Decoding MCM Cable: Size, Application, and More

MCM cable is a larger size cable where MCM stands for Thousand Circular Mils, which belongs to the unit of measurement used to indicate the size of a electrical cable in the AWG(American Wire Gauge). MCM electrical cable can handle high currents and is used more in industrial and commercial environments. If your application involves the use of this large conductor size power cable, you can read this blog to get the mcm cable meaning, application, size and more!

What is mcm cable?

MCM cable definition refers to large power electrical cable whose conductor area is measured in mcm (thousand circular mils). The higher the mcm cable current carrying capacity, the larger the cross-sectional area of the conductor and the larger the volume of the entire mcm electrical cable. MCM electrical cables have a conductor made of stranded copper or aluminum, and can be insulated with PVC, XLPE, or Silicone, and can be customized for specific applications to ensure safe and efficient power transmission. They can be customized for specific applications to ensure that the mcm electrical cable can transmit power safely and efficiently. And then we will research the mcm cable application first.

MCM electrical cable

What is mcm cable used for?

As a unit of measurement of the cross-sectional area of the cable conductor, MCM cables are usually used in industrial and commercial applications where the demand for current-carrying capacity is high, and the following are typical applications for MCM power cable.

  1. 250 mcm aluminum wire-500 mcm welding cable: This range belongs to the smaller mcm wire, for example, 350 mcm cable is generally used for small machinery and branch circuits in industry and commerce;
  2. 600 mcm cable-1000 mcm cable: electrcial cables in this size range belong to medium-sized cables, 1000 mcm cable current capacity is very large, people generally use this size range of cables for heavy machinery and equipment in factories or manufacturing plants, for example, 750 mcm cable diameter in this interval is in the middle position, is commonly used mcm wire;
  3. Data center: Data centers require a large amount of power to support the stable operation of servers, cooling systems and other equipment, cable mcm can handle high currents to meet the power needs of data centers;
  4. Heavy industry: In heavy industry scenarios such as steel manufacturing, petrochemical plants or automobile manufacturing plants, MCM electrical cables can help to transmit large amounts of current and maintain stable and reliable power services;
  5. Renewable Energy: In renewable energy projects, MCM electrical cables are used in solar power plants and other projects that transmit large amounts of power over long distances to ensure reliable and efficient transmission;
  6. Mining operations: Mining is aided by underground drilling equipment, conveyor belts and other machinery, in which MCM electrical cables play a large role in ensuring that these machines can continue to work properly.

Due to the high current carrying capacity of mcm cables, it is important that mcm wires comply with manufacturing specifications and that they are installed correctly to ensure safety and minimize electrical risk when using mcm electrical cables. So let’s make a study of mcm cable size.

What is mcm in cable size?

Common electrical cable sizes are generally measured in AWG (American Wire Gauge) and MM (IEC Standard), while mcm is a larger American unit of measurement than AWG, and is capable of handling large amounts of current to ensure that the application will run continuously for a long time. This mcm cable size chart provides a simple list of commonly used sizes, including the data associated with each mcm wire gauge.

Conductor gaugeStranding conductorOutside diameter(m)Approx. Weight (M/KG)Current carrying capacity(amps)
250 mcm2496*300.2711.74255
350 mcm3432*300.32716.0310
500 mcm5054*300.36522.3380

About mcm to mm, 1 mcm is equal to 506.708 mm². 500 mcm thhn is usually used for high current applications, while mm is a more general and precise international unit of measurement. The mcm cable gauge is related to the mcm cable ampacity, length, ambient temperature and voltage, etc. Before purchasing and using the mcm electrical cable, you should consult with an electrical professional to ensure safety and reliability, and to maintain the best performance of the mcm wire. Maintain the best performance of cable mcm. So let’s analyze the difference between AWG and MCM.

AWG VS MCM: What is the difference

AWG and MCM are both American units of measurement used to express the cross-sectional area of a wire or cable’s conductor. Here are a few points about the difference between AWG and MCM can be better distinguished.

  1. Size: AWG sizes are smaller than MCM. From the smallest 40 to 1/0, which belongs to the AWG size, more than 1/0 awg, will begin to use MCM to express;
  2. Cross-sectional area: the larger the number of AWG, the smaller the cross-sectional area of the conductor, the thinner the whole wire; and MCM is the opposite, MCM value is proportional to the cross-sectional area, the cable is also getting thicker;
  3. Application: AWG is generally used in residential areas and small commercial scenes, while MCM’s high current capacity supports its use in large industrial and commercial environments;

These are the differences between AWG and MCM, and it is worthwhile to emphasize that no matter which specification is used, it needs to be used safely and correctly.


To summarize, through the study of MCM cable meaning, application and size, it can be known that MCM cable is a unit of measurement of AWG, which stands for cross-sectional area and can help people to deal with high power currents. Therefore, when buying and selecting this large power cable, people need to seek the help of an electrical professional for safe and reliable transmission of current. It is also important to seek the help of a reliable electrical wire and mcm cable manufacturer like ZW Cable to customize and purchase MCM electrical cables that are suitable for the particular application, and also can help people in solving their electrical problems.

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About Me
Richard Zi
Richard Zi

My name is Richard Zi, and serve as the General Manager of ZW Cable. With a deep and extensive background of more than 15 years in the cable industry, I am excited to share my wealth of knowledge and experience.ZW Cable is a renowned company in the field of cable manufacturing in world, we specialize in selecting the best cable sizes and effectively solving all your cable challenges. If you have any questions or needs regarding cable solutions, please contact me and I assure you of the highest standards of personalized and effective guidance and support.View All My Posts >>

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