Choose Aluminum or Copper as Enameled Wire Conductor
Conductor is a kind of material that conduct electric current or electron flow. The non-magnetic metal is typically considered as the ideal conductors. Conductors have different properties of conductivity, tensile strength, weight and environmental exposure.
The magnet wire and cable industry uses various metal conductors, but copper and aluminum are the two most common ones.
Enameled Copper Wire/Cable Uses Copper as Conductor
Copper is one of the oldest conduct materials, and it had been used in inventions of telegraph, telephone, and electric motor since it was exploited for its ductility and electrical conductivity.
According to the international Annealed Copper Standard (IACS) which was adopted in 1913 to compare the conductivity of other metal to copper, commercially pure annealed copper has 100% IACS conductivity, and commercially pure copper produced today may have higher IACS conductivity values, because processing technology has been improved over time.
Except for the superior conductivity of copper, this metal has great tensile strength, thermal conductivity and thermal expansion property. It can bear higher temperature than aluminum does, and it does not corrode easily for its long service life and resistance to damage. So copper is an extremely powerful electrical conductor, and it is much more stable than aluminum. It does not need to be replaced so often.
However, copper is significantly more expensive and heavier than aluminum, which means a larger initial investment and necessary structural support.
Enameled Aluminum Wire/Cable Uses Aluminum as Conductor
Though copper has a long history as the material of conducting electricity, aluminum has certain advantages that make it attractive for some specific applications.
Aluminum has 61% of the conductivity of copper, but has only 30% of the weight of copper, which means a bare aluminum wire weighs half as much as a bare copper wire, but they have the same electrical resistance. Aluminum is generally not that expensive when compared to copper conductors.
In the 1960s and 1970s, due to the high price of copper relative to aluminum, the qualified aluminum began to be widely used for household wiring. For the low-quality workmanship at connections and the physical differences between aluminum and copper, high-resistance connections formed and became a fire hazard. And as a response, aluminum has been being developed to have more similar properties as copper.
Copper is much more commonly used for building magnet wire than aluminum, for the high conductivity of copper. Copper conductors are also commonly used in power distribution, power generation and automotive applications.
For the weight and cost savings, electrical utilities use aluminum for overhead transmission lines, aircraft and future applications in automobiles. Sometimes, to take advantage of the conductivity of copper while gaining the weight savings of aluminum, copper-clad aluminum wire can be used.
Because of their different capabilities and prices, both copper and aluminum have their own special uses, so it all depends on the special application to choose aluminum or copper as enameled wire conductor.
Based on special application, LP industry can supply quality enameled copper/aluminum wire according to your requirements.