Copper Wire Verse Aluminum Cable

This article is used to explain the differences between copper and aluminum. The two most commonly used conductors for wire and cable. Silver is the best conductor; however its high price makes its use limited to situations where high conductivity or low resistance is required.

Both copper and aluminum have specific applications where one is more beneficial than the other however copper is by far more widely used in wire and cable. Here are some important things to note about each.

-Copper has a higher conductivity than aluminum

-Copper is more readily available and widely used in installations

-Copper does not creep or loosen at connections

-Copper is able to withstand load surges better

-Copper can easily be soldered

-Copper has a higher tensile strength or can resist higher stress before breaking

-Copper is more deductible (can be drawn out)

-Aluminum costs less than copper

-Aluminum’s lightness makes longer runs possible

-Aluminum reduces corona. The discharge of electricity from the wire when it has a high potential.

Overall the vast majority of contractors, electricians and end users prefer to purchase, install and rewire a copper product.