For many years, copper has been used in the manufacturing of busbars, yet not everyone truly understands the reasons behind this. There are other conductive materials that are more efficient when it comes to conducting electricity, so why rely on copper? In a time when copper prices are climbing higher every month, it would appear to be wiser to perhaps choose a different conductive material for busbars.
Why Continue to use Copper?
Perhaps the first and most important reason why copper is used in the manufacture of busbars is because it is resistant to oxidation. This means that no matter what level of moisture in the atmosphere or the kind of weather that is experienced, copper will not break down or oxidize.
When materials are subject to oxidation, they can rust. When metals rust, the resistance within them increases, causing a greater demand for electrical power to be generated just to carry the electrical signal to its intended target.
While oxidation is certainly an important consideration for conductivity, it is also a consideration for longevity. There are other materials that could be used to conduct electrical currents that are cheaper than copper, but when you consider the long term cost-benefit ratio of using copper versus other metals, metals that would need to be replaced regularly, not only do man hours come into consideration, but also the sheer cost of the raw materials.
Another reason that copper is used is because it conducts electricity well, with a minimal amount of resistance. Also, copper offers the benefit of strength and durability. Copper is not easily broken, or cut, which means that it is ideal for both residential as well as industrial purposes.
An important consideration in the use of copper, or any material for that matter, should not be that it has been in use for many years. However, copper has that distinction when it comes to electrical conduits and conductivity. When looking at the rich history and success of copper in numerous applications, one need only recognize that when something works better than any other option, it will continue to be used in the same manner into the future.
So even with stumbling blocks like the cost of copper continuing to climb and the instances of copper theft becoming more prevalent – with more and more thieves seeking to make quick money by stealing it from wherever they can find it – copper shouldn’t be replaced with other metals for busbars. Copper is still the right solution.