Solid Vs Stranded

Electrical wires are either solid or stranded conductors. Solid conductors are exactly that, one solid wire. Stranded conductors consist of a wire made of a number of smaller wire strands Fundamentals of Electricitywrapped around each other.

The choice between solid or stranded depends on the need for flexibility in handling and working with the wire. Smaller electrical wire sizes are generally made of solid conductors while wires larger than Number 6 AWG are generally stranded. The cross section area or circular mill size of a stranded conductor is equivalent to that of a solid conductor for the same designated wire size. This means when looking at a Number 10 stranded wire or solid wire, the Number 10 stranded will look slightly larger in diameter but has the exact same cross section area of conductive material as the solid wire.

Extension Cord Picture Extension cords are made of stranded wires since they require flexibility allowing the cord to be bent and twisted without stressing the electrical wires.