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XHHW Wire - Copper vs. Aluminum | Product Knockout

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

“Our Product Knock-out series is a match-up between two similar products. In boxing terms, think same weight class, same caliber, and same level of experience and amount of exposure. The purpose of these posts are for you to see a side-by-side view of two similar products, and to be able to understand which one will be crowned champ for your specific purposes. Take your seats and prepare for battle, because the gloves are coming out.” XHHW wire is a popular type of lead wire, commonly used in industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Common applications include general purpose wiring, power distribution and branch circuit wiring in conduit and other approved raceways as specified by the National Electric Code. It is also extremely useful in applications where flame retardant qualities are a must, and is well-known for its water resistance and high temperature resistance. Most XHHW wires are very similar, but one thing to consider when choosing an XHHW wire is the conductor material - either copper or aluminum. Both types of XHHW wire have cross-linked polyethylene insulation, so their environmental uses are very similar. They also have similar voltage ratings ranging from 110V to 600V, and can withstand temperatures up to 90°C. Most XHHW wires are available in sizes from 14 AWG and 1000 MCM, and are fire and water resistant. The main differences between the cables come down to the characteristics of the metals themselves.

Copper XHHW Wire Copper XHHW Wire
Aluminum XHHW Wire Aluminum XHHW Wire

Copper is a heavy material, much heavier than aluminum. However, copper is a more effective conductor of electricity, and therefore, Copper XHHW wires tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, we have Aluminum XHHW cable. Aluminum is much lighter and less expensive than copper, but is also much less conductive. Both types of XHHW wires are extremely useful and versatile, but it is important to understand which material works best in your application. Aluminum cables are not necessarily approved where copper cables are, so take the time to be sure you are adhering to any standards and codes that are applicable to your installation. For more information, check out our large selection of XHHW cable.

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