Which Cable is Better Copper or Aluminium?

Which Cable is Better Copper or Aluminium?

Which Cable is Better Copper or Aluminium?

Which Cable is Better Copper or Aluminium?

When it comes to choosing between copper and aluminium for the construction of cables, the former has always got an edge over the latter, in multiple aspects. Let us compare the two.

Aluminium is nowhere near copper in terms of longevity of usage. Copper has been in use for the last 10,000 years. However, after the advent of electricity, copper has taken a back seat despite being such a good conductor of electricity, must due to its price, and weight. And the advent of aluminium has further pushed it back, and aluminium has emerged as the primary cable construction material. So here on this page, let us come up with a comparative analysis of aluminium cable vs copper cable, to find which one of the two is better.

As per the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS), aluminium has only 61% of the copper’s conductivity. Yet, it is because of the weight factor that aluminium is considered ahead of copper. Aluminium is only 30% of copper’s weight. And aluminium is significantly cheaper than copper. So this affordability and the lightweight property of aluminium make it more favourable to the wire cable manufacturersthan copper.


So does it mean it’s all the way a cakewalk for aluminium in terms of acceptability? Certainly not! There are pitfalls here and there, and when it comes to comparing copper and aluminium, these pitfalls have to be taken into account, when it comes to comparing the two metals.

How cheap is Aluminium?

Numerically speaking, aluminium wire price is less than that of their copper counterpart, and hence are far cheaper to purchase, but that does not nullify the fact that installation of these less pliable cables made of aluminium involves some extra expenses and efforts. From this point of view, copper seems to be a more logical choice for the stakeholders and that is the reason, copper wires are still predominantly used for the low voltage wirings. However again, when it comes to the installation of overhead long-distance cables, aluminium is the prime option because of the weight and distance factors.


How conductivity of aluminium differs from that of copper?

An Aluminium cable would need a larger cross-sectional area, for matching the conductivity of a copper cable of equal dimension. This difference in the dimension has a knock-on effect on various factors and a restrictive effect on certain other factors. For instance, aluminium cables need a 50% larger cross-sectional circumference, for achieving the same conductive capacity as an equivalent copper cable.

  • When laid underground, the number and size of the conduits need to be raised to match the increased cross-sectional area of the aluminium cable.
  • And when running over the ground, the width of the cable tray has to be increased as well, for accommodating a larger and additional number of aluminium cables.
  • Installing aluminium cables is far more difficult than copper cables due to their flexibility and size.
  • And when it comes to storing, fewer cables can be stored due to their sheer size, and this result in the availability of shorter cable lengths. This also indicates that when it comes to laying aluminium cables over a longer distance, more cable joints are needed to cover the desired distance. And installation of the increased number of joints leads to a higher probability of system failure.

Thus you see, there are pros and cons to using aluminium and copper wires. You just have to decide on your priority to choose one amongst them while discussing aluminium cable vs copper cable usability. You can connect with the professional team of Nakoda Wires and Cables, the top manufacturing company in Hyderabad, if you are looking for highly reputed wire cable manufacturers.

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