Wire Markings Printed on Cables - What do they mean?


#1

Many ribbon and discrete cables have a random set of numbers, letters and icons printed on the jacket… this information is usually not a part number, but a set of standards that the wire complies with. Let’s walk through some examples on cable markings:

Ribbon Cable

Markings: 2651 E209329 ЯU 28AWG VW-1 105° 300V AWM I A R

2651

is a UL Style standard specific to PVC wire in a range of 14-36 awg in solid or stranded.

E209329

is the UL File Number which calls out a specific manufacturer compliance with the UL Standards. In this case, the file number is tied in with HOME SHUN INTERNATIONAL CO LTD.

ЯU

is a symbol for Underwriters Laboratories Recognized Component Mark. From the UL “Marks for North America” Page:

The component recognition marking is found on a wide range of products, including some switches, power supplies, printed wiring boards, some kinds of industrial control equipment and thousands of other products.

28 AWG

is the size of wire being used.

VW-1

is a fire safety flame test approval. From this Techflex article:

Many tests have been developed to measure the flame retardancy of wire and sleeving products. Fire
Safety Professionals look for the VW-1 mark along with the UL certification more than any other mark in
the United States. This is due to the tests unique ability to show that the materials that pass the test have
a highly reduced likely hood of contributing to a fire by supporting a flame for an extended duration. The
flame retardancy of a sleeving is often defined as the ability of a sleeving to cease burning once the source
of heat is removed.

105°

Temperature rating of cable before insulation begins to melt.

300V
  • Maximum voltage rating
AWM
  • Appliance Wiring Material, think of this as a specific standard pertaining to wiring under the UL umbrella.
I A R
  • Class I Group A for Canadian Standards Associations (CSA), The R may be RoHS compliancy

Flat Flex Cable

Markings: AXON CABLE ЯU AWM 2896 80C VW-1

Axon

Manufacturer

ЯU

UL logo

AWM 2896

Appliance Wiring material standard 2896

80C

80° Celsius temperature rating

VW-1

Fire Safety Test approval

Discrete Wire

Markings: E174416 ЯU AWM Style 1569 105° C or AWM 1007 80°C 300V VW-1 20AWG LL109360 CSA TR-64 90°C FT-1 ROHS

E174416

UL file for Hueson Corporation.

ЯU AWM Style 1569 105° C

UL standards for Style 1569 for 2-30 AWG solid or stranded wire in a PVC Jacket with a105 Degree Rating

or AWM 1007 80°C

UL Style 1007 at 80 degree rating.

So you may be asking yourself, why are there two wiring standards written on this cable? The answer to this is that this particular wire meets both! Style 1569 is pretty broad for wire gauges, but 1007 goes above and beyond by specifying a much narrower wire gauge range (16-32 AWG) but at the cost of a lower temperature rating. So it could be said that this wire meets Style 1569 but exceeds expectations and therefore qualifies for style 1007.

300V

300 Volt rating

VW-1

Fire standard

20AWG

Wire Gauge size

LL109360 CSA TR-64

Canadian Standards Association File Number 109360.

90°C

Temperature Rating set forth from CSA

FT-1

CSA Flame Test Approval

ROHS

RoHS compliancy - wire is compliant with environmental standards set forth in such standards.

Summary

As shown in the examples above none of the cable markings gave full disclosure about the type of wire used, the number of conductors, the pitch, length or application. If you need help researching your mystery cable, feel free to contact Digi-Key Application Engineering by posting to our Part Identification Page.

Helpful Links

Digi-Key Resources:

Agency Information:

Environmental Standards: