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What is the difference between copper clad aluminum wire and pure copper wire?

Update:16-09-2022
Summary:

The copper-clad aluminum conductor is much lighter than […]

The copper-clad aluminum conductor is much lighter than pure copper, so the copper-clad aluminum cable is heavier than the pure copper conductor cable, which is convenient for cable transportation and cable rack facilities. In addition, copper-clad aluminum is softer than pure copper, and cables made of copper-clad aluminum conductors are softer than pure copper wires.

Because aluminum is less conductive than copper, the DC resistance of copper-clad aluminum conductors is more pronounced than that of pure copper conductors. Copper-clad aluminum conductors increase power dissipation and reduce voltage drop. When the frequency exceeds 5 MHz, the AC resistance decays and there is no significant difference between the other two conductors at this time. Of course, this is mainly due to the high-frequency current skin effect. The higher the frequency, the closer the current is to the conductor surface.

The surface of the copper-clad aluminum conductor is pure copper. When the frequency is high, the entire current is electroplated and flows into the copper. At 5 MHz, the current flows to a thickness of about 0.025 mm near the surface, and the copper layer of the copper-clad aluminum conductor is about twice this thickness. Since the transmission signal of coaxial cable is higher than 5 MHz, copper-clad aluminum conductors and pure copper conductors have the same transmission effect.

Copper-clad aluminum is softer than pure copper conductors and is easy to straighten during production. Therefore, it can be said that the return loss index of copper-clad aluminum cable is better than that of pure copper conductor cable. Copper-clad aluminum conductors are sold by weight, as are pure copper conductors, which are more expensive than pure copper conductors of the same weight.

But the exact weight of copper-clad aluminum is much longer than pure copper conductors, and the cable is calculated by length. The exact weight, of the copper-clad aluminum wire is 2.5 times the length of the copper wire, and the price is only a few hundred yuan/ton. Combined, copper-clad aluminum has advantages. Since the copper-clad aluminum cable is relatively light, the transportation cost and installation cost of the cable can be reduced, which brings special convenience to the construction.

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