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Aluminum is not a substitute for copper

At the III All-Russian conference with the theme «Copper, brass, bronze: the trend of production and consumption», held in St. Petersburg, Sergei Kostin, head of «Factory quality alloys», he suggested that copper can not be fully replaced aluminum in the production of various cables and wires, where it acts as current conductor. Thus the resistivity of aluminum is higher than that of copper, and electricity losses are compensated fairly low price for the metal. The reason is the impossibility of widespread use of aluminum is the presence of an oxide film, which makes it difficult to use as the basis of a light metal conductors where the processes are carried out silver plating, tin plating, nickel plating and zheleznenija — surgery, standard used in the manufacture of a broad line of cable materials.

According to Sergei Kostin, a good solution to this problem is to create a tandem «copper-aluminum», for which today there is a sufficient number of methods and technologies for obtaining bimetallic wire rod — it is produced commercially for use in the cable «twisted pair». Another alternative solution is to manufacture bimetallic wire, providing an aluminum base plated superalloy of copper. When using pure aluminum can count on greater plasticity of the material with lower resistivity, and metal at drawing more technological. Copper plating establishes superalloy that guarantees operation of the system in the cable when predetermined conditions.

Today, research is being conducted 2 new low alloys that have been developed for the production of bimetallic wire — here the content of the doping component is less than 5%, which makes it impossible for the silver plating, tinning, etc. operations carried out on the standard equipment on the developed technologies… In the presence of the second element of the Cu matrix can act zirconium, chromium, nickel, magnesium, silicon, niobium — materials that provide high-temperature strength.

Last year, the production of copper rod, wire and cable was 744 thousand. Tons, while exports reached 405,000 tons. Melting of rolled copper and alloys of copper amounted to about 70 000 tonnes.

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