Substituting Copper?

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In the electrical industry, everyone watches the price of copper.  In recent weeks it has climbed to very high levels, dropped to a lower rate and raised again.  With the high cost and extreme volatility, there has been talk about switching to more financially appealing, and perhaps stable, raw materials such as aluminum and zinc.  However, even though the threat of substitute products exists, they currently account for only .02%-.03% of the global market.

The most significant reason for the lack of substitute products being used is because of copper’s superior technical advantages.  While aluminum is cheaper to produce, the cost is not low enough to offset the decrease in technical uses.  There are developments of a combination wire that uses both copper and aluminum.  However, at this point we can anticipate paying a premium for pure copper products as raw prices continue to be high and unstable.

Information for this post was acquired from “Nexans sees limited scope for copper substitution.”

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