The cost of cables has increased due to the steady rise in copper prices in recent years. As a result, many customers are searching for alternatives to reduce expenses without compromising the quality of their assemblies. Using aluminum conductors instead of copper is one such option.
Although Copper and Aluminum exhibit some notable contrasts, they also share similarities that make them suitable for comparable uses. Thus, customers can save money on their projects by switching to aluminum conductors.
At Classic Wire & Cable, we offer a range of aluminum conductors suitable for various applications. Our engineering team can work with customers to select the right cable. We carry THHN, XHHW-2, RHW-2, and USE-2, SER, SEU, URD, MC products, all available in aluminum.
Using the Ampacity Conversion Chart
Suppose you are considering switching from copper to aluminum conductors to save money on your electrical project. This can be done using the ampacity conversion chart provided by the National Electric Code (NEC) 310.15(B)(16) 2017.
The chart lists the ampacity ratings for different sizes of aluminum conductors based on an ambient temperature of 30 °C. The dimensions are listed in AWG or square millimeters, and the ampacity ratings are listed in amperes (A). To use the chart, locate the size of the copper conductor you would normally use and find the corresponding ampacity rating. Then, find the size of the aluminum conductor with a similar ampacity rating.
Why Aluminum Can Be a Cost-Effective Alternative to Copper
Weight and Cost Savings
Aluminum’s lighter weight compared to copper results in substantial savings in transportation and installation costs. Due to its lower density, a larger quantity of aluminum can achieve the same electrical conductivity level while decreasing the overall product weight. Consequently, expenses for shipping and labor during installation are also reduced.
One way to offset aluminum’s lower conductivity is by designing conductors with larger cross-sectional areas. This approach can decrease resistance and enhance conductivity, improving overall performance.
Copper and aluminum are corrosion-resistant metals, making them suitable for usage in tough environmental conditions. Nonetheless, aluminum is better equipped to handle corrosive surroundings due to its ability to create a protective oxide layer upon exposure to the atmosphere. This layer helps to prevent further corrosion, ultimately extending the lifespan of the aluminum conductor.
Quality Aluminum Building Wire with Classic Wire & Cable
Classic Wire assists you in leveraging the advantages of utilizing aluminum building wires, particularly as copper prices continue to increase. With the aid of our knowledgeable engineering team, we can help you select the appropriate wire solution that suits your project requirements.
We provide various aluminum products tailored to different application needs. Furthermore, our team is dedicated to delivering superior-quality products and expert assistance. Thus, we can guarantee that you can transition to aluminum wires with peace of mind, achieving its cost-saving and performance-boosting benefits.