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SYNOPSIS OF*
MIL-DTL-3432J
CABLES (POWER AND SPECIAL PURPOSE) AND WIRE, ELECTRICAL
(300 AND 600 VOLTS)
Type designations are formed as follows:

M3432-08-H G E (2/16S-4/12) SJ 1090


1.) PIN- Part Identifying Number
(See PIN Logic Examples)

2.) Total Number of Conductors

3.) Intended DUTY (Table 1.0)


Choices L-M-H

4.) Application (Tables 2.0)


Choices G-O-L-D-H-B-C-K-N-E

5.) Flexibility (Table 3.0)


Choices S-F-E

6.) Conductor Data

7.) Shielding Under Jacket

8.) Cable Outside Diameter (mils)

*This is not the full MIL-DTL-3432J specification.


It is annotated herein to assist in the understanding of some of its aspects.
Mil-DTL-3432J PIN Logic Description

Example #1 M3432 - 08 H L F - (2/14 – 4/16(SI) -2/20S) SJ 0980


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10))

(1): Part of Identifying Number-PIN -In older call-outs the letters ‘CO’ are sometimes used.

(2): Total Number of Conductors - Total number of conductors between the parenthesis (6,7,8).

(3): Duty of Cables - (Table 1.0) - Application Intended.

(4): Application - (Table 1.0 & 2.0) - Temperature, Application, Environments

(5): Flexibility - (Table 3.0) - Number of strands in the conductor.

(6,7,8): Conductor Data - All data pertaining to the cable conductors is expressed within the parenthesis.
Inclusive therein is their number, gauge size and other characteristics, i.e.:
(6) 2 cond., 14 AWG; (7) 4 cond., 16 AWG, each shielded-SI; (8) 2 cond., 20 AWG, shielded as pair-S

(9): Braid Shield Under Jacket - Overall cable shield: the shielding is ALWAYS copper braid.

(10): OD of cable in mils - The required total diameter of the finished cable.

Example #2 M3432 - 04 H D E - (4/0000 - 4/4R) 2380


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

(1): Part of Identifying Number PIN - In older call-outs the letters ‘CO’ are sometimes used.

(2): Total Number of Conductor - Total Number of conductors between the parenthesis (6,7).
Those followed by R are ground wires and are NOT part of the total conductor count.

(3): Duty of Cables - (Table 1.0) - Application intended.

(4): Application - (Table 1.0 & 2.0) - Temperature, Application, Environments.

(5): Flexibility - (Table 3.0) - Number of strands in the conductor and ground wires. .

(6): Conductor Data - All data pertaining to the cable conductors is expressed within the parenthesis, i.e.:
Inclusive therein is their number, gauge size and other characteristics: (6) 4 conductors, each 0000 AWG.

(7): Ground Wires (see below) - Ground wires are identified with an ‘R’ suffix.

(8): OD of cable in mils - The mandatory O.D. of the cable


Definition of letters and suffixes used to describe cable construction in Q & A format

(PIN) PART NUMBER


Q: Why does the part number identification (PIN) often begin with CO- instead of M3432-
A: Prior to Revision F (Year 2000) Mil-DTL-3432 mandated that the part number PIN) begin with the letter CO
and the cables were printed with this prefix. Many documents with this prefix survive to this day. The
correct PIN prefix is M3432.

TWISTED ASSEMBLIES
Q: What is the call-out if I want to twist a group of conductors of the same AWG together to form a twisted
pair, triad, quad, etc.
A: The desired combination is designated, followed by an “X” and the number of combinations
Example: 2/14 X 1; indicates 1 group, each group consisting of 2 number 14 AWG conductors twisted
together to form a pair.
Example: 3/16 X 4; indicates 4 groups , each group consisting of 3 number 16 AWG conductors twisted
together to form a triad (total conductor count is 12).

SHIELDED INDIVIDUAL ASSEMBLIES


Q: What if I want to designate individual shielding in a group of conductors, or group-shielding for a pair, triad,
quad, etc.
A: Example 3/12SI; indicates 3 -12 AWG conductors each individually shielded
Example 3X18S10; indicates 10 triads of 18 AWG conductor with each triad shielded as a group (total
conductor count is 30.)

GROUND(ING) WIRES
Q: How are non-electrical ground wires specified? For instance, the common-ground plane wire required when
a generator is connected to a power distribution panel. (This is not the same as the conductor ground wire
in 4 Wire, a 3-Phase circuit.)
A: The ground-plane wires, also called ground drain wires in the spec, are designated the same as the
conductors, except a letter R follows the wire size. These wires are non-insulated, but require a green
covering on each wire, with the printed word “GND”. Uninsulated ground drain wires are NOT counted in
the total number of conductors; also, there are an equal number of ground drain wires in an assembly as
there are conductors.
Example: 2/4-2/12 R indicates 2 conductors 4 AWG, and 2 ground wires 12 AWG .

COMPOUND MATERIAL USED FOR INSULATION AND JACKETING


Q: Why do two compound categories, thermosetting and thermoplastic, exist in the M3432 cable specification?
A: The progression is historical. The earliest archived MIL-3432 specification, Revision E, dates back to 1966.
At that time, thermosetting (rubber) compounds were dominant for cable construction. Thermoplastic
compounds that were developed in later years were added in subsequent revisions of the specification. But
were not immediately acknowledged and specified by the users. In Revision F (1996) a more versatile
thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compound became available. It was listed in the specification as Designator E.
Since this had a broader temperature and overall-inclusive environmental range, it became the ONE designator
that encompassed all the variables, both thermosetting and thermoplastic. Due to ‘Grandfathering’ all the other
Designators are listed in the specification for current designs...
Q: How can I specify a compound that is rated higher than 90°C?
A: The compounds that are sanctioned by the MIL-DTL-3432 specification are listed in Table 1.0 & 2.0.
The upper temperature range is, as you indicate, is 90°C. There are thermoplastic TPE compounds
that are capable of expanding the range to 125°C, but hey are not authorized by the specification.

Q: Why are there so many designator choices in Table 2.0? If I choose one of them, how can I be sure that the cable will not
be ‘misapplied’?
A: The various Designators (the majority of which calls for thermoplastic compounds), have been included in the M 3432
specification at different times in the years of evolution through its various revisions. However, using Designator E, covers
all of the various applications listed in the Table.

SHIELDING
Q: How do I designate a shield that covers the complete inner portion of the cable, prior to jacketing?
A: The bare braided copper shielding is signified by “SJ” after the right parenthesis. If a dual-shield is required, it is signified
as “SSJ”.

Q: How do I specify metal foil shielding for the conductors, and braided copper shielding overall for the cable?
A: Metal foil shielding is NOT an option. All shielding required is to be copper wire braiding. This is most likely due to the
fragility of metal foil shielding as compared to the toughness and durability of braided copper.
Table 1.0

DUTY: Intended Use of Cable


The cables covered by MIL-DTL-3432 specifications are intended for use by the Armed Services in extensive electrical and
electronic applications. The cables can be used to transmit power, synch pulses, voltage data transmission, broadband, audio,
or control power. The shielded cables are suitable for Radio Frequency (RF) use in limited applications. A tough and flexible
jacket is essential because the cables will be subjected to extreme mechanical abuse and extreme humidity and temperature
conditions. They lend themselves to being mated with equipment interconnectivity cables by application of connectors for quick
and reliable connect/disconnect manipulations requiring repeated twisting and flexing.

(Class) Duty Volts See Table


Designation (rms)

L Light 300 DL
M Medium 600 DM
H Heavy 600 DH

L- Light duty, not to exceed 300 Volts. See Table DL


To be used in test equipment in short lengths, or for interconnections of major components.
They are intended to withstand severe flexing and frequent manipulation; suitable for light weight portable tools, or small motor
and generator leads. Strong, lightweight, flexible vibration tolerant, they are ideal for airborne applications as helicopters and
airplane control cables; headset audio cables; for usages in light vehicles for armament control; back-pack equipment
interconnect; Segways Personnel Carriers; and a numerous other applications requiring a tough, resilient, flexible cable.

M-Medium duty, up to 600 Volts. See Table DM


Intended to withstand the same usage as H-Heavy Duty cables except they should not be run over by vehicles or subjected to
severe impacts. They are intended to be a suitable alternate to heavy duty cables when the reduction in weight would be
advantageous to the equipment they are used in. They are ideal for light generators, hand-held tools, stage and general sound
equipment; radio receivers; motor leads; connection to portable power distribution boxes. All of which may not require the
heavier, sturdier and more expensive heavy-duty cables.

H-Heavy-duty, up to 600 Volts. See Table DH


To be used where they will be subjected to extreme service impacts or run over by heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, army
tanks, personnel carriers, or the like. The design is intended to withstand severe flexing and mechanical abuse over long
periods of time without deteriorations. Some uses include portable electrical generator hook ups for loads to air handlers for
habitats; army tank starters; airplane ground support; vehicle chargers, etc. Generally everywhere the War Fighters require
reliable electrical connectivity for detection, fire control; and to power periphery alarm sensors. It is designed to be tough,
versatile, and have the ability to withstand the brunt of constant impacts, heavy weights and twisting forces.
Table DL
MIL-DTL-3432 (All Revisions through J)
L- CLASSIFICATION: 300 VOLTS (LIGHT DUTY)
Recommended Applications/Usage
To be used in test equipment in short lengths, or for interconnections of major components. They are intended to
withstand severe flexing and frequent manipulation. Suitable for light weight portable tools, or small motor and
generator leads. Optionally they can be specified with braided copper shields for noise and electrical isolation.

Strong, lightweight, flexible, and vibration tolerant, they are ideal multi-conductor cables for airplane, helicopters,
missiles etc., as well as light surface vehicles such as trailers, personnel transporters, backpack devices etc. Their
ruggedness is ideal for hand-held and headset audio/voice cables communication equipment, and where the War
Fighter’s portable gear requires strong electrical connections. Multiple cables are often be assembled into a wiring
harness, frequently utilizing molded T-junctions, and terminated with twist on/off connectors.

SPECIFICATIONS: Per MIL-DTL-3432 (all revisions); see Table 2.0

• Temperature: -65 to 90°C in various spans


• Insulating/Jacket Material: Thermoplastic
• Compound Options: Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE); Polyethylene (LDPE)/Polyurethane
• Application/Environment: Dependent on compound chosen

Below are typical type designations

Conductor Shield Cable


Type Designation (PIN) (SJ) OD (in.)
Quantity AWG
M3432-02LOF(2/18)0290 2 18 No 0.290
M3432-04LLE(4/12)SJ0485 4 12 Yes 0.485
M3432-05LGF(5/12)SJ0530 5 12 Yes 0.530
M3432-06LLE(6/22)SJ0325 6 22 Yes 0.325
M3432-18LOF(14/22-4/22SI)0500 14 22 No 0.500
4 22‡ No

‡ - 4 conductors, 22 AWG, individually shielded (SI) before cabling.

For an explanation of the cable elements referred to in Type Designation, see PIN Description Logic.
Table DM

MIL-DTL-3432 (All Revisions through J)


M-CLASSIFICATION: 600 VOLTS (MEDIUM DUTY)
Recommended Applications/Usage
Cables in this classification will survive the same general use as H-Heavy Duty cables, when used in less severe applications.
In addition, they are specified when L-Light Duty cables require more than 300 Volts. Their suggested use includes anywhere
where a 600V rating is required, and weight is a factor in portability and function. In areas of significant traffic, they should be
routed overhead or be protected if they are to lay on the ground. Uses include general-purpose control cables to interconnect
power panels, and to power distribution boxes. In addition, they have application for heavy-duty portable tools; area landscape
lighting; stage and general sound equipment; indoor power extensions; portable electric chargers and starters. Often mated
with twist-on/off connectors, the lighter yet rugged cables allow for smaller mobile portable equipment connectivity in the field.
This permits rapid deployment, and redeployment of power needed for apparatus and smaller caliber weapons requiring
electrical power.

SPECIFICATIONS: Per MIL-DTL-3432 (all revisions); see Table 2.0

• Temperature: -65 to 90°C in various spans


• Insulating/Jacket Material: Thermoplastic
• Compound Options: Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE); Polyethylene (LDPE)/Polyurethane
• Application/Environment: Dependent on compound chosen

Below are typical type designations

Conductor Ground Wire Shield Cable


Type Designation (Pin) (SJ) OD (in.)
Quantity AWG Quantity AWG
M3432-02MEE(2/14)0395 2 14 None No 0.395
M3432-03MGF(3/12)0500 3 12 None No 0.500
M3432-04MDF(4/4-4/12R)1285 4 4 4 12 No 1.285
M3432-04MOF(4/4)SSJ0620 4 4 None Yes‡ 0.620
M3432-10MHE(10/18)0635 10 18 None No 0.635

‡ - SSJ in lieu of SJ indicates two separate braided copper wire shields over cable assembly, under jacket. For an
explanation of the cable elements referred to in Type Designation see PIN Description Logic.
Table DH
MIL-DTL-3432 (All Revisions through J)
H- CLASSIFICATION: 600 VOLTS (HEAVY DUTY)
Recommended Applications/Usage
HEAVY DUTY cables are specifically designed to withstand extreme service impacts and the crushing forces of heavy-duty
equipment, such as trucks, humvees, army tanks, personnel carriers, and the likes. The cable is designed for severe flexing
and mechanical abuse over extended periods without affecting its performance. Their general military use is anywhere the War
Fighter’s equipment requires reliable electric power connectivity from the power source: Electricity can be routed quickly and
with efficiency on any terrain by randomly routing them as interconnections between generator, power distribution boxes, and
final loads. Its intrinsic tough and versatile cable design is intended to withstand the brunt of constant impacts heavy weights
and twisting forces without damage to the critical conductors (read “The 8 Second Rule”). Often mated with twist-on/off
connectors, these cable-connector assemblies make fast connectivity possible in the field. This permits rapid deployment, and
redeployment of power electrical generation equipment for weapons and personnel systems.

SPECIFICATIONS: Per MIL-DTL-3432 (all revisions); see Table 2.0

• Temperature: -65 to 90°C in various spans


• Insulating/Jacket Material: Thermoplastic
• Compound Options: Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE); Polyethylene (LDPE)/Polyurethane
• Application/Environment: Dependent on compound chosen

Below are typical type designations

Conductor Ground Wire Shield Cable


Type Designation Pin Quan. AWG (SJ) OD (in.)
Quan. AWG
M3432-03HLE(3/6-3/12R)SJ1010 3 6 3 12 Yes 1.010
M3432-02HDF(2/4-2/8R)1100 2 4 2 8 No 1.100
M3432-04HDF(4/4-4/12R)1290 4 4 4 12 No 1.290
M3432-04HOF(4/4)SJ1400 4 4 None None No 1.400
M3432-04HEE(4/1-4/8R)1620 4 1 4 8 No 1.620
M3432-04HDE(4/0000-4/4R)2380 4 0000 4 4 No 2.380

For an explanation of the cable elements referred to in Type Designation see PIN Description Logic.
Table 2.0

APPLICATION DESIGNATOR & COMPOUND OPTIONS

Conductor Jacketing
Designator Suggested Applications
Selection Selection
G General purpose, medium low temperature, -40 to +75 °C ‡ SO, IS, IH ‡ SO, JN
O Medium low temperature, oil resistant, -40 to + 75 °C ‡ SO, IS, IH, ‡ SO, JN
L Low temperature, heat resistant, -55 to +75 °C ‡ SO, IS-L, IH, ‡ SO, JS-L,JN-L
D Low temperature, oil and heat resistant, -55 to +75 °C ‡ SO, IS-L, IH ‡ SO, JN-L
H Low temperature, heat and weather resistant, -55 to +90 °C ‡ SO, IH ‡ SO, JH
B Low temperature, oil and weather resistant, -55 to +80 °C IH JN-L
C Low temperature, oil and heat resistant, -55 to +80 °C ‡ IE JN-L
K Low temperature, oil heat, and weather resistant, -55 to+80 °C ‡ IE ‡ JU
N Low temperature, oil and heat resistant, -55 to +90 °C IR, IL JR, JN
E Low temperature, ozone, oil, weather, and heat resistant,-65 to +90 °C ‡ SO ‡ SO
‡ Indicates Thermoplastic Compounds

NOTE: Designator E encompasses all of the applications noted in the other designators;
And, has the broadest temperature range (-65 to 90°C, optional to 125°C).

Selections Compounds Options for Insulator and Jacket


IS MEDIUM LOW TEMPERATURE STYRENE BUTADIENE RUBBER (SBR)
IS-L LOW TEMPERATURE, HEAT RESISTANT STYRENE BUTADIENE RUBBER (SBR)
IR LOW TEMPERATURE, NATURAL RUBBER
IL LOW TEMPERATURE, NATURAL RUBBER DEPOSITED FROM A RUBBER LATEX COMPOUND
IH LOW TEMPERATURE, HEAT AND OZONE RESISTANT, ETHYLENE-PROPYLENE (EPM) RUBBER, OR
ETHYLENE-PROPYLENE-DIENE RUBBER (EPDM)
‡ IE POLYETHELENE, LOW DENSITY, CRACK RESISTANT, HIGH FREQUENCY DIELECTRIC IN NATURAL COLORS,
MELT
‡ TPE -S LOW TEMPERATURE HEAT AND OZONE RESISTANT, STYRENIC THERMOPLASTIC ELASTOMER
‡ TPE-O LOW TEMPERATURE WEATHER RESISTANT, OLEFINIC THERMOPLASTIC ELASTOMER
JS-L LOW TEMPERATURE, HEAT RESISTANT, STYRENE- BUTADIENE RUBBER
JR LOW TEMPERATURE NATURAL RUBBER
JN(CR) MODERATE LOW TEMPERATURE CHLOROPRENE RUBBER (CR)
JN-L(CR) LOW TEMPERATURE CHLOROPRENE RUBBER (CR)
JH LOW TEMPERATURE, HEAT AND WEATHER RESISTANT, ETHYLENE – PROPYLENE (EPM),
OR ETHYLENE-PROPYLENE-DIENE RUBBER (EPDM)
‡ JU LOW TEMP. HEAT AND WEATHER RESISTANT, POLYURETHANE THERMOPLASTIC ELASTOMER
JN MODERATE LOW TEMPERATURE, CHLORINATED POLYETHYLENE RUBBER (CM)
JN-L LOW TEMPERATURE, CHLORINATED POLYETHYLENE RUBBER (CM)

‡ Indicates Thermoplastic Compounds


Table 3.0

FLEXIBILITY
NOTE: All conductors and ground-plane wires within the same cable
must be of the same flexibility designation.

Designator ‡ Service
S Semi Flexible
F Flexible
E Extra Flexible

‡ The third letter in the PIN sequence

Cable Flexibility is primarily dependent upon the number of individual strands which make up the copper wire
elements in the cable; and secondarily dependent on the choice of compounds used for conductor insulation and the
outer jacket. The cable minimum radius (the degree to which it will bend circularly)
is also directly proportional to flexibility.

In high vibration environments, the more flexibility a cable has, the longer its conductors will operate
without opening.

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