Talking about materials to make electrical cabling, aluminum and copper are two of the most common materials used in the production. Two of them are able to conduct electricity.
Although both metals share the same ability, aluminum and copper still have several distinctive characteristics.
To find out which one is better at producing electricity and the advantages as well as the disadvantages of using both metals, read on the elaboration about aluminum VS copper wire below.
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Aluminum VS Copper Wire
Both aluminum and copper wiring are conductive metals and the most common materials that are used in the production of electrical items. However, aluminum has a higher ratio of thermal expansion and not as solid as copper. That being said, there are still benefits in using aluminum cabling.
Either for a residential home or commercial building, using aluminum cabling can save expenses in the construction process. Aside from that, the application of aluminum is way easier than copper wiring because aluminum is more flexible.
Although aluminum is more affordable than copper wiring, many still prefer using copper because of its tensile strength that is higher than its counterpart. High tensile strength is able to prevent breakage during installation. Aside from that, copper cabling also has a lower ratio of thermal expansion.
Copper VS Aluminum Wire Size
Aluminum VS copper wire, which to use? Both metals have their own advantages and disadvantages. Copper has a number of benefits. Aside from being able to be applied in many items and having tensile strength that is higher than aluminum, they also have a small size.
In tight areas, smaller wires are working correctly. Hence, it becomes the main reason why copper is the best option when installing a receptacle or a switch.
As for the aluminum wire, although they are also a good conductor and quite light, their size is much larger than copper. In order to conduct electricity, a large conductor must be upgraded to help circuits that have the same ampacity.
Copper VS Aluminum Wire Current Capacity
Current capacity is the main factor in deciding whether to use copper or aluminum wire in electrical applications. In terms of volume, copper wire provides better current capacity. Nevertheless, aluminum is way better than copper when it comes to weight capacity.
When both metals are still raw, aluminum is 70% much lighter than copper. Meanwhile, for wires, aluminum can be 60% way lighter than copper.
In the conclusion of aluminum VS copper wire above, both aluminum and copper wires are substantially common cable materials for industrial, commercial, and domestic projects. In terms of price, aluminum is more affordable and easier to work with. Aside from that, aluminum is more flexible than copper wire, so it can be applied easily in small places.
However, when it comes to tensile strength, the copper wire becomes the most preferred material since it is much stronger and can avoid breakage during installation. The optimal choice of cable entirely depends on the project, area, situation, budget, and safety specifications.