Military Standards for Wire and Cable

Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by Kimberly Versaw

Military standards or military specifications are a group of specifications developed by various U.S. Government organizations, such as the Army and Navy.  The products under these Mil-Spec requirements are designed to be used in the harshest environments.  Because Mil-Spec products are designed for extreme conditions, Mil-Spec wire and cable can be used for an array of tasks that come in contact with extreme temperatures, chemicals and abrasion applications.  

The standards involving Mil-Spec wire and cable revolve around the design requirements such as material and construction of the wire or cable, as well as the performance requirements including functional requirements, environment type, and the intended application.  Areas where Mil-Spec electronic components are present include: shielding and protective covering, airframe wire, point to point wiring, antennas, bus-bar, ground wire, and bonding moving parts. Mil-Spec wire can be used in high frequency and high temperature applications.   These applications can be found in military ground vehicles, aircrafts, electrical devices, weapon systems, and more.

Within the realm of military specifications and standards, there are two organizations that that play a role for these government projects, NEMA and QPL.  NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) develops technical standards and public policy, where the QPL (Qualified Products List) identifies materials and suppliers who are approved for specific government projects without further documentation or testing.

Remember, when working on projects with agencies within the Department of Defense, there are requirements and regulations that must be kept in mind when specifying wire and cable.

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