Information About Electricity
Types and Characteristics of Conductors in Cables
14 February 2023

What is a Conductor and What Are Its Characteristics?


Conductor is  a material that easily conducts electric current. The nature of its conduction is to move electrons from one electrical point to another electrical point. The main use of the conductor itself is to carry electric current. As we know, the implementation of the distribution of electrical energy can be done in two ways, namely by air ducts and underground ducts. Air ducts usually use a lot of conducting wire, including bare copper cable (BCC), aluminium wire without insulation (All Aluminium Cable / AAC), aluminium-based alloy wire (Al-Mg-Si), aluminium cored wire. Steel (Aluminium Cable Steel Reinforced / ACSR) and also steel wire containing copper layers (Copper Weld).


Whereas in underground ducts, usually use a lot of cables with copper and aluminium conductors, the development that is very dominant in underground ducts is in terms of insulation material, and the latest types of insulation materials are artificial insulation in the form of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and XLPE (Cross -Linked Polyethylene). Currently, the types of PVC and XLPE insulating materials have developed rapidly and are excellent insulating materials.


Generally the material that is widely used for power lines is a type of copper (Cu). However, because the price of copper is high and unstable and even tends to increase, aluminium is starting to be looked at and used as a wire material for power lines, both for overhead lines and underground lines.


Below are various types of metals or their mixtures that are used as conductor materials:


1. Copper (Cu)


Copper is a conductor with very good conductivity, so it is most often used as a conductor in cables.


2. Bronze (Bronze)


These conductors have greater physical strength, but have low electrical conductivity. Often used for earthing installations (grounding).


3. Aluminium


The advantage of this material is its light density. While the drawback is that this conductor has stiff material properties with lower electrical conductivity. It may be mentioned that aluminium material is now starting to be used more and more for strong current electrical installations instead of copper because it is a tough rival for copper at a highly reasonable price.


4. Aluminium steel cored


This type of conductor is usually known as ACSR (Aluminium Cable Steel Reinforced), an aluminium conducting cable equipped with a steel wire unit at the core of the cable. The steel wire is needed to increase the tensile strength of the cable. ACSR itself is currently widely used for the installation of Extra High Voltage Air Lines (SUTET).


5. Aldrey


This type of wire is a mixture of aluminium and silicon (0.4% - 0.7%), magnesium (0.3% - 0.35%) and ferum (0.2% - 0.3%). This wire has enormous physical strength, but its electrical conductivity is quite low.


6. Copper-Weld


Is a conductor with steel wire material construction surrounded by a layer of copper.


7. Steel


This type of conductor is a conductor with the most widely used material as a lightning rod and also for grounding installations. Based on the information above, it can be said that the best materials for electricity-conducting lines are copper and aluminium, so that these two materials are widely used as electrical-conducting wire, both for air ducts and underground ducts.


Other Interesting Information:

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