What Properties to Look For In an Aluminum Conductor
A conductor serves as the transmission medium of both heat and electricity. A metal has to have certain unique and valuable properties in order to be a conductor. Though we have many conductors, some are not very good and can be disappointing. Therefore a good conductor has to be reliable and serve its purpose without causing sabotage to the system. It has to have various mechanical and chemical properties which will give it good performance. To understand Aluminum conductors, below are some of the essential information which helps you refute the myths that have been going round about Al conductors.
Construction and Authenticity
The conductor can be found in either bar or round shapes. All these shapes are used in power transmission and distribution in industrial plants and domestic applications. National Electric Code agency is among other agencies which have proved the authenticity of Aluminum conductors.
Thermal expansion is the rate of change of a conductor length with respect to temperature change. Aluminum has a higher thermal linear expansion compared to other conductors like Copper. This means that Aluminum can easily expand when under heat and contract when the heating is withdrawn.
This conductor is cost effective compared to other metals. It is easily affordable hence the cost of installation and maintenance of the system is low. Despise the affordability, it provides efficient service.
Regulatory agencies like NEC have proven the Aluminum as a good medium of electric conduction. Besides, its good quality is its light weight which is beneficial for designs. Too heavy metals are not good conductors. With more weight, there is increase in shipping costs and difficulty in fabrication.
It possible for corrosion to occur on aluminum conductor. This is always led by a galvanic action especially when it is used together with other conductors in an electrolyte solution. Even a humid air can lead to corrosion, this leads to a damage of the Aluminum conductor. To prevent this, you are advised to use reliable connectors when installing an Aluminum conductor.
Creep is a property of a material to undergo deformation when it is subjected to force. The earlier Aluminum conductor demonstrated high creep effect than other competitive materials like copper. However the electric field industries have considered this problem and mitigated it by the use a more advanced alloy technique. The 8000 aluminum alloy serves well with low creep rate.
Alloying involves adding some elements in considerable amount to a primary element in order to achieve a desirable quality regarding the applications. Alloys are done to improve the quality of a particular material. The earlier Aluminum materials were not very competent for industrial work, with poor hardness and also didn’t have good conduction property.
The alloying technique was invented which has greatly improved the quality of Aluminum all round. It boosted the conductor’s resistance to corrosion, reduced its susceptibility to oxidation, and increased its strength and thermal property. Materials used in alloying include: copper, silicon, lithium, and manganese among others. Aluminum alloy is appropriate for conductors in electric circuits, design and installation.