On 12/10/2009 8:08 PM, Karl Vacek wrote:
> Today's Hemmings weekly newsletter had the following article on a new
> copper-coated aluminum battery cable material from Accel. The aluminum cable
> is said to conduct as much current as a similar gauge of copper, because the
> aluminum is copper-coated, and (they assert) "as with any electrical cable,
> the current flows over the surface of the strands, not through them". If this
> is true, why then doesn't stranded wire carry far more current than
> similar-gauge solid wire ?? Lots more surface area.
It does, but not as much as you would expect. As electrons flow through
wire they repel each other, just like two north poles on magnets,
pushing to the surface. This effect is why your car is the safest place
in a thunderstorm. Stranded wire has more surface, but the electrons
are still pushed outward to the outer strands.
> The article follows.
> ACCEL introduces lightweight battery cable
> Racers are always on the lookout for new ways to shave mass from their
> machines, looking for even a small advantage over the other guy. Recently, at
> the SEMA show in Las Vegas, ACCEL rolled out one of its newest techniques for
> saving a few pounds: Lightning Cable. The name is a clever play, as these
> cables offer the benefit of lightening combined with excellent electrical
> current flow.
> The design of the cable itself is fairly clever as well. Typical battery cable
> is made from copper strands for superior conductivity, but copper is
> significantly heavier than aluminum, though aluminum cant provide the same
> quality of current flow. ACCELs solution was to use aluminum strands coated
> with copper, since, as with any electrical cable, the current flows over the
> surface of the strands, not through them. The result is a battery cable that
> weighs half as much as similar gauge copper without sacrificing performance.
> Lightning Cable is offered in 1/0-, 2- and 4-gauge wire thickness and is
> available with trick compression terminals that fasten by inserting the
> stripped end of the cable into the fitting and then threading the fitting into
> the terminal. Heat-shrink wrap is also offered to finish off cable assemblies.
> For more information, go to www.accel-ignition.com
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