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Re: [Shop-talk] Is this really true ??

To: Karl Vacek <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Is this really true ??
From: John Innis <>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 20:07:12 -0600
DC current flows primarily through the surface of a conductor, AC
current through the center of a conductor.  My biggect concern with
this stuff is that Aluminum can become brittle when subjected to
vibration (work hardening).  The aluminum core could fracture,
possibly causing arcing and a fire.  This is part of the reason
aluminum is not allowed in house wiring anymore.

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 7:08 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
> is said to conduct as much current as a similar gauge of copper, because
> 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
> is true, why then doesn't stranded wire carry far more current than
> similar-gauge solid wire ??  Lots more surface area.
> The article follows.
> Karl
> 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,
> the SEMA show in Las Vegas, ACCEL rolled out one of its newest techniques
> 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
> is made from copper strands for superior conductivity, but copper is
> significantly heavier than aluminum, though aluminum can t provide the same
> quality of current flow. ACCEL s solution was to use aluminum strands
> with copper, since, as with any electrical cable, the current flows over
> surface of the strands, not through them. The result is a battery cable
> weighs half as much as similar gauge copper without sacrificing
> 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
> the terminal. Heat-shrink wrap is also offered to finish off cable
> For more information, go to
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