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Glossary of Industry Terms

This page explains some of the frequently used industry abbreviations you may encounter on our website, catalogues or technical information.

AC
AWG
EMF
EMC
EMI
IP
LDR
mPPE
pF
RC
RE
RFI
RG
SMD
SWG
uF
WEEE

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AC

Alternating current - a signal in which the current and voltage vary in a repeating pattern over time. Most transformers receive alternating current.

 

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AWG

American Wire Gauge is a standardised system of measuring the diameter of solid, round, non-ferrous, electrically conducting wire. The higher the AWG number, the thinner the wire. AWG is widely used and understood throughout the global wire industry.

 

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EMF

Electromotive force. The force which tends to cause current to flow.

 

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EMC

Electro-magnetic compatibility refers to the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy. The goal of EMC is the correct operation, such as enclosures, of different equipment in the same electromagnetic environment.

 

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EMI

The unwanted effects of EMC can be defined as EMI or Electromagnetic interference. Enclosures are rigorously tested in order to need to meet industry standards governing the reduction of EMI.

 

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IP

IP (International Protection) Ratings is a classification system providing a clear indication of a product's protection against the intrusion of human or environmental agents, such as water. Each of the two digits of an IP code relates to a specific risk.

 

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LDR

Light dependent resistors are useful in light/dark sensor circuits. Normally the resistance of LDRs are very high, but when illuminated with light their resistance drops dramatically.

 

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mPPE

Modified polyphenylene ether is a material that provides a safer and more environmentally friendly form of wire insulation than PVC. More flame resistant than PVC, mPPE also contains no heavy metal pigments, helping manufacturers meet WEEE requirements.

 

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pF

A picofarad, or trillionth of a farad, in capacitor values.

 

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RC

The abbreviation 'RC' in a product description certifies that the product is RoHS compliant. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive requires that all new electronic products sold in the European Community after 1st July 2006 do not contain any of the following substances in quantities above certain prescribed levels - Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium and the PBB and PBDE families of flame retardents.

 

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RE

The abbreviation 'RE' in a product description indicates that the product is exempt from the RoHS legislation.

 

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RFI

A similar or indistinguishable phenomenon to EMI, radio frequency interference is a disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic conduction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source.

 

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RG

RG is the industry standard for measuring co-axial cable. The RG (Radio Guide) system was developed by the US Military in World War II, and although now obsolete is still accepted and a universally understood method of classifying co-axial cable. Click here to view a guide to RG values.

 

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SMD

Surface Mount Devices are electronic devices in which the components are mounted directly onto the surface of the printed circuit board.

 

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SWG

Standard Wire Gauge refers to a numbering system measuring the diameter of standard wire.

 

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uF

As a capacitor value, uF stands for one millionth of a Farad or a microFarad. Where the Greek character ยต is not available, u is an acceptable alternative.

 

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WEEE

A product which is WEEE compliant satisfies the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations, which came into force on 2nd January 2007. WEEE aims to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment going to landfill, by establishing guidelines for its safe collection, treatment, recycling and environmentally sound disposal.

For more information about RoHS and WEEE, please visit our dedicated minisite


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