Machine Tool Wire: Understanding MTW and UL1015

Machine Tool Wire, or most commonly referred to as MTW, is a stranded flexible hook up wire. MTW is used for the internal wiring of appliances including refrigeration equipment, automatic washers, air-conditioning equipment, control wiring for machine tools and in various other building applications.

Although machine tool wire is qualified for many wiring applications it is a simply constructed wire that is made up of a highly stranded bare copper conductor. This high stranding of bare copper gives the wire its superior flexibility compared to that of THHN building wire. The bare copper conductor helps to keep the overall cost of the wire down as opposed to its sister Thermoplastic Equipment Wire, or TEW that is made with tinned copper conductors. The difference of bare copper vs. tinned copper gives the installer the option to choose depending on the application and personal preference of the individual. The tinning is to assist in the soldering process during installation and to help defend against corrosion. The jacket compound on MTW is usually a tough durable Polyvinylchloride (PVC). This compound allows the cable to be heat, moisture, and oil-resistant.

Machine tool wire is available in a wide range of conductor sizes, but most commonly from 26awg all the way larger sizes like 2awg. It is typically rated for use up to 600/1000 volts and for temperatures up to 105 degrees Celsius in a dry location. TEW, is rated up to 105 degrees Celsius in a dry location. MTW is UL listed and CSA listed for TEW or AWM. UL gives MTW/TEW different style numbers from UL1007, UL1015, UL1032, UL1063 and others depending on voltage rating to temperature range.

UL1015 has increased in popularity over the last decade. Similar to other MTW styles, UL1015 is used as a lead/hook up wire for internal wiring in appliances and electronic equipment. UL1015 is distinguished by its voltage and temperature rating. With the voltage rate of 600 and a temperature rating of 105 degrees Celsius, UL1015 lends itself to use in various types of equipment. UL 1015 is manufactured with stranded, solid, tinned, and bare copper conductors. Its PVC Insulation creates a chemical, flame and moisture resistant barrier.

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