The Rise of Aluminum in the Industrial Sector

Sept. 5, 2014
It is not just price that makes aluminum appealing when put alongside copper in the production of items like electrical wires and cables, though.

More and more pieces of equipment used in the industrial sector could be manufactured using aluminum over copper, if the thoughts of a leading French cable producer are anything to go by.

In fact, Nexans has acknowledged that while its inquiries for aluminum cable has increased recently, copper which is used to make the same equipment. has seen a drop in requests.

Research undertaken by the Financial Times could shed more light onto why this change is taking place. According to the publication's study of the London Metal Exchange, the price of copper has jumped from $1,483 a ton to $7,125 for a three-month delivery in the last 12 years.

On the other hand, the price of aluminum has seen nowhere near this change. It has barely moved and trades at $2,013 a tonne, making it a very appealing investment for many firms today.

Christophe Allain, the Corporate Purchasing Director for non-ferrous metals at Nexans, acknowledged to an assembly at the Cesco copper conference in Chile how the changes have altered his company.

He explained: "We have customers who in the past thought the cost differential between the two metals would not be sustainable [and so stuck with copper]. But now they ask directly for an aluminium cable design."

It is not just price that makes aluminum appealing when put alongside copper in the production of items like electrical wires and cables, though.

Due to the former being composed using a thicker core of metal, it can offer higher levels of insulation. This characteristic can be especially beneficial when it comes to assembling electro-hydraulic systems, which is why many of the products offered by specialist firms in the industry like Fraser Hydraulics are available in aluminium today.

 

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