In automotive applications, the switch to bimetallics is relatively easy and represents a great value. Products of interest to the automotive industry are copper clad aluminum (10% by volume CCA) in accordance with ASTM B566, and genuine Copperweld® copper-clad steel wire (CCS) in accordance with ASTM B227.
Modern automobiles contain about 1500 individual wires, comprising, on average, 20 kilograms of solid copper. CCA Copperlite™ offers a lightweight alternative that provides superior conductivity.
Fushi Copperweld’s CCA Copperlite™ is the recommended alternative to pure copper for automotive applications in power cables sized on their ability to carry current, including battery cables and power leads to components such as lights. Manufacturers can use similar terminals for bimetallic cables as for copper, and bimetallic cables can be joined by ultrasonic welding or soft soldering.
For the same resistance with approximately a 35% weight reduction, copper cable can be replaced with CCA Copperlite™ cable of similar construction, but two gauge sizes larger. This guideline is conservative—it is possible to engineer cables that result in optimized components that are fully equivalent to those made from solid copper.
Hard-drawn CCA Copperlite™ strands are harder and of similar (or even greater) strength than copper wire. This results in cables with excellent resistance to breakage and damage during cutting, stripping and terminating operations. CCA Copperlite™ cables are more flexible than solid copper cables of the same size and construction, due to a lower elastic modulus. When factored in with the mechanical properties of the hard-drawn strands, CCA Copperlite™ is more resistant to fatigue and breakage.
CCA Copperlite™ braided grounding straps can replace copper straps of the same configuration. Because the primary function of grounding straps is to shunt stray RF and transient signals to ground, they need not be upsized. The RF impedance of CCA Copperlite™ is similar to that of copper.
For cables that have both mechanical and electrical functions, or are exposed to extreme vibration or hazards of mechanical damage, genuine 40% IACS hard-drawn Copperweld wire is the product recommended for most automotive applications. In this form, CCS cables carry the same signal as an equivalent copper wire four gauges larger. However, the strength of our CCS is that of copper wire six gauges larger, so that we can provide a smaller signal lead that beats copper hands-down for strength. Copperweld cables can replace copper cables in all applications where cables are sized on strength rather than ampacity, particularly low current and signal leads.