Understanding Cu Cables and Their Advantages in Usage

Cu cables are very common in electrical projects. They are used by electricians and engineers in almost all construction sites, residential, commercial, and industrial settings. However, for those unfamiliar with the field, it can sometimes be confusing when to purchase copper wires.

What are cu cables?

Cu cables may be one of the oldest and most widely used conductive methods. It has been in use since the 1800s, since the invention of telegraph and telephone. According to some estimates, over half of the mined copper is used in the manufacturing of copper wire cables. Due to its high conductivity and high melting point, electrical project managers usually prefer cu cables over other available alternatives.

The process of turning pure copper bricks into cu cables is called extrusion. The simplest method is to melt the bricks, called "ingots", and then stretch them through a machine called an extruder. Various manufacturing steps then produce different types of copper wire, including solid cables or braided products, also known as woven copper wires.

Due to its properties such as ductility (flexibility), corrosion resistance, weldability, and strength, copper wires are used almost everywhere. You will see them installed in electrical power transmission, generation, distribution, residential and commercial building electrical uses, and even in wiring components in equipment and circuits.

Supply and demand are the fundamental reasons determining the prices of cu cables. Copper is one of the best conductors of heat and electricity, hence the high demand. As a result, high demand requires higher prices. Additionally, copper wire cables use a significant amount of the underlying metal - copper, which is scarce in its production. Copper mining is rare in jurisdictions today, and this scarcity drives up the price of cu cables.

Advantages of cu cables

Engineers prefer using cu cables because they bring many advantages to projects. As a metal, copper has a very high conductivity (100%). This means that copper wire cables used for wiring projects bring efficient output. The copper wire is also very tough and flexible with its higher tensile strength (200-250 N/mm2 after annealing, compared to aluminum's 100 N/mm2), which means it is not easily breakable and does not fracture when bent. However, because of this quality, it is also easy to work with in applications, for example, electricians threading insulated cu cables through bends and turns during installation processes.

Due to copper's high melting point at 1981.4ºF/1083.0℃ (compared to aluminum: 1220ºF/660℃), cu cables are perfect for applications that generate excessive heat. This makes copper wires the preferred product for many applications, such as wiring for heaters, furnaces, and electric stoves (cookers and ovens).