How Is Aluminium As a Material Better Than Copper?
In recent years, aluminium have been paid more attention in various industries, people are talking about aluminium as an alternative material than copper for use in electrical equipment. Aluminium is actually a better material than copper for use in electrical equipment, including air conditioning.
Light and Strong
The ratio between strength and weight is higher in aluminium than almost any other metal. What does that mean for us? The significance of this is that at the same time as being much lighter than copper. Besides, aluminium is far stronger than you would normally expect a metal of a low weight to be. As well as bringing value for money, aluminium brings value per gram to the table.
When it comes to construction, a light material is much easier to work with. As well as being easier, it’s going to be cheaper too. Using aluminium reduces the overall weight of the unit or structure, so it will be easier and cheaper to support.
Although aluminium is lighter than copper, when it comes to the crunch it isn’t as strong. Is this the downside of aluminium? Arguably though this is actually another advantage.
Due to the fact that aluminium is less rigid than copper (so less strong) it is more malleable. The fact that aluminium gives naturally rather than snapping under pressure means you can manufacture more flexible pipes that can be used in many none standard ways. For the first time, industrial air conditioning can now be built around the shape of the building or unit, rather than having to be restricted by the properties of a material (copper.)
Aluminium continues to have benefits long after the building process is complete too. Intrinsically a longer lasting material, aluminium pipes are also far easier to repair than copper. This effectively means that air conditioning and refrigeration units manufactured using aluminium have a longer life span. After soldering (the process for fixing a damaged aluminium pipe) the pipe will actually be stronger than it started out.
Even at the end of the life of the unit aluminium continues to have benefits. When the time finally comes to replace the air conditioning unit, aluminium is an easy material to recycle. With regulations putting more onus on recycling rather than sending material to landfill this is an excellent benefit for the future. The main reason we have found ourselves in the current position we are with copper is that it is running out, that should not happen with aluminium. It isn’t just the most readily available metal on earth, it is also incredibly easy to recycle, great news!
By Sarah Haines
ALCOM, the largest manufacturer of rolled aluminium products in Malaysia and a leading supplier in the Asia Pacific region, offer wide range of aluminium products.