The Benefits of Copper for Electrical Applications

What are the benefits of using copper in building wire, power transformers and power cables?

Copper has the highest electrical conductivity of any metal, after silver, with this property accounting for over 50% of its use. As the best, economically affordable conductor of electricity, using copper can reduce electrical energy losses and improve overall energy efficiency.

Today, with increasing expectations from customers and more stringent regulatory requirements, decision makers in downstream industries are scrutinising the technical and environmental performance of all the metals used in applications ranging from high voltage transmission to micro-electronics, from gigawatt generators to personal computers.

To help better understand the specific advantages of using copper, instead of aluminium, which has only 40% of copper’s current carrying capacity, we have produced infographics covering three main applications: wires and cables in Buildings, Power Transformers and Power Cables.

As the environmental impacts of raw materials used in downstream industries are increasing in importance, we have looked as well into end-of-life considerations. The higher value of copper scrap encourages its recovery from such end-uses, thus supporting the EU’s goals for resource efficiency and the circular economy.