Aluminum Building Wire Installation
With wide and varied applications in electrical field, an engineer or electrician is therefore obliged to know how to use the wires appropriately. It should be right to note that not every wire can fit in any wiring work. Some wires are meant for specific applications, therefore generalizing wire use can be dangerous. A lot is to be discovered about the Aluminum building Wire, its purpose, its advantages and how it is installed. This articles takes you through the highs and lows about the reality and skinning out the falsehood that trends about aluminum wire. By the end, an electrician will have essential truths about Aluminum wire installation
Aluminum Building wire installation is a type of wiring for households and buildings using aluminum conductors. Aluminum has better conductivity to weight ratio compared to copper. These wires are used in power grids, in overhead power transmission and also for power distribution lines in a particular locality. Due to their light weight, these conductors are also applied in airplane electrifications. The Aluminum wires have cost and weight as major advantages over copper. It has been used for quite a long time, a lot has been done to improve its quality like alloying, and Aluminum is still preferred today.
Types of Aluminum Building Wire
- There are two categories of the conductor that can be shopped:
- Stranded Aluminum conductor
XHHW insulated or USE-2 protected conductor.
These conductors have higher electrical conductivity to weight ratio copper. An aluminum cable will always weigh half the equal ampacity of copper. The conductor type XHHW-2 is designed to be used for all general residential wiring. It is also used in wiring for the commercial and industrial buildings. The products have meet the codes outlined by the Underwriters Laboratory. An approved XHHW-2 conductor can always work in a working temperature environment of upto 90 degrees both in wet and dry locations.
The Coming of the AA-8000 aluminum alloy
Copper was the first conductor to be used in the electrical field. However, after World War II, there arose an enormous shortage of copper and therefore Aluminum was to step in. Due to the urgency and high demand experienced, the aluminum was used in wiring households and industrial buildings without serious test and listing done on its quality. This led to some failures such as creep, lack of good strength and poor conductivity. But in mid-1900’s, there was emergence of aluminum Building wire technology with the coming of triple e aluminum alloy which paved way for AA-8000 series aluminum alloy.
Characteristics of AA-8000 aluminum alloy
The various weaknesses of old time aluminum conductors were solved through the alloy process. The metallurgists worked tirelessly to develop an alloy which possess the following desired characteristics:
- Thermal stability
- Compressive creep
- Flexibility which is closer to copper
The aluminum building wire and all its products were tested and listed for compatibility. This resulted in to proper and reliable electrical wiring techniques using the cables.
Opinion Biased on Aluminum Building Cable
A lot of ill theories have revolved about the use of Aluminum Building wire. But these theories are based on the long gone history about the wire. Quite a number households today find it uneasy to use the wire which should not be the case. These misconstrued facts should not leave you negative about the cable. The product has been greatly improved and has been approved by NEC and UL.
Remember that this wire has some advantages over copper. It is much lighter and cheaper. These make installation process easier and less grisly. To those who have used the aluminum building wire which is feeder, they are enjoying a lot. We are committed to serve you with quality and durable electric wires and cabling products at Nassau Electrical, you are invited today to partner with us. For more information about this cables and many other products, please feel free to get in touch with us via the live chat available at the bottom right hand side part of our website and we’ll be very happy to help you out.