When it comes to electric conduction, the type of material used in making the cable is very important. Some conductors are proficient in conduction while others are poor therefore the type of conductor really matters. Here are some of the reasons why copper conductors are good for your electric systems:
I. High melting point. A good electric conductor must have a very high melting point because the current transmitted through them is high and the voltage is used is also high. A high melting point helps it to survive even during high thermal resistance. Copper can get heated to high temperature without distortion. This quality makes copper suitable to use in making electric cable.
II. Good conduction. The main purpose of a conductor is to transmit current efficiently therefore a conductor must be able to provide good conduction services. Copper is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. This helps copper to easily transmit current and also dissipate heat into the air to bring cooling in the conduction system.
III. Hardness and strength. Copper is hard and resistant to any force that tends to distorts its structure. This makes it a reliable material for making conductors especially for underground installation systems.
IV. Copper is malleable. This feature makes copper easy to fabricate into different shapes according to the desire of the user. This is one of the reasons it used to make coins. Copper can easily be made into different conductor shapes.
V. Relatively cheap. A good electric conductor should be affordable to the users. Copper being a material which is available, it makes it more affordable. Compared to other conductors like titanium, copper is cheaper.
Shortcomings of copper conductors
Despite the many benefits of copper, the trend has it that it is quickly getting replaced by other conductors such as fiber optic due to the pitfalls of copper. Some of the disadvantages are:
i. Copper conductors are not easy to store since it should not be exposed to oxygen. This comes with a lot of expense
ii. Copper conductors are heavier which consequently leads to high shipping costs.
iii. The conductor is susceptible to corrosive agents. This is caused through oxidation which easily spoil the surface of copper. The corrosion leads to short life span of the conductor.
Simple ways of proving a copper conductor
Sometimes confusion can occur when you miss to identify whether the conductor you are choosing is a real copper conductor. You can carry out some simple test to prove whether it is real copper.
- Color- this is the most outstanding feature to help you distinguish a material. However some people are color blind and may fail to give a correct color description. The copper color turns greenish when exposed to oxygen.
- Magnetic test. Copper is slightly magnetic in nature therefore move a magnetic closer to it and see the effect. The magnetic effect should be so low to detect.
- Evaluate the density of the conductor, if it is copper then the density will be around 8.90 g/mm.
Evaluate features of copper conductor and see how it fits where you need to apply it.