XHHW-2 Aluminum Conductor
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Applications: Type XHHW-2 conductors are primarily used in conduit or recognized raceways for services, feeders, and branch circuit wiring as specified in the National Electrical Code 1 . XHHW-2 conductors may be used in wet or dry locations at temperatures not to exceed 90°C. Voltage rating for XHHW-2 conductors is 600 volts.
Specifications: Type XHHW-2 conductors meet or exceed UL Standard 44, Federal Specification A-A-59544, and requirements of the National Electrical Code.
Type XHHW-2 meets and exceeds all construction requirements of ICEA S-95-658 (NEMA WC 70) - Nonshielded 0 - 2 kV Cables, with testing frequencies based on UL requirements.
Construction: Type XHHW-2 aluminum conductors are AlumaFlex TM AA-8000 series aluminum alloy, compact stranded. Insulation is an abrasion, moisture and heat resistant black cross-linked polyethylene. Conductor sizes AWG 2 and larger listed and marked sunlight resistant in black only. Not CT rated.
Aluminum Building Wire Info
Nassau Electrical carries a wide selection of Aluminum Building Wire. Please contact us with your Aluminum Building Wire request.
Aluminum has been used by many different utility companies since the early 1900s as a way to transmit electricity. Aluminum has some advantages to copper because it is lighter, cheaper and more flexible. Because of the rising copper price, electrical contractors are choosing aluminum building wire.
Aluminum Building wire now uses the 8000 alloy series. Building wire alloys are used for connection performances and stability. They are not used for overhead applications because mechanical characteristics are absent. Contractors, engineers and inspectors use low voltage feeders because it is much cheaper than copper. Even though aluminum conductors need to have a 50% greater area than copper to carry the same current aluminum building wire weighs half as much as copper. The aluminum building wire can be compacted down to having the same diameter as copper. Aluminum weighs less then copper therefore there is a lower pulling tension, which lowers the chances of ruining the insulation of the wire during installation.
Building wires are rated by the circuit voltage, temperature ratings, and environmental conditions such as, moisture and sunlight that they can be used. The amount of current that a wire safely transmits depends on the installation conditions.
Aluminum building wire has the ability to “cold-flow” under pressure which causes connections to get loose over time. Aluminum wire has a tendency to expand and contract more due to temperature which releases electrical connections causing them to fail. This can also create high resistance that can be a factor of fire risk.
When corrosion occurs it means that there has been a failure at aluminum connection. The National Bureau of Standards tested what caused the high resistance at aluminum connections. They concluded the formation of intermetallic compounds was the reason high resistance terminations occurred and not because of corrosion or aluminum oxide.
There are certain recommended termination methods for aluminum building wire such as using connectors. Screw type connectors, compression connectors and pin connectors are a few which you can use. To be secure and safe you would want to double check with the manufacturer for specifics that fit the application you would be using. It is important to choose the right size connector for the conductor which you are using. Connectors usually have listed the wire size range and tend to be the same for aluminum and copper.
When contractors are purchasing wire they should confirm that aluminum wire installed in applications governed by the NEC are UL. They should also make sure insulation is adaptable for the installation location. XHHW is sunlight resistant, has a higher short –circuit withstand rating and is rated for 90°C in dry and wet locations. On the other hand USE-2 and RHH/RHW-2 are used for interior wiring applications as well as direct burial.
When inspectors are inspecting they should make sure conductors are UL listed and sized properly.
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