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Magnet Wire


  • All insulated conductors manufactured in accordance with NEMA MW 1000, generally of the types used in the creation of an electromagnetic field.
  • Excluded are bare electrical conductors of all shapes

What is Magnet Wire?

Magnet wire is an insulated electrical conductor, most commonly copper or aluminum that when wound into a coil and energized creates a useful electrical field. Electricity is essentially useless without magnet wire. 90% of all electrical energy requires modification through the use of a magnet to be of use.

The primary end users of magnet wire products include the automotive, ballast, motor, generator, and transformer industries.

Technical Activities

NEMA MW 1000, Magnet Wire

The primary driver of the Magnet Wire Section is its technical work. The Section's Technical Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of ANSI/NEMA MW 1000, Magnet Wire. Committee members strive to make NEMA MW 1000 technically accurate, editorially error free, and recognized throughout the world as the premier standard for the construction and testing of magnet wire and magnet wire packaging.

A wealth of information on this standard can be found at the MW 1000 homepage, including how to best use it, and a summary of revisions that have been made to the current edition and the rationale for each revision.

MW 1000-2016 is available for purchase in hard copy, pdf or on CD-ROM. It supersedes the 2015 edition.

Relevant Standards and Publications:

NEMA standards and publications relevant to the magnet wire industry include:

ANSI/MW 1000-2016
Magnet Wire

MW 785-2001 (Reaffirmed through 2016, to be revised in 2017)
Simulated Insertion Test for Film Insulated Round Magnet Wire

MW 765-2003 (Reaffirmed through 2018)
Reclaiming of Magnet Wire Packaging

MW 750-2014
Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Film Insulated Magnet Wire

MW 820-2016

Conductor Softness Testing Methods

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC):

The Magnet Wire Section strongly supports US industry involvement in IEC activity. IEC Technical Committee No. 55, Winding wires, is responsible for publication and maintenance of all IEC winding wire specifications and test methods.

TC 55 met most recently on October 7, 2016 in conjunction with the IEC General Meeting in Frankfurt. The next meeting is scheduled for 2019 in conjunction with the IEC General Meeting in China.

TC 55 Working Group 1, Specification sheets, is responsible for developing and maintaining specifications and test procedures for winding wires. It last met on October 7, 2016 in Frankfurt and will meet in fall, 2017 in Madrid and in fall, 2018 in Las Vegas.

TC 55 Working Group 2, Winding wire spools, is responsible for developing and maintaining specifications for winding wire delivery spool dimensions and test methods.

Currently, the United States National Committee (USNC) to the IEC holds the Secretariat for TC 55. The Magnet Wire Section funds NEMA staff to fulfill the day-to-day Secretarial responsibilities. The Section also funds US Delegate representation at IEC TC 55 meetings, and US Expert attendance at WG1 meetings.

NEMA also holds the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Secretariat to TC 55. This TAG serves as the mechanism for establishing US positions on TC 55 standards actions.

Liaisons with outside organizations

American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM International)
NEMA periodically considers adopting ASTM test procedures critical for determining compliance with magnet wire product performance requirements, given the disbanding of the ASTM D 9.10 subcommittee for magnet wire insulation.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)
The Technical Committee has a longstanding dialogue with UL to help meet the need for safe operating magnet wire products and insulation systems. This liaison has also ensured that requirements and administrative procedures associated with UL Component Recognition of magnet wire enamels are not overburdening to magnet wire manufacturers. The Committee is also active in maintenance work for UL Standard 1446, Systems of Insulation Materials-General.

Go here for UL Guide Card information on UL Recognized magnet wire-component.

For questions on NEMA MW 1000 or any magnet wire technical subject or activity, contact:

Mike Leibowitz
Program Manager
(703) 841-3264

Safety, Health and Environment

The Magnet Wire Section maintains a very active Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Committee that is focused on several key issues including the effort to de-list copper from the Toxic Inventory of Solid Waste, Clean Air Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standard, and evaluating a number of other EPA and DOE legislation and its impact on the industry.

Marketing Economics

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

NEMA 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.

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.


Membership in the NEMA Magnet Wire Section is currently open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture of magnet wire in North America.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. The Magnet Wire Section therefore, establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget.


Related Manufacturers

Related Standards

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