There are a variety of speaker wires in market, and the common material are aluminum, copper and sliver. Since the material sliver is much more expensive than aluminum and copper, I will not discuss the silver cables today. The difference between aluminum and copper speaker wires is largely in their usage within utilities, resistance, conductivity, weight and cost.
Aluminum is in use by the utility companies for the transmission of electricity since the early 1900’s. Aluminum seems to have more advantages over the older copper wire in terms of weight, flexibility and cost, as it is lighter, more flexible, and less expensive. Aluminum wire was preferred over copper wire largely because of the rising price of copper, and therefore, aluminum wiring was more economical. Increased copper prices have also given rise to the use of aluminum wires during the 1970’s.
Copper wire is heavier, and aluminum is lighter. Aluminum building wires have half the weight of copper, with 50% greater area than copper to carry the same current, but aluminum wires need a larger wire gauge than copper to carry the same weight. But in customers’ opinion, aluminum is much lighter.
However, the disadvantage of aluminum wires is the existing dangers. What is meaning? Aluminum wires are corrosive and can cause fire. That is why Aluminum wires are coated with special grease and wiring devices to prevent any accident due to heat. By comparison, copper is safer and also more fireproof compared to aluminum.
The other main difference between copper and aluminum wires is the resistance of the material. When the resistance is low, the conductivity is high. Conductivity is a measure of the ability of a substance to conduct electricity. The higher the % IACS, the more conductive the material is. Copper is the standard by which electrical materials are rated and conductivity ratings are expressed as a relative measurement to copper. The highest conductivity of silver is 105%IACS, while aluminum’s conductivity is just 61%. The conductivity of aluminum is less than copper by about 61%. If you want to get the same resistance as copper, a thicker aluminum wire is needed. Today, copper wire is still the preferred choice in homes.
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