Properties Of Copper and Aluminum Wires
When it comes to the use of electrical wires, there are some minor and unnoticeable mistakes that can lead to electrical bridge or power flow discontinuity. Some electrical faults of such category can be hard to trace despite using some basic regular tools to check them.
Meanwhile, lack of experience and lack of finance for the electrification project have made some electricians start manipulating the process, such as; buying the aluminum type of wires in combination with the copper wires, etc.
Copper wire had been the major wire used for house wiring because of the property of copper as a better conductor of electricity among other metals after the silver which is the best metal for electrical conductivity.
The reason silver wire cannot be found easily in the market is because of the scarcity of the metal but if it is used in the making of electric wires, the wire will cost very high that only a few people would like to buy it, meanwhile, such wire is the best for the conducting of electricity.
Currently copper is dominating the wire market alongside the aluminum because of their availability, lower cost, and good electrical conductivity. Meanwhile among the two, copper has better property for electrical conductivity and it costs more than aluminum in the market.
When wiring a building, it is necessary to use one particular type of wire. Ideally using copper for all the wiring is the best but if for economical purpose any other type of wire is considered, then the wire should also be used throughout the wiring rather than mixing it up with copper wire.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COPPER WIRE AND ALUMINUM WIRE
The major difference that exists between copper wire and aluminum wire in terms of electrical conductivity is temperature. A copper wire with a very small diameter like the 1mm can possibly conduct a voltage that could be up to 300volts without melting, but an aluminum wire of such diameter may melt under such voltage.
PROPERTIERTIES OF COPPER WIRE & ALUMINIUM WIRE
The reason for the above problem is that the temperature in an electrical wire is proportional to the voltage passing through it. Copper as a non-ferrous metal has a very high melting temperature, unlike the aluminum that melts under moderate temperatures.
The high melting temperature of copper enables it to absorb heat which is a good property for electrical conductors, but in the case of aluminum, the reverse is the case.
Aluminum does not get hot easily but when exposed to steady heat supply above its melting point it will melt which is the property also seen in the aluminum wires.
THE EFFECT OF JOINING COPPER WIRE & ALUMINUM WIRE TOGETHER
If the two wires are joined together, during any supply of high voltage, the copper wire will heat up without melting while at the joint the folded edges of copper will cause an increase to the temperature already existing on the line.
At that edge also the folded aluminum wire also shares the heat directly with copper a situation that may not last before the aluminum wire cut itself off from the copper at the edge where the joint was made.
Though the accuracy of how this happens has not been found, I strongly believe such a situation could lead to it.
Philip is a graduate of Mechanical engineering and an NDT inspector with vast practical knowledge in other engineering fields, and software.
He loves to write and share information relating to engineering and technology fields, science and environmental issues, and Technical posts. His posts are based on personal ideas, researched knowledge, and discovery, from engineering, science & investment fields, etc.
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