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aluminum copper is a metal alloy with copper and aluminum that’s used in some electrical applications. The main reason it’s used is because copper has better conductivity than aluminum and can carry more current. It also dissipates heat much more quickly than aluminum, so it won’t oxidize as easily and is more effective at resisting corrosion. However, the disadvantages of using copper are that it is significantly more expensive than aluminum, which can make it prohibitive to use for longer power runs. It’s also stiffer and heavier than aluminum, which makes it harder to work with for some types of connections.
A lot of homes have aluminum wiring, but the majority of commercial and industrial sites still use solid copper wire. The primary reasons for that are cost savings and durability. Copper doesn’t expand and contract as much as aluminum, which can cause problems if connections aren’t made correctly. Copper also doesn’t corrode as easily as aluminum and has a much higher thermal conductivity, so it is more effective at conducting electricity.
Copper-clad aluminum is a good alternative to solid copper for some applications, but it lacks the copper’s excellent conductivity and tends to be weaker than pure aluminum. It’s usually used for smaller applications like wiring branch applications to switches or receptacles. However, you should always be sure to properly size the conductor you’re using in an application so it can handle the voltage and amperage requirements. You can find an online tool at Southwire’s Voltage Drop Calculator to help with proper sizing.