Aluminium vs Copper cables: Which is better?

Copper core cables have good stability, oxidation resistance, and corrosion resistance; aluminum core cables are light in weight and cheaper than copper cables. Then let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum core cables and copper core cables.


Advantages of aluminum core cables over copper core cables

  1. Cheap price: Copper rods are several times the price of aluminum rods, so aluminum core cables are much cheaper than copper core cables, economical and practical.
  2. The cable is very light: the weight of the aluminum core cable is 40% of that of the copper core cable, and the cost of production materials is greatly reduced. In terms of construction, the aluminum wire is light in weight, and the construction is convenient and labor-saving. Aluminum reacts with oxygen in the air to quickly form an oxide film, which can prevent further oxidation, so aluminum wires are the necessary materials for high-voltage, large-section, and large-span overhead power transmission.
      Quadruplex cable
      Aluminum Cable

      Advantages of copper core cables over aluminum core cables

      1. Low resistivity: the resistivity of aluminum core cables is about 1.68 times higher than that of copper core cables.
      2. Good ductility: the ductility of copper is 20-40%, the ductility of copper for electrical purposes is above 30%, while that of aluminum is only 18%.
      3. High strength: the allowable stress at room temperature, copper is 7~28% higher than that of aluminum. Especially the stress at high temperature, the difference between the two is even greater.
      4. Anti-fatigue: aluminum is easy to break after repeated bending, but copper is not easy. In terms of elasticity index, copper is also about 1.7~1.8 times higher than aluminum. 5. Good stability and corrosion resistance: the copper core is resistant to oxidation and corrosion, while the aluminum core is easily oxidized and corroded.
      5. Large carrying capacity: Due to the low resistivity, the copper core cable with the same cross-section is about 30% higher than the allowable carrying capacity (larger current that can pass) of the aluminum core cable
      6. Low voltage loss: due to the low resistivity of the copper core cable, the same current flows through the same section. The voltage drop of the copper core cable is small. Therefore, the same power transmission distance can guarantee higher voltage quality; or, under the condition of allowable voltage drop, copper core cable power transmission can reach a longer distance, that is, the power supply coverage area is large, which is conducive to network planning and reduces Set number of feed points.
        • Low heat generation temperature: Under the same current, the heat generation of copper core cables with the same cross section is much smaller than that of aluminum core cables, making the operation safer.
        • Low energy consumption: Due to the low resistivity of copper, compared with aluminum cables, copper cables have lower power loss, which is obvious. This is conducive to improving the utilization rate of power generation and protecting the environment.
        • Anti-oxidation and corrosion resistance: the performance of the connector of the copper core cable is stable, and no accidents will occur due to oxidation.