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What are the Alternatives to Copper for Busbars?

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Copper is the most popular used metal for a busbar system. However, with the rising costs of everything at the moment, people are looking for cheaper alternatives to copper in their systems. Here we will identify the alternative to copper and why you might use it.

The Only Real Alternative

Aluminium is the main (and only real) alternative and has many positive attributes that will lend themselves to specific tasks and applications. An in-depth comparison of both metals’ properties clearly shows that copper is the superior Busbar material in practically every respect.

A Copper busbar performs better than aluminium when measured by volume and is characterised by a decreased electrical resistance, a reduced power loss, a reduced voltage drop, and a higher ampacity. All of these influence the electrical effectiveness of the busbar trunking system.

However, aluminium has a higher electrical efficiency when weight is taken into account. Again, this is due to aluminium’s density being 70% lower than copper’s, making it the ideal material to use when Busbar Trunking System sizing is unimportant.

Is Tin Plated Copper an Alternative to a Full Copper Busbar?

A tin plating to a copper busbar may provide a slight different option, however, this may depend on the use. It’s the most adaptable finish for busbars. Under various climatic situations, tin offers excellent corrosion protection for components prone to tarnish. Power electronics parts with tin coating have great solderability. I.L.F. LTD is the leading copper manufacturer and stockholder of many copper products including Tin Plated Copper Busbars. Based in the heart of the UK, we’re able to fulfil any order within a short timeframe.

Tin plating gives copper excellent solderability while providing a shiny look and corrosion resistance.

It’s best used in rigid connections with high power running through.

ILF Milly Edwards

Sales and Marketing Executive: Responsible for creating content for ILF's social media channels, website, print media and promotional work.

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