conductors by their nominal size.

Nominal Size

This is the size of a conductor determined by its resistance rather than its physical dimensions. This is a key distinction as it makes a standardised definition of conductors based solely on their electrical characteristics.

Almost all characteristics of conductors, resistance, current carrying capacity etc are independent of the physical dimensions of the conductor. However this document allows an easy reference whereby the standard conductor sizes and reference to physical dimensions are maintained but given an exact meaning in terms of the electrical characteristics of a conductor.

See also


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