All About Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA)

As in many professional industries, change happens over time rather than accepted instantaneously. New technologies must prove their worth and reliability, which may prove tricky at times. After all, time is the best judge of passing vs permanent trends.
Copper clad aluminum is a good example of an innovation that has faced initial skepticism in the wire and cable industry.

Solid Copper

Solid copper has been the standard material for numerous wiring applications for over a century. Copper conductors have been used since the first electric wiring system in the 1800’s. Insulation methods and connectors on the other hand, have changed over the years. So how did copper maintain its popularity? Well that is thanks to copper’s high electrical conductivity and low resistance. But due to its wide use and demand, copper is an expensive metal.

Copper Clad Aluminum

Copper Clad AluminumWithin certain parameters, copper clad aluminum (CCA) allows to utilize all of copper’s benefits for a drastically lower cost. At the same time, a CCA cable network helps balance out the world’s copper supply. A copper clad aluminum wire is composed of an aluminum inner core and a copper outer ‘skin’. While the wire contains less copper than solid copper wire, it provides virtually the same conductivity with only slightly higher resistance. This is possible due to do an electrical phenomenon known as “skin effect.”

Skin Effect and CCA

The skin effect causes alternating current to concentrate on the more-conductive copper cladding of the conductor, causing the resistance of the wire to approach that of a pure copper wire at high frequencies.
Thanks to skin effect, a less expensive metal (such as aluminum) can be used as the core material, with copper outer layer to achieve virtually the same conductivity.

Performance, Cost, and Time

Due to its unique bonding of copper and aluminum, CCA can deliver an economical solution without compromising performance and reliability. Its weight conscious design simplifies installations and saves time and cost.
With our fact changing technologies and innovation driven world market, it is smart to be both cost conscious and find alternate solutions to natural resources depletion. Copper clad aluminum has both covered.