Allied Encyclopedia: M3432 CO Cable

Allied EncyclopediaThe M3432 CO Cable specification covers a flexible mil spec cable that is found in many military and flexing applications. It is commonly used in portable tools and equipment, charging cables, and power and control cords. The “CO” shows that it is a “component cable.” MIL-DTL-3432 Cables are built to withstand extreme conditions and high temperatures.

M3432 Cables are offered in a wide range of conductor counts, flexibilities, and shielding options. Parts covered by this military specification are carried with maximum temperature ratings of 75°C, 80°C, and 90°C, and voltage ratings of 300 or 600 volts, as shown in the MIL-DTL-3432 detail specification sheets.

You can learn more about these cables by breaking down the part number. Mil-C-3432 part numbers can be broken down into seven sections:

  • Part Identification Number (PIN) – Each part number begins with “M3432,” showing that the part meets the M3432 mil spec.
  • Number of Conductors – The federal specification is followed by the number of conductors in the cable, not including the ground wires. The number always has 2 digits, so if the cable has less than 10 conductors, the number starts with a “0.”
  • Class – This section shows the duty and application of the cable. “L” stands for light duty, “M” is for medium duty and “H” is for heavy duty. The second letter tells you the application of the cable, such as “G” for general purpose and medium low temperature applications or “B” for low temperature, oil and weather resistant applications.
  • Flexibility – The flexibility of the cable is also shown with a letter. “S” is for semi-flexible, “F” is for flexible and “E” is for extra-flexible.
  • Conductor Data – The conductor data lets you know how many conductors in the cable are of the same AWG size. This number is followed by a slash and the conductors’ AWG size. If the cables are designed with conductors of different wire sizes, there will be multiple groups separated by a dash. So a cable with (6) 14 AWG conductors and (1) 8 AWG conductor would have “-6/14-1/8” in the part number. If the conductors are twisted together in a group, an “x” and the number of conductor groups will follow the AWG size.
  • Shielding under Jacket – M3432 CO Cable is available with a variety of shielding options. Each shielding design is specified in a different way:
    • Overall Shield – When the conductor groups share an overall shield, the part number will include the wire size and then “S x (number of groups)”
    • Individually Shielded Conductors – when each conductor of the same AWG size is individually shielded, it is marked with “SI.” When an individual conductor is shielded, it is marked with “S.”
    • Uninsulated Ground Drain Wires – the letter “R” is included after the wire size
    • Cabling – Conductor data is put in parentheses when conductors and groups are laid together underneath both jacket and jacket shield
    • Two Parallel Conductors – shown by the letter “F” immediately following the conductor number
    • Single Shielding – “SJ” is placed after parentheses
    • Double Shielding – “SSJ” follows the parentheses
    • No Shield – When there is no shield beneath the jacket, no letters are included in the part number
  • Outside diameter – To find the outside diameter of all M3432 cables, excluding parallel conductor cables, look at the four numbers after the conductor data. For parallel conductor cable, the major diameter is separated by the minor diameter with a slash. The outside diameter for both types of cable is given in mils (thousandths of an inch).

For example, let’s break down M3432-08-H L F (2/14SI-4/16-2/20S) SJ 0980:

  • “M3432” –follows the M3432 federal specification
  • “08” – 8 conductor cable
  • “H” – heavy duty cable
  • “L” –  ideal for use in low temperature and heat resistant applications
  • “F” – flexible design
  • “2/14SI-4/16-2/20S” – (2) individually shielded 14 AWG conductors,  (4) 16 AWG conductors, and (2) shielded 20 AWG Conductors
  • “SJ” – single shielding
  • “0980” – outside diameter

As you can see, many elements of a cable’s design are included right in the part number. With this knowledge, finding the M3432 Cable you’re looking for is as simple as reading the part number.

With Allied Wire’s MIL-C-3432 CO Cable Part Number Builder, you can create a M3432 CO Cable meeting your exact specifications. To learn more about M3432 Cable, view our large selection of MIL-DTL-3432 CO Cables.

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Merrimack, NH, Tampa, FL, Pewaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

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