Cables contain copper or aluminium conductors. Copper has been used ever since while the use of aluminium is fairly new when it comes to producing cables. Aluminium cables used to be an expensive commodity. Nowadays a good reason to buy aluminium cables instead of copper cables is the price advantage of aluminium.
The history of aluminium
The history of aluminium cables has a lifespan of more than 100 years. Aluminium wiring became recognized worldwide since the publication of the IEC 60288 standard and the American National Electrical Code (NEC). Aluminium was a semi-precious metal in the 1880s. The retail price was higher than silver and gold. Since the early 1900s, prices of aluminium continuously decreased. The real “breakthrough” of aluminium was in the mid-20th century.
During the Second World War there was a shortage of copper. Electrical equipment manufacturers started offering aluminium cables. Since aluminium is extracted from bauxite, supply of bauxite during this time was high. Nowadays, the prices of aluminium cables are lower than the prices of copper cables.
After the Second World War there were a number of factors and market conditions which had their effect on aluminium prices. The most recent one is the 2008 financial crisis. In 2008 the demand for many goods and products diminished. Due to this fact aluminium prices dropped down to 50% from mid-2008 to early 2009.
An economical choice
Aluminium is known for its cost-saving advantage. Compared to copper cables, the prices of aluminium cables are much lower. Depending on the type of cable, it can be 20% to 50% less expensive making it a better economical choice for many organisations. Considering future developments the price advantage of aluminium will remain the same.
Price developments of aluminum
In June 2005, the price per 1.000 kg of copper was € 2.635,79 and for aluminium this was € 1.434,50 making copper 183,7% more expensive. Ten years later in June 2015, the price for copper was € 5.495,74 and the price for aluminium € 1.609,45. In fact, copper is 341,5% more expensive than aluminium. These figures show that the difference in price has increased over the years.
Price advantage of aluminium cables in the future
Future developments are hard to assess since the market faces several challenges. A first challenge is the dollar/euro exchange rate. There is also an increase in the production of aluminium in China. We believe that the price of aluminium will slightly decrease towards 2016. The production will increase and the demand remains more or less the same. Thus, the expectation is that the difference between the prices of aluminium cables and copper cables will remain stable or possibly even increase. In the future, the price advantage of aluminium cables is expected to remain the same.
Examples of aluminium cables
If you’re interested in aluminium cables, please contact us. Or have a look at the following products we offer you:
- PowerAmp AMS cables 3.6 up to 36kv
- PowerAmp-A 07BN4-AF
- AL-XLPE-CTS-PVC cables 12kV to 36kV
- NA2XS(F)2Y cables 6kV up to 36kV
- NAYY-O and NAYY-J
- U-1000 ARVFV
- Aluminium recycling is very efficient. It only uses 5% of the total amount of energy needed to produce aluminium from its ore, bauxite.
- There is about 8% of aluminium in the Earth’s crust. Therefore, it is the third most abundant element, behind oxygen and silicon.
More about the advantages of aluminium cables?
Recieve our eBook and you will find more information about:
- The history of aluminium cable development.
- The cost advantages of aluminium cables.
- The weight advantages of aluminium cables.
- The conductivity of aluminium cables.
- The installation and connectivity of aluminium cables.