Copper clad Al wire

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haklesup
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Copper clad Al wire

Post by haklesup » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:31 pm

Has anyone used the copper clad aluminum hookup wire now common on Amazon (stranded hookup wire various gauges and colors). It cost half the price of 100% copper and especially for heavy gauge the savings is tempting but I think I have always used all copper wire or tinned copper. The application is not house wiring but general DC red black wire for DC lighting, speakers, and solar etc.

Any pros cons raves or rants? I'm not too concerned with conductivity, (it is up to 60% that of CU) but solderability could be affected, I guess that's my concern, is this better for crimp and avoid solder or just use like any Cu wire?

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Lenp
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Re: Copper clad Al wire

Post by Lenp » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:01 pm

The US embraced aluminum wire years ago, and regretted some of it.
Today aluminum is still used for large feeders teminated with Al/CU rated connectors.
Small wire was a nightmare and has been banned most everywhere due to cold flow and work hardening issues.
Failures are not worth the money saved.
Len

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Copper clad Al wire

Post by Janitor Tzap » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:31 pm

Here's the wikipedia page on "Copper clad Aluminum wire".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper-cl ... inium_wire


Signed: Janitor Tzap

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haklesup
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Re: Copper clad Al wire

Post by haklesup » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:25 pm

I did get some 10 gauge I plan mostly to use with crimp connections but it seems that I should be able to solder this using lead free SAC solder alloy that contains some copper already to help prevent the thin copper cladding from dissolving in the solder. There may be other solder alloys that can work with this stranded wire. I have some lead-tin with 1.2% copper I might try too, 60/40 solder probably would not work well.



Apparently is it useful but not as universally as pure copper WRT solderability, I plan to try some soon, I'll feedback later. This may only be used for limited sections, I also have a bunch or leftover monster cable (4 gauge maybe) that is overkill but still great for battery and inverter hookups. That's hard to solder because it sucks the heat away so fast, also recommended for crimp mainly.

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dacflyer
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Re: Copper clad Al wire

Post by dacflyer » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:51 am

LENP >> Yup,,stranded AL wire / cable is fine with houses,,it's the single stranded stuff that was the hazards..heating , cooling, expanding, contracting..caused a lot of loose connections, then arcing begat fires..

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