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[Shop-talk] Is this really true ??

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Subject: [Shop-talk] Is this really true ??
From: "Karl Vacek" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 19:08:19 -0600
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.

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
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