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High Performance Wire and Cable

The NEMA High Performance Wire and Cable Section develops technical standards and guidelines in four areas:

  • Aerospace
  • Electronics/communication
  • Premise wiring
  • Shipboard

The section also works to influence government affairs and trade issues, and has the capability to collect market statistics and develop marketing programs along industry product lines.

Specific technical activities include:

  • EAW– Electronic Appliance Wires - NEMA WC 73
  • Aerospace– Maintains a number of NEMA Standards amongst each the most popular are HP 3 and HP 4, WC 27500. The Committee is also looking to transport other mil specs into voluntary NEMA Standards.
  • PremiseANSI/NEMA WC 66/ICEAS-116-732 – Standard For Category 6 And 6A, 100 Ohm, Individually Unshielded Twisted Pairs, Indoor Cables (With Or Without An Overall Shield) For Use In LAN Communication Wiring Systems
  • Shipboard– NEMA is working with NAVSEA to update documents that eventually will be transferred to NEMA as voluntary standards.

The Section maintains a liaison with American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM), Building Industry Consulting Services Inc. (BICSI), Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Defense Industry Supply Center, Naval Air Warfare Center, Naval Air Sea Command, Society Aeronautical Engineers, Telecommunications Industry Association and UL.


  • Wires and cables, produced to both domestic and international standards and specifications, which are used primarily with devices which produce, transmit, receive, detect, distribute, control, record, or modify electrical signals and power.
  • Specifically included are insulated signal and communications wire and cable, including voice and data types used for internal premises wiring, and such products as coaxial cable, microphone cable, hookup wire, appliance wiring material, multiconductor electronic cable, flat cable, motor lead wire, power-limited circuit cable, CATV drop and trunk lines, thermocouple wire, shipboard, airframe, automotive, and transit wire and cable.
  • Excluded are exterior telephone (distribution) cables and other wire and cable types, which are specifically included in the scope of any other NEMA product section.

Click here for detailed product scope information.

Technical Activities

Standards play a vital part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international commerce. Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in product, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product for his particular need.

NEMA devotes much of its time, effort, and resources to voluntary standardization activities. Many NEMA standards are approved as American National Standards under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute.

  1. The High Performance Wire and Cable section technical activity is performed by 4 technical committees:
    • Aerospace Wires and Cables
    • Shipboard Wires and Cables
    • Electronic Appliance Wires (EAW)
    • Premise Wires and Cables – communication cables.

The meetings are attended by a substantial number of invited guests from the major jacket materials and core cable industries as well as NAVY representatives and large military contractors. For the commercial oriented activities of the last two committees National Recognized Testing Laboratories representatives attend meetings regularly.

  1. Standards the section is responsible for, by technical committee, include:
    • Aerospace

Develops and maintains voluntary NEMA Standards that evolved from military specs or were developed at the military requests. Relevant standards in the Committee purview are:

    • WC 27500 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Aerospace and Industrial Electrical Cable
    • HP 3 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Electrical & Electronic PTFE Insulated High Temperature Hook-Up Wire Types 600 V, EE 1000 V, ET 250 V
    • HP 4 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Electrical & Electronic FEP Insulated High Temperature Hook-up Wire, Types K, KK and KT
    • HP 5 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Electrical and Electronic Crosslinked, Modified Polyethylene (XLPE) Insulated 125°C Hook-Up Wire, Types L (600 V), LL (1000 V), and LX (3000 V)
    • HP 6 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Electrical and Electronic Silicone and Silicone Braided Insulated,
    • Hook-Up Wire, Types S (600 V), ZHS (600 V), SS (1000 V), ZHSS (1000 V), SSB Braided (1000 V)
    • HP7 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Electrical and Electronic PVC, PVC/Nylon, and PE/Nylon 105ºC Hook-Up Wire, Types B, C, D, BN, CN, and DN (600, 1000, and 3000 V), and Types J and JN 75ºC (600V)”
    • HP 8 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Electrical and Electronic Crosslinked, Modified Low Smoke Polyolefin (XLPO) Insulated Hook-Up Wire, Types LS (105°C-600 V), ZHDM (90°C-600 V), ZHDH (90°C-600 V), ZH (125°C-600 V), and ZHX (125°C-1000 V)
    • WC 55021 ANSI/NEMA Standard for Standard for Military Internal Electrical Cable
    • WC 52 NEMA Standard for High Temperature & Electronic Insulated Wire - Impulse Dielectric Testing
    • WC 56 NEMA Standard for High Temperature & Electronic Insulated Wire- Impulse Dielectric Testing
    • WC 62 NEMA Standard for Repeated Spark/Impulse Dielectric Testing
    • · WC 65 NEMA Standard for A Reasoned Approach to Solving Solderability Problems with Tin-Coated Nickel-Coated Stranded Conductors in High Performance Wire & Cable Applications
    • WC 67 NEMA /ANSI Standard for Uninsulated Conductors Used in Electrical & Electronic Applications
    • WC 72 NEMA Standard for Continuity of Testing for Electrical Conductors
    • WC 75 NEMA Standard for Controlled Impedance

Currently the Aerospace Committee is in the final stages of approval for the following documents:

- Shipboard -

The Committee is also very active in helping NAVSEA improve its mil specs.

Presently targeted are a number of documents such as

MIL-DTL-24640 Military Specification, Cables, Light-Weight, Electric, For Shipboard Use MIL-DTL-24643 Detail Specification: Cables, Electric, Low Smoke Halogen-Free, For Shipboard Use General Specification For MIL-DTL-915 CABLE, POWER ELECTRICAL, 600 VOLTS, FOR OUTBOARD USE ONLY (NOT FOR INB0ARD USE), TYPE THOF

- Electronic Appliance Wires (EAW)

The committee is responsible for:

  • WC 73 Standard for Wire Selection Guidelines for Wires Rated at 200-450ºC
  • HP 100 Standard for High Temperature Instrumentation and Control Cables

- Premise Wires and Cables

Standards in purview of this committee are:

  • WC 63.1 NEMA Performance Standard For Twisted Pair Premise Voice And Data Communications Cables
  • WC 63.2 ANSI / NEMA Performance Standard for Coaxial Premise Data Communications Cables
  • ANSI/NEMA WC 66/ICEAS-116-732 - Standard For Category 6 And 6A, 100 Ohm, Individually Unshielded Twisted Pairs, Indoor Cables (With Or Without An Overall Shield) For Use In LAN Communication Wiring Systems
  1. The Appliance Wire committee is very involved in the standardization activities of UL 758 as well as its Canadian counterpart CSA 220.2.

Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. NEMA's work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Government Affairs homepage members can search for and e-mail federal representatives to convey opinions regarding energy policy or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA Government Affairs provides specific services to its members and information in the areas of Environment, Health & Safety; Energy; and International Trade & Commerce.

Market Economics

Through NEMA, member companies are able to develop and implement tailored, industry-specific market and statistical programs that benefit participating companies. Reports may include:

  • Product orders and sales
  • Market forecasting
  • Shipments by trading areas
  • Channels of distribution
  • Financial and operating ratios
  • Wages and benefits
  • Foreign trade

The association also conducts economic analyses on the impact of legislation and regulations on member products, and monitors and reports on key industry market indicators. All programs comply with NEMA statistical confidentiality policies. For more information, please see Business & Economy.


Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget.

For more information on joining NEMA or this section, please see the membership center.


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