Copper Building Wire – Copper has been used in electric wiring since the invention of the electromagnet and the telegraph in the 1820s. The invention of the telephone in 1876 proved to be another early boon for copper wire.
Today, despite competition from other materials, copper remains the preferred electrical conductor in nearly all categories of electrical wiring.For example, copper wire is used in power generation, power transmission, power distribution, telecommunications, electronics circuitry, and countless types of electrical equipment.Aside from electrical conductors, other important electrical applications for copper include electrical contacts and resistors.
Electrical wiring in buildings is the most important market for the copper industry. Roughly half of all copper mined is used to manufacture electrical wire and cable conductors.
Aluminum Building Wire -is a type of wiring used in houses, power grids, and airplanes. Aluminum provides a much better conductivity to weight ratio than copper, and therefore is used in power wiring of some aircraft.
Utility companies have used aluminum wire for transmission of electricity within their power grids since the early 1900s. It has cost and weight advantages over copper wires. Aluminum wire in transmission and distribution applications is still the preferred material today.
In North American residential construction, aluminum wire was used to wire entire houses for a short time in the late 1960s to early 1970s during a period of high copper prices. Wiring devices (outlets, switches, fans, etc,)at the time were not designed with the particular properties of aluminum wire in mind and there were problems with the properties of the wire itself. Older wiring devices not originally rated for aluminum wiring present a fire hazard. Revised manufacturing standards for wiring devices were required.
Flexible cables – or ‘continuous-flex’ cables, are cables specially designed to cope with the tight bending radii and physical stress associated with moving applications, such as inside cable carriers.
Due to increasing demands within the field of automation technology in the 1980s, such as increasing loads, moving cables guided inside cable carriers often failed, although the cable carriers themselves did not. In extreme cases, failures caused by “corkscrews” and core ruptures brought entire production lines to a standstill, at high cost. As a result, specialist, highly flexible cables were developed with unique characteristics to differentiate them from standard designs. These are sometimes called “chain-suitable,” “high-flex,” or “continuous flex” cables.
A higher level of flexibility means the service life of a cable inside a cable carrier can be greatly extended. A normal cable typically manages 50,000 cycles, but a dynamic cable can complete between one and three million cycles.