Cca cable is a multi-layer metal wire clad with a group of metals or metallic compounds on the surface, also known as multilayered metal wire. Copper-clad aluminum wire combines the characteristics of base metal and copper in an inseparable whole through advanced cladding and welding manufacturing technology. This achieves a contact bond between the copper layer and core aluminum rod with elastic deformation that can meet customers’ demands for raw material recycling, economic efficiency, resource conservation, energy saving, and environmental protection.
1. What is CCA Cable?
CCA cable is made from Copper Clad Aluminum. The wires are made out of aluminum coated with copper. CCA cable is a common type of wire used in the United States, Canada, and other countries. The letter “C” stands for “Copper,” while the letter “A” stands for “Aluminum.”
CCA is commonly used because it is more affordable than pure copper cable and has good electrical conductivity. Pure copper has excellent conductivity but costs much more than CCA. CCA also has better electrical conductivity than pure aluminum, which makes it ideal for use in extension cords and other low voltage cables where cost needs to be kept low. Still, conductivity needs to be high enough for safe use over long distances or through walls where voltage drop can cause problems with sensitive electronics.
Copper cable is very ubiquitous in electrical projects. Electricians and engineers use it in almost all worksites, residential, commercial and industrial. However, for those of
CCA cables have excellent mechanical strength, making them suitable for outdoor use and undersea cable installations. They also offer better corrosion resistance than other types of cables like copper/aluminum and copper/copper because the aluminum layer prevents oxidation on the wires’ surface. The cables are available in various sizes and configurations depending on your needs and application requirements.
2. How to identify CCA cable?
CCA cable is to snip off a piece of the cable to expose the conductor, then scrape it with a knife to remove the top layer of copper if there’s a silver color indicating aluminum’s presence.
You can also use a multimeter to test for CCA cable. Please set it to measure resistance and touch one probe to each end of the cable. If you get a reading of fewer than 100 ohms, that’s an indication that you’re dealing with aluminum wiring.
Look for print words on the insulation. Some manufacturers mark their aluminum wire with “AL” or “AA.” You can also measure the diameter of each conductor in your cable and compare it with IEC standards.
3. Is CCA Cable Good?
CCA Cable is an electrical cable with an aluminum core with a thin layer of copper clad around it. Copper-clad aluminum is used as an alternative to pure copper wire because CCA has better resistance to corrosion than pure copper. CCA wire has good points compared to other types of wires
- Copper-clad aluminum technology, because its material is not pure copper, so the price is relatively low in weight because the wire often requires a measurement unit rather than weight, so more economical transportation costs.
- Because the high-frequency signal has “skin effect” characteristics, copper-clad aluminum and copper-clad steel wire in the transmission of high-frequency signals (more significant than 5MHz), with the same conductive properties as pure copper wire.
- In addition, CCA cable has good mechanical properties and anti-corrosion performance, up to 200 times higher than ordinary steel cable corrosion resistance; can meet international standards for underground installation requirements.
- Has good corrosion resistance: aluminum than easy copper corrosion, but because copper clad aluminum material has been completely metallurgical, aluminum is completely covered by copper, will not be water, air contact, completely reach the same performance as copper. Copper clad aluminum composite conductor is also more conducive to avoiding the cable in the long-term use of the process due to corrosion, bruising, tight pressure, tin welding, bad contact between the conductor and terminal, heat caused by the copper layer off and copper and aluminum between the two metals to form an electrical potential difference, accelerating galvanic corrosion, resulting in the hidden danger of cable end burn. For aluminum conductors, especially in coastal areas, the chloride ions contained in the salt spray in the atmosphere will coalesce on the surface of the aluminum
- low cost and lightweight: For the same technical specifications of copper-core cable, copper-clad aluminum conductor cable can save more than 40% of the price, and cca cable can save more than 20% of the cost. The specific gravity of copper-clad aluminum cable is only 37%-40% of pure copper wire. Under the condition of equal wire diameter and weight, its length is 2.5 times that of pure copper wire.
- good weldability: because cca cable’s surface is covered with a layer of pure copper, so it has the same weldability as pure copper wire, convenient production
4. CCA cable vs OFC
Pure copper conductors have more strength and elongation than copper-clad aluminum conductors, indicating that pure copper has superior mechanical qualities.
The advantage of pure copper conductors having better mechanical strength than copper-clad aluminum conductors is not necessary for the practical application process. Copper-clad aluminum conductors are much lighter than pure copper. So cca cables are weightier than pure copper conductor cables, bringing convenience to cable transportation and cable erection construction.
In addition, copper-clad aluminum is a little softer than pure copper, and the wires produced with copper-clad aluminum conductors are a little better than pure copper cables in terms of flexibility.
In terms of electrical performance, because the conductivity of aluminum is poorer than copper, making the copper-clad aluminum conductor DC resistant than the pure copper conductor, which does not affect whether the cable used to supply power, such as to provide power to the amplifier.
If used to supply power, the copper-clad aluminum conductor will lead to additional power consumption. When the frequency exceeds 5 MHz, the voltage drops, and there is no significant difference in the AC resistance attenuation of these two different conductors.
Due to the effect of high-frequency currents, the closer the current flow of the copper-clad aluminum conductor is to pure copper, the higher the frequency. The whole current plating flows inside the copper substance when the frequency is high enough.
At 5 MHz, the current is about 0.025 mm thick near the surface, while the copper layer of the copper-clad aluminum conductor is about twice this thickness. Since the transmitted signal is above 5 MHz for coaxial cables, the copper-clad aluminum conductor and the pure copper conductor send similarly. The attenuation of the wire can prove this in actual tests.
In economics, copper-clad aluminum conductors are sold by weight, while pure copper conductors are sold by weight. Copper-clad aluminum conductors are much cheaper than the same-weight as pure copper conductors. But the same weight of copper-clad aluminum is much longer than pure copper conductors, and the cable is calculated by length. The same weight of c cca cable is 2.5 times longer than copper wire. The price is just a few hundred dollars more per ton.
Since the cca cable produced by ZW Cable is relatively light, the transportation cost, installation, and erection cost of the cable will be reduced, which will bring certain convenience to the construction.
Cable CCA is also a good way to ease the pressure of the current business, aluminum wire wrapped around a layer of copper by drawing a bimetallic line, due to the advantages of small specific gravity, good transmission properties, especially suitable for doing RF coaxial cable inner conductor, compared with pure copper wire, the density of pure copper of about 40%.
5. Bottom Line
The CCA cable market is still in its infancy. It has a certain potential and needs to be taken advantage of as soon as possible by the right companies. I believe that as the product develops more, many excellent companies will enjoy the growth that comes with being pioneers in this market. The most important is that although it is a new market, you still need to take the time to do your research and find those companies who are experts in what they do and know how the CCA cable can benefit you.