# Circular mil

## Unit of area / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A **circular mil** is a unit of area, equal to the area of a circle with a diameter of one mil (one thousandth of an inch or 0.0254 mm). It corresponds to approximately 5.067×10^{−4} mm^{2}. It is a unit intended for referring to the area of a wire with a circular cross section. As the definition of the unit contains π, it is easy to calculate area values in circular mils when the diameter in mils is known.

**Quick Facts**General information, Unit of ...

circular mil | |
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General information | |

Unit of | Area |

Symbol | cmil |

Derivation | 1 cmil = π/4(0.001 in)^{2} |

Conversions | |

1 cmil in ... | ... is equal to ... |

SI units | 506.7075 μm^{2} |

FPS units | 7.853982×10^{−7} in^{2} |

The area in circular mils, A, of a circle with a diameter of d mils, is given by the formula: $\{A\}_{\mathrm {cmil} }=\{d\}_{\mathrm {mil} }^{2}.$

In Canada and the United States, the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and the National Electrical Code (NEC), respectively, use the circular mil to define wire sizes larger than 0000 AWG. In many NEC publications and uses, large wires may be expressed in thousands of circular mils, which is abbreviated in two different ways: **kcmil**^{[1]} or **MCM**.^{[2]} For example, one common wire size used in the NEC has a conductor diameter of 0.5 inches, or 500 mils, and thus a cross-section of $500^{2}=250{,}000$ circular mils, written as 250 kcmil or 250 MCM, which is the first size larger than 0000 AWG used within the NEC.

1000 circular mil equals approximately 0.5067 mm^{2}, so for many purposes, a ratio of 2 MCM ≈ 1 mm^{2} can be used with negligible (1.3%) error.