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10 WAYS OF IDENTIFYING FAKE COPPER WIRES IN THE MARKET

Image result for free images of copper wires

Despite our various posts on technical articles, nothing has been said concerning copper wires. For the record, copper wire is one of the expensive wires in the market because of the various jobs they can be used to do.

Electrical engineering field highlighted that the best electrical metallic conductors are silver, copper and aluminum wires respectively, but because of the scarce and expensive nature of silver wires, copper wires had become the best alternative for wiring because of its quality which is higher than that of aluminum wires.

Due to the high demands and its cost, copper wires are now being faked in the market. The fake copper wires can hardly be discovered by a novice in the field. Consider most modern electric motors, some were actually made with fake copper wires which makes them have poor power output. The truth behind the fake copper wires is that they are coated with copper such that they appear similar to the original one.

This difference in the copper wires had been the major reason for the large coil electric motors with poor performing power output, because their coils may have been built with the fake copper wires.

For records, the evidence of this was revealed when the dealer peeled off the outer surface of the fake copper wire to reveal the inside metal that the wire was originally made with and it was found that some of the metals used in making the fake copper are aluminum, iron, and tungsten wires, etc. these wires are readily available and cheaper than original copper wires but they have less demand in the market, therefore dealers find ways to put them into use by prescribing the electroplating ideas to the manufacturers. On the other hand, manufacturers do make huge gain for such deal since they are not dealing with original copper that is costlier, but those who usually feel the effect of the whole trick are the consumers and that occurs when such wires were used to make electrical appliances having electric motors such that they will give poor performance and also may not last in service.

Ways of knowing fake copper wires

  1. The common method of identifying fake copper wire is to scratch the wire deeply with a sharp knife, if the inside appears to have any other color other than the one seen on the outer surface of the wire then it was electroplated and hence may be a fake wire.
  2. Some dealers are fair enough, they can tell you promptly that the wire is not the original type, the reason is that there is a huge price gap between the original copper wire and the fake one. Which is another thing you must look out.
  3. Some of the fake wires cannot exhibit most of the physical properties of the original copper wire which includes ductility, malleability, and little or no environmental impacts on the surface appearance. If the any claimed original copper has its surface appearance changed from the usually reddish-brown to any other color then look closely because it might be the fake one.
  4. Does the wire generate heat fast when current is made to pass through it? If yes, then it is a fake copper wire. With exception to Aluminum wires and copper wires, iron wires and tungsten wires generate heat easily when used to conduct electricity and such may be the wire plated with copper and claimed to be the original copper wire.
  5. Do not be in a rush to pay for the wire, hold a small portion of its end and try squeezing or twisting it in a zig-zag motion for about 10 times if the joint did not break up, then it may be an original copper wire but if it does not, then it is fake. The reason for the above, is because copper is among the most ductile and malleable metals which makes it easy for manufacturers to draw it into wires, so such property does exist in copper wires, so if fake metal wire like aluminum wires or iron wires were used to fake the copper wire, then during the twisting the joints will break off.
  6. Coils and transformers made with original Copper wires do not get rusts or corroded over a long period of use, such will be a sign for any corroded coil or transformer to show that it was not made with original copper wire.
  7. Take a magnet close to any claimed copper wire, if it is found to be magnetic then it is not copper wire because copper generally is non-magnetic. Though other wires like Aluminum wires are not magnetic also, the colors of both are different.
  8. copper is not an elastic material hence, its wire will not be elastic. Original copper will remain in its position after bending it, otherwise, the wire was not made with complete copper.
  9. some fake copper wires can are alloy of little copper and another metal , note that it is different from plated copper wire. When alloyed copper wire is scratched the inside color may not change but the easiest to know such wire is through the color, their reddish-brown color will always appear lighter  than that of original copper wire.
  10. another crucial test can be reactions with acid, between copper, iron, tungsten, and aluminum, copper reacts slowly in diluted sulphuric acid than any of the above metals, so taking a cup full of diluted sulphuric acid, insert the tip of the wire inside the cup, if it starts reacting immediately then it is not original copper wire, otherwise it may be a copper material.

The above 10 points are easy way of discovery the quality of wire or cable one which to buy in te market. It is a guard and backup knowledge for any cable wire dealer.

It is important to note that majority of the fire outbreak accidents in buildings do come from electrification and such is common when fake cables and wires were used, which causes overheating to the junction box and easily create good condition for fire to start burning.

Originally posted 2018-03-15 12:49:19.

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