Pros and Cons of Metals Used in the Utilities Industry

Pros and cons of copper and aluminum

According to recent trend discussions, there are big plans on the horizon for improving the electrical grid in the United States, including building new substations across the country. That said, aluminum and copper are both important components in electrical applications, making them some of the most in-demand metals on the market today and into the future.

In this blog, learn what makes aluminum and copper so ideal for applications in the utilities industry.

Advantages of Aluminum in Utilities Applications

The main property of aluminum that makes it so desirable for electrical applications is its conductivity, which is ideal for transferring electrical current. It’s also lightweight, making it easier to transport. In applications like substation construction, the format of choice is seamless aluminum bus pipe, which is available in multiple alloys.

While aluminum’s relative strength makes it suitable for some building applications, compared to metals like carbon steel, it’s not extremely strong or durable. However, tensile strength is typically not an important factor in most utilities applications.

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Advantages of Copper in Utilities Applications

Like aluminum, copper has high electrical conductivity but weighs significantly more than aluminum. In the utilities industry, copper is frequently used for small components in substations, such as switch gears and transformers. Copper sheeting, cut into custom sizes, is commonly used in utilities applications.

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Copper typically has a higher cost than aluminum, but the cost difference is relatively trivial because copper is used in smaller quantities in the utilities industry.

Why Choose Three D Metals for Copper and Aluminum?

Three D Metals is a top supplier of copper and aluminum in the United States. With the high demand for both metals, supply chain availability can make it challenging to get the copper and aluminum you need.

That’s where Three D Metals can really make a difference. We have close relationships with our metal suppliers, and as a customer, you can benefit from our connections in the industry, particularly when you’re seeking metal products that are a hot commodity. Try out our metal calculator or request a quote from Three D today!

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