Daily Archives: May 30, 2016

All Your Mil Spec Wire Needs

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Wire and Cable Can Help You

Wire and cable companies have the unique privilege and responsibility of supplying materials to important applications ranging from medical fields to military defense. Common requirements of military or aerospace wire and cables include tensile strength, longevity, temperature resistance, purity of materials, conductivity, and a host of other factors. Let’s examine each of these properties that custom cables and wires must possess in order to serve the function these wires are designed to fulfill.

When it comes to Mil Spec wire, there are specific regulations that the wire has to adhere to in order to perform to the level it is required to perform to. Here are a few things that you should know before buying mil spec wire for your application.

What is Mil-Spec wire?

This wire is a wire that has been built specifically for use by the military. It has been designed to withstand the harshest environments and continue to perform as intended. This is to ensure that military personnel are always connected to the communications or operations devices they need to do their jobs.

The primary use of Mil-Spec wire?

There are a number of applications where mil spec wire can be beneficial. The main benefit to using mil spec wire is that the shielding and insulation used to protect the wire from intense heat, harsh cold, and a variety of other conditions provide exceptional conduction of a wide range of electrical signals. It is because of these properties that the United States Armed Forces, Boeing, and many other large, high tech companies depend on mil spec wire to provide the electrical connections they need. Failure is simply not an option.

The essence of using Mil-Spec wire even though you are not in the military

There are a number of civilian uses for mil spec wire. Scientists working with sensitive equipment working in harsh environments like Antarctica find mil spec wire particularly useful. They can also be used in industrial operations in high heat applications where other high temperature wire options would fail. It is important to discuss your needs with a qualified wiring specialist to determine whether you will derive any benefit from using mil spec wire over other commercial wire options.

The meaning of different Mil-Spec numbers next to different sets of identification numbers.

There are several different ways that mil spec wires are categorized and measured. While manufacturers have used a military based standards system for quite some time, several mil spec wire grades are now being transitioned to non-government bodies to standardize. These include the National Electrical Manufacturers Association or the Society of Automotive Engineers. In order to determine whether the wire you are considering are standardized by the government or by another agency, look for a NEMA or SAE seal. This indicates the latter.

Whether you are looking for mil spec wire for non-military purposes or are a civilian military contractor looking for mil spec wire that conforms to the regulations required by the U.S. Government, the only place you need to go is Olympic Wire and Cable. Olympic Wire and Cable has a large selection of mil spec wire to ensure that they have the wire you need at an affordable price. military spec wire, mil spec cable.

All these critical qualities of military wires and cables as well as mil spec heat shrink tubing play an integral role when operational requirements call for specified and tangible results in the context of aerospace, defense, and medical applications. And since these applications by nature have high standards of performance due to the stakes involved for each respective industry, experts in this specific field of custom cables and wires manufacturing are usually the ones who handle these requirements for NASA, government agencies, and various medical practices.
Wire and Cable Approvals

It seems as though every wire now a days has a number of different approvals. But the ultimate question is what exactly do these approvals mean? “UL” is short for the Underwriters Laboratories and is one of the many certifications and approvals that a manufacturer can get on their product. There are also Mil-Spec approved products, as well as, CSA approvals just to name a few. There are other third party companies that also test and certify products as well.

UL Approvals

The UL is an independent, not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization that certifies, validates, tests, inspects, and even audits companies and products. Each time a product is certified by UL the company has agreed to periodic audits of their products and factory. UL also continues to retest products to make sure the product is continued to be high quality. The product will remain certified until the manufacturer requests it be terminated or the product fails to fulfill a requirement.


Mil-Spec approval is short for Military Specifications. Originally this approval was meant to help standardize objectives by the Department of Defense. The wires and cables that meet these specifications are suitable for the demanding applications and are made to withstand extreme conditions. This does not make each wire perfect for every job. Just like wires that are not Mil-Spec, they also have certain applications where they work the best.


CSA Group is short for the Canadian Standards Association. They are an internationally known company. The company is a standards development organization. They test products to make sure that the products actually meet the claims of the manufacturer. For a cableand wire manufacturer to be able to sell their products in the US, they need to be tested and approved by a third part agency. This is what CSA does, they test a manufacturer’s product to make sure the wires and cables meet certain standards as well as the claims made by the manufacturer.

Typically each of the approvals comes from a different third party company that tests and regulates products. These approval companies are not government run, they are not for profit, and are independent. These companies test manufacturers products so that the customer can be sure that the wire or cable is going to perform as promised. Customers can be sure that the products with these approvals are going to be able to withstand the correct temperatures and voltage levels as well.