Why is copper wire better than aluminum wire?

When purchasing electrical wires, I noticed that copper wires pretty much dominate the market; what causes this?
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Richard Zi is the General Manager of ZW Cable and expert in cable industry for over 15 years. I would like to share my experience in cable field. ZW Cable is leading Chinese cable manufacturer. We can choose right size cable and solve all your cable problem. If you have any question, please feel free to contact me. I will try my best to give your cable solutions.

Copper and aluminum are the two most common core materials on the market, but copper electrical wire is way more popular and widely used than aluminum wire; below are some main reasons:

  • Excellent Conductivity: Copper is one of the best conductors of electricity among all metals. It allows for efficient transmission of electrical current with minimal resistance, which means less energy loss and better overall performance.
  • High Thermal Conductivity: Copper’s high thermal conductivity helps dissipate heat generated during electrical operation, reducing the risk of overheating and ensuring the electrical cable‘s longevity.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Copper has inherent resistance to corrosion, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, even in humid or corrosive environments.
  • Flexibility: Electrical copper wires are highly flexible and ductile, making them easy to bend, shape and install in a variety of configurations, especially in tight spaces.
  • Durability: Copper is a durable material that withstands mechanical stress and environmental factors, ensuring a longer lifespan for copper wire.
  • Recyclability: Copper is a sustainable choice as it can be recycled without loss of quality, reducing the environmental impact of production and disposal.
  • Low Melting Point: In the event of a short circuit or overload, copper cable‘s relatively low melting point allows it to dissipate excess heat and prevent fires more effectively than aluminum wiring.
  • Compatibility: Copper is compatible with a wide range of connectors and components, making it easy to integrate into various electrical systems.
  • Historical Track Record: Copper has been used for electrical wiring for over a century, and its reliability and performance have been proven over time.
  • Safety: Copper is non-toxic and does not emit harmful fumes or gases when exposed to heat or fire, contributing to the safety of electrical installations.

Copper vs aluminum wire has always been a hot topic in electrical wiring. While copper wire price is higher than that of aluminum wire, there’s no need to sacrifice safety and efficiency for price.

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