Copper Vs Aluminum Bus Bar

When it comes to power distribution applications, bus bars have become the industry standard. In fact, they still see a great deal of use in a world of high tech solutions. Bus bars are important parts of so many systems today and you have choices, as far as materials. So, is it best to use an aluminum bus bar or one made from copper? Let’s take a closer look to see.

Copper

When it comes to conductors, copper is one of the finest metals you can use. In fact, it is the standard conductor for residential and many commercial 120/240-volt wiring applications today. Copper has a higher ampacity rating than other metals like aluminum and this is an important consideration. For example, if one is installing a 20-amp circuit you would need a number 10 solid conductor for aluminum but only a number 12 conductor for copper. However, for bus bars, you’ll see more and more aluminum being used for the following reasons.

Benefits of the Aluminum Bus Bar

Cost is one of the most important considerations in the electrical industry today. Because aluminum is readily available, it is a much cheaper alternative and still performs very well in most applications today. Keeping costs low helps the modern supplier and manufacturer stay competitive in a very competitive market. It can be the difference between gaining new customers and losing business.

As many electrical systems become smaller, weight becomes a greater issue. Aluminum is one of the lightest materials you can use and yet it has great strength properties. Plus, aluminum is not prone to corrosion or oxidation issues like copper and does not turn green.

The aluminum bus bar is a vital electrical component, because it is a renewable material which is easy to recycle. This is very important for the modern business interested in environmental issues.

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