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  1. #1
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Interesting article about al conductors

    Thought I would post this article FWIW. You need to slow down and read it. I found the information useful in understanding aluminum conductors and corrosion and misconceptions when compared to copper. It would appear that the authors all credentialed as PE's and of course their results of investigation but seems to be quite well documented.

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  2. #2
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Interesting article about al conductors

    I weary of pseudo-scientific 'engineering stusies' that are little more than fluff and sales pitches.

    I remember the time when there was a never-ending series of problems reported regarding aluminum wiring. At the time, there was also an 'unprecedented' copper shortage - some said caused by the need for ammunition during the Vietnam war - with the consequent incentives to use aluminum.

    Back then, the aluminum wire industry had no problem producing all manner of 'studies' that kept proving that there was nothing wrong with the wire, and that the problems were therefore caused by the installer. All manner of assertions were used regarding the use of antioxidant compounds, etc.

    Meanwhile, the industry was quietly changing the alloy formula. Today's 'aluminum' is not the same alloy as was used then.

    Today the sales force is out, beating the bushes, extolling the decades of happy use since they changed the alloy- though they also assert that there was never anything wrong with the original alloy. They assert that there is no reason to use any manner of antioxidant compound. It is also pure chance that they just don't happen to make aluminum wire in the smaller sizes.

    Note that these various sales pitches are careful not to mention any particular role for aluminum conductors. Also note that Cutler-hammer is in the panel business, and not the device business. As such, aluminum has been successfully used in panels all along; that was never the issue. Yet, that's also another area where they mislead.

    When someone specifies a panel with copper busses, they also want the other features that were once common in panels. They do not want the now-common cheap plastic insides and tin-foil covers. They want bakelite interiors, not PVC. They want real substance to the box. Put copper in a junk box and you still have a junk box. (Ever see an FPE with aluminum busses?)

    To be fair, C-H, generally speaking, doesn't make junk. They've done yeoman service keeping Square-D honest. Some of their competitors, however, do make junk ... and those competitors use aluminum quite freely.

  3. #3
    David Argabright's Avatar
    David Argabright Guest

    Default Re: Interesting article about al conductors

    Thanks for the information Roger.


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