Copper vs Aluminium Cables: Importance of Bimetallic Lugs
When it comes to electrical installations, choosing the right type of cable is crucial for the performance and safety of the system. Copper and aluminium are two of the most popular materials used in electrical cables and wires, each with its own unique set of characteristics that make it suitable for different applications. Understanding the differences between copper and aluminium cables can help you make an informed decision when selecting the right type of cable for your electrical installation.
Copper is a highly conductive metal that is known for its excellent electrical properties. With a conductivity of around 100% IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard), it is an efficient conductor of electricity. Copper cables are also relatively durable and resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for use in underground and outdoor applications. They are also widely available and relatively easy to work with. Copper cables are also resistant to fire and heat and have a longer lifespan than aluminium cables.
On the other hand, aluminium is a less expensive alternative to copper and is also highly conductive with a conductivity of around 61% IACS. However, aluminium cables are not as durable as copper cables and are more prone to corrosion. Additionally, aluminium cables have a higher resistance than copper cables, which can result in a larger voltage drop of around 2.5% per 100m (based on a current of 100A, and a conductor temperature of 75°C). Aluminium cables are also not as resistant to fire and heat as copper cables.
When connecting copper and aluminium cables, it’s important to use Bimetallic lugs. Bimetallic lugs are special connectors that are designed to connect copper and aluminium cables together. These lugs are made of two metals, copper and aluminium, and they are designed to prevent corrosion between the two different metals. This is important because when different metals are connected together, it creates an electrolytic reaction which can cause corrosion, this is why Bimetallic lugs are used to prevent this from happening.
CableHero offers a wide range of tools to help with cable sizing and installation, including a voltage drop calculator, cable size calculator, cable sizing calculator, wire size calculator, and solar cable size calculator. These tools can be used to calculate the appropriate size of cables and wires for your installation, taking into account factors such as current, length, and resistance, as well as local building codes and regulations.
The voltage drop calculator, in particular, can be used to calculate the voltage drop in your installation, taking into account the type of cable or wire being used, the current flowing through it, and the length of the cable. This is important because a high voltage drop can cause problems with the operation of equipment and devices that are powered by the cables and wires.
In conclusion, Copper and Aluminum are both popular materials used in electrical cables and wires but have different properties that make them suitable for different applications. Copper cables are more durable, resistant to corrosion, fire and heat, and have a longer lifespan, while aluminum cables are less expensive and more conductive. However, aluminum cables have a higher resistance which can result in a larger voltage drop. When connecting copper and aluminum cables, it’s important to use Bimetallic lugs to prevent corrosion. CableHero’s tools and calculators can help you make an informed decision when choosing the right type of cable for your electrical installation, and ensure that your electrical installation is done safely and efficiently.
Disclaimer: Although CableHero provides important and accurate tips and information through this website, CableHero does not make any representations or warranties as to the completeness, precision, trustworthiness, or timeliness of such information, and CableHero does not claim any duty to be held liable from the usage of the information.