Difference Between Aluminum Wire and Copper Wire (With Table)

Electricity or electron flow is carried through wires, which are conductors. Nonmagnetic metals are better conductors than magnetic metals. Several metals are utilized in industry for this function, although aluminum and copper are the most commonly used metals. Both Aluminum and Copper Wire have a long history of use, yet their characteristics are extremely different.

Aluminum Wire vs Copper Wire

The main difference between Aluminum Wire and Copper Wire is that their qualities differ according to their respective metals. It varies in weight, cost, conductivity, ductility, tensile strength, color, temperature resistance, and a variety of other characteristics. When compared to Copper Wires, Aluminum Wires are significantly less expensive, have lower conductivity, are less ductile and tensile, are lighter, and are corrosive.

Aluminum wires are less expensive and lighter, allowing them to be used more frequently. Because of its corrosive nature, Aluminum Wire cannot be utilized anywhere. Due to its low tensile and ductile nature, making wire out of Aluminum is a little more challenging.

Copper wires are easy to make since they are more ductile and tensile, and they can be utilized in many areas, even at high temperatures. Their main disadvantages are their cost and weight. Copper wire is not cost-effective. They’re rather pricey, and they’re quite heavy.

Comparison Table Between Aluminum Wire and Copper Wire

Parameters of ComparisonAluminum WireCopper Wire
ConductivityIt has a lower conductivity than other metals.It seems to have a greater contact level.
WeightIt’s less heavy.It is heavier in comparison.
Temperature ResistanceWhen the temperature is high, it expands, and when the temperature is low, it contracts. It has the ability to withstand the effects of thermal changes.
CostIt is less expensive in comparison.It’s a Little More Expensive
Ductile and Tensile strength It has a lower tensile strength and is less ductile.It seems to have a greater ductile and tensile strength.

What is Aluminum Wire?

Aluminum, like copper, is conductive, making it a popular choice for electrical wiring. Aluminum wire, on the other hand, isn’t as robust as copper wiring and has a greater coefficient of thermal expansion. Nonetheless, there are benefits to employing aluminum wiring.

When compared to copper wire, aluminum wiring is nearly always less expensive. Aluminum wire is frequently less expensive than copper wiring. Using aluminum wire rather than copper wiring in a residential residence may save hundreds of dollars. Aluminum wire has the potential to save thousands of dollars in a business facility.
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Aluminum wire is easier to work with than copper wiring, in addition to being less expensive. Because the copper wire is more durable, it is less prone to break. Aluminum wire, on the other hand, is more flexible and hence easier to work within tight locations. Hopefully, you now have a better knowledge of the differences between copper and aluminum wiring.

What is Copper Wire?

Copper wire has been employed in home and commercial electrical systems for more than half a century. Because of its great tensile strength, it is frequently favored over the aluminum wire. Copper has a tensile strength that is around 40% greater than aluminum. Copper wiring has a higher tensile strength than aluminum wiring, making it less likely to break.

This is crucial because electrical wire is frequently installed by pushing it through ports and feeders. During installation, if the wire is weak or fragile, it may break. Copper wiring has a high tensile strength, which makes it resistant to breaking and other types of physical damage.

Copper wiring also has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than aluminum wiring. In other words, when exposed to heat, it does not expand as much as aluminum wire. As electricity passes via electrical wire, the temperature rises. Aluminum wire expands more than copper wiring due to its higher thermal expansion. If the wiring stretches too much, the spliced or linked sections of the wiring may break.

Main Differences Between Aluminum Wire and Copper Wire

  1. Aluminum and copper wires are both comprised of aluminum. As a result, the characteristics of each metal are distinct in each of them.
  2. Aluminum wire is less conductive than copper wire (only 60% of copper conductivity), but copper wires are more conductive.
  3. Aluminum wires are lighter and easier to transport than Copper wires, which are heavier and more difficult to transport.
  4. Aluminum wires expand at high temperatures and compress at low temperatures, but copper wire does not undergo similar changes. Thermal Changes do not influence it.
  5. Aluminum wires have a lower ductility than copper wires.
  6. Copper wires are more costly than aluminum wires.
  7. Aluminum wires have lower tensile strength than copper wires.
  8. Because of their corrosive nature, Aluminum Wires can ignite a fire, however, Copper Wires do not have this problem.

Conclusion

As a result, the differences in the characteristics of aluminum and copper wire are particularly evident. Copper wires are suitable for residential wiring because they withstand the heat effect and offer more benefits than aluminum wires, which are corrosive and can cause a fire. As a result, the majority of people favor copper wire, particularly in their homes. Apart from platinum wires, gold, silver, and iron wires are the most often utilized wires.

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/62577/
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-5761-9_1