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July/August 2010

Code Word Names

Code words have historically been used in the electrical conductor industry as a simple method of identifying the construction details of an overhead conductor product. A proposed new ASTM standard will list code word names and provide a means to register and publish new code words.

WK28737, Specification for Electrical Overhead Conductor Code Word Names, is being developed by Subcommittee B01.07 on Conductors of Light Metals. B01.07 is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee B01 on Electrical Conductors.

“The proposed standard will provide an index to identify code word names and identify the appropriate ASTM standard applicable to the conductor design,” says Gordon Baker, manager, applications engineering, General Cable Corp., and a past chairman of B01. There are specific Canadian designs that will also be included, along with a reference to the appropriate Canadian Standards Association standard.

According to Baker, code name words have a system. For example, in North America, a flower code word name is an all aluminum conductor, while a city code word is an all aluminum alloy conductor.

“The code word name identifies the conductor diameter and mass as well as the conductor stranding,” says Baker. “It is like a universal catalog number for a specific conductor type.”


Technical Information: Gordon Baker, General Cable Corp., Highland Heights, Ky.

Phone: 859-572-8493

ASTM Staff: Jennifer Rodgers

Phone: 610-832-9694