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Oval Wires

Oval cross-section for better contact
  (-1)
(-1)
  [vote for,
against]

Most of the time, the ends of electrical wire are squished into terminal screws, wire-nuts, or other clamps. If the wire isn't squished down hard enough, you get very little contact.

If you started with oval cross sections, then you'd have more surface area in contact, leading to better connections, easier to install, & less risk of fire.

Square or flat cross sections may give better contact, but might be harder to manufacture & strip.

Put a line on the outside/insulation to show how to orient your wire-strippers in case it's not obvious.

sophocles, Jan 13 2004

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       +, though I'd go with square(ish). Oval may be tough to bend in one direction, which would get you into trouble in some situations. Squeezing the wire in two directions to make it square with round corners seems easy enough in manufacturing - just two set of rollers needed.
Worldgineer, Jan 14 2004
  

       Circular cables are MUCH easier to pull than any other shape. I prefer the option of developing better crimping and connection systems to maintain the conducting surface area.
I think that the extra labour involved in pulling the damned cables would be far more expensive. Besides all this, most crimping/connection manufacturers guarantee the cross section area of the conductor in their connection "when used correctly".
gnomethang, Jan 14 2004
  

       Redesign the terminal ends, leave the wire as it is.
noside, Jan 14 2004
  

       Having worked as an electrician for a couple of years out of high school... I'm with gnome and noside... Leave the wire round. Lots of advantages.   

       The biggest problem I see is making the wire "want" to bend in a certain way (bend at the minimum diameter)... In a long run or even a junction box with many conductors this just feels like a bad idea to me.
zigness, Mar 20 2004
  

       Would we then redesign all the wire strippers? I agree with noside, leave the wire be and redesign the connection points. Besides, contact is usually just fine with the round wire. I do enough electrical work to know. Wouldn't want to try to get a bunch of oval wires in a wire nut.
Nitehawk, Mar 23 2004
  

       hmm, could have advantages in solenoid design...
not-arf, Jun 26 2004
  

       How about just usin vice grips or even just a hammer to pre squash the wire
maxwellian, Jun 27 2004
  

       Because you would invalidate any guarantees from the terminal/crimp manufacturer, you would compromise the integrity of the conducter and you would be frowned upon by the installation/electrical engineer.
gnomethang, Jun 28 2004
  
      
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