Copper & Aluminum Wire & Cable Comparison

Copper & Aluminum Wire & Cable Comparison

Copper and aluminum are the two materials commonly used for conductors in modern wire and cable. Although lighter in weight than copper , aluminum's electrical conductivity is only 62% that of copper's. This means that an aluminum cable must be larger in diameter for the same
current carrying capacity, an important factor to consider, for example, when installing cable in existing ducts. A larger diameter cable also requires more insulation, increasing its manufacturing costs, its weight and ability to be easily bent.

Powertech Labs have completed an in-depth study on copper-to-copper, aluminum-to-copper, and aluminum-to aluminum connectors. The results of the study are presented in CCBDA Publication No. 42E, Connecting with Copper is Connecting with Trust, which can be viewed or downloaded here.

A Paper on the study, titled Comparative Corrosion and Current Burst Testing of Copper and Aluminum Electrical Power Connectors, was presented at the 2005 Industry Applications Conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE). It can be downloaded here.

To receive a printed copy of Connecting with Copper is Connecting with Trust brochure, click here. For more information click here.

For further information comparing copper and aluminum wire and cable, view or download The Colour of Trust, Publication No. 33. Print copies of Publication No. 33 also may be obtained by clicking here.