Copper prices are constantly rising. Over the past 4 months (from January to April 2023), the cost of one ton of copper in the non-ferrous metals market has increased by ten percent and reached $9,000. Given that 80% of electrical wiring in construction is made of copper, this only adds to the problems in the implementation of medium and long-term projects. How to keep the price per square meter and not lose quality?
The answer is: use aluminum alloy cables 8030 and 8176 series.
The necessary alloy of the 8th series is produced at Rusal enterprises, and Russian cable factories have started to produce cables from it. In terms of reliability, they are not inferior to copper, and in terms of cost, they are cheaper by 50%.
What do the experts say?
Today, many still believe that copper wiring is more durable. However, experts in the field of aluminum application in residential construction do not agree with this, and note the serious development of the latest technologies and the production of high reliability aluminum alloys.
As Maxim Tretyakov, President of the Electrocable Association (AEC), General Director of ELKAT LLC, stated:
“First of all, I am a copper man, I have been involved in copper in one way or another since 1993, and it may seem strange that I am standing here and talking about innovative aluminum wires. The fact is that we as an industry are closely monitoring demand, and transmissions with aluminum TPGs are a good way to keep it up to par.
Aluminum is cheaper, respectively, with the same money builders can buy more cable and build additional housing, reconstruct buildings and territories.”
Another advantage of aluminum is the absence of falsification in this market. Now in the field of deliveries of gearboxes with TPG made of aluminum alloys, members of the AEK are leading: Moskabelmet Group of Companies, Trade House Unkomteh LLC and etc. - those cable factories that have a reputation, and they will not risk it, dishonor the brand, underestimating the cross section lived.
Finally, the third argument voiced by Maxim Tretyakov in favor of an aluminum gearbox is “the need for existing political and economic conditions to reorient export flows of products to the domestic market countries".
Currently, Russian manufacturers such as Moskabelmet and others can offer housing developers a wide range of cable products with 8-series aluminum alloy cores. The use of these products is seriously gaining momentum and will continue to be used in the field of high-rise construction and in the oil and gas field.
Testing and evaluation of the characteristics of conductors made of aluminum alloys of the 8th series in cables of Russian production was carried out in joint research of the All-Russian Research Institute of the cable industry, the National Academy of Sciences of Fire Safety and the All-Union Research Institute of Fire Defense of the Ministry of Emergency Situations Russia. Based on the results of these studies, it was revealed that aluminum alloys of the latest technology are not inferior in safety and reliability to copper conductors in electrical cables. This conclusion provided the Ministry of Construction with the opportunity to allow the use of aluminum alloys of the 8th series in housing construction.
“The introduction of the 8xxx series aluminum alloy to the market responds to the trend towards reducing the cost of projects through the use of innovative cable products. Today, reliable and technological aluminum-based cable products are widely used in construction and energy to achieve maximum economic efficiency” — opinion of Elena Asanova, Director of the Aluminum Association for Coordination and Interaction with the market.
What are the benefits?
The indisputable advantages of aluminum include its weight. Compared to copper, 8-series aluminum alloy cables are 20-50% lighter with the same bandwidth. In addition, aluminum is more environmentally friendly.
For more than 30 years, the US has had positive experience with aluminum alloy cables. It is the main metal used in the installation of electrical wiring in the construction of residential and commercial real estate.
All of the above leads to one conclusion: with the support of the authorities, the cable industry products made from the latest aluminum alloys of the 8th series has the potential to occupy a large part of the Russian market. A large-scale transition from the use of copper cables to aluminum can save billions of rubles in housing construction throughout Russia.