Copper wire is used primarily in building construction. It conducts electricity better than any other natural material except for silver and is much cheaper. Industrial copper wire of 99.98% purity can be made relatively cheaply and industrial copper wire of purity of 99.99999% can be achieved in commercial quantities.
Copper cable also is used in electronic devices, industrial machinery, transportation equipment and general consumer products. It is the standard in electrical conductivity and the replacement of non-copper electrical conductors with copper electrical cable usually earns a profit for building owners within two years.
Problems with power quality often can be prevented with copper-intensive solutions. Neutral conductors that use copper cable are better able to handle harmonic loads and copper grounding systems dissipate transient power more easily.
Electrical copper wire is replacing aluminum in computer chips, allowing conductor widths to be significantly reduced. This produces a faster operating speed.
Consider these points when using copper wire:
- Buying copper wire in bulk quantities can save costs for your business.
- Square copper wire is more costly, but more efficient to use than round copper wire.
- Match the strength of the of copper wire you buy to the type of the project you're undertaking.
Determine whether you need bulk copper wire or wiring harnessesBulk copper is used by manufacturers that are able to integrate copper wire into their manufacturing whereas harnesses are already made and ready to install.
Choose between round and square copper wireRound wire is cheaper, but square wire can save valuable space in applications where the wire needs to be routed around a corner. Square wire also has a tighter configuration when coiled.
Determine the size and source of your copper wireThe size of copper wire is usually determined by its electrical requirements with more current requiring thicker wire. Buy copper wire from manufacturers specializing in a particular application.
- Copper wire prices are consistently higher than those for aluminum, and copper is much heavier than aluminum. In addition to superior electrical conductivity, however, the advantages of copper include a fatigue strength and electrochemical decomposition rate.
- Know that magnet wire is normally coated with a lubricant to allow the wire to be wound and unwound more easily. This is typically a dilute solution of mineral oil or paraffin wax. Copper wire for sensitive applications may need to be specifically ordered without lubricant if out-gassing is a critical factor.