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aluminum copper alloys offer a unique combination of properties. They are highly ductile, strong and corrosion resistant. They can be divided into groups depending on their chemical composition: The first consists of sand cast 8% aluminium alloys, with additions of Tin to increase strength; the second group consists of duplex (two-phase) alloys with 8 to 11% Aluminium with iron and nickel added to produce high strength. All of these alloys are characterised by the presence of eutectic precipitations in their microstructure. They also feature a range of GP (I) and GP(II) zones, with the latter being responsible for the higher strengths.
Copper has long been the preferred material for electrical wiring, but recent concerns over a potential copper shortage and the introduction of new, more energy efficient technologies are driving some users to consider alternatives. The most widely used alternative is aluminum, a lightweight metal that conducts electricity well and is also durable and corrosion-resistant.
However, there are a number of reasons why users should not switch to aluminium wire: it has a lower current carrying capacity and requires a larger cross-sectional area than copper to carry the same amount of electricity. Also, aluminium produces galvanic steam if it comes into contact with copper, which can damage the conductive layer of the cable and cause short circuits. As such, if possible, it is best to stick with copper.