Brief Guide for Apprentices: Aluminum and Copper Wire

Aluminum and copper have several different properties, therefore there are different situations where they would be best used. This short but informative guide is intended to explain the types of projects that may require the use of wiring and which type of conductor is suitable. 


Copper wire - The applications and considerations


Copper is often preferred over aluminum wire when used for building wire. Ignoring silver, copper is the most well-known conductive metal there is. These wires are usually used for power transmission as copper is resistant to corrosion and can withstand load surges much better than aluminum wiring.


As copper wire is a strong electrical conductor, it is very stable over time and won’t need to be replaced as often. Just like aluminium, it can be used for either commercial or industrial buildings. Copper is also widely used as it is the most economical out of all the conductors.


If you are an electrical contractor you will know that copper is generally your wire of choice as it will not creep and it’s easy to work with as it strips and blends easily. Copper wiring installation is well known by electrical contractors nationwide but aluminum has its uses and advantages too.


Aluminum wire - The applications and considerations


Aluminium wire is often used for overhead transmission lines. It has also become more popular for use in commercial facilities such as buildings, stadiums, shopping centres and manufacturing facilities. Aluminum has become very popular in the construction industry and has been installed in many locations including service entrance conductors and power distribution conductors. When it has been properly installed it can be just as safe as copper.


Aluminum is low cost, lightweight and just like copper it is easy to use. In any industrial settings where weight might be a concern aluminium compared to copper can offer a huge reduction. With the correct installation aluminum wiring can provide a reliable power source at a reduced cost.


If you are a newly qualified electrician working with copper and aluminum wiring daily, it is important that you are using the correct tools so that it can be installed not only correctly but also safely. Here at Boddingtons Electrical we can offer you or your business a range of insulated tools and safety equipment perfect for the job at hand. Call us today or go to our website for more information and to see the entire range of products available.