[Beowulf] Re: HVAC and room cooling... wires

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Sun Feb 8 10:52:44 EST 2004


On Sat, 7 Feb 2004, Gerry Creager N5JXS wrote:

> Should we mention the problems in household wiring caused by use of 
> aluminum wiring, then using breakers, outlets and fixtures designed for 
> copper?  I almost lost a house in Houston to that once.  I spent the 8 
> hours after the fire department left retightening all the connections 
> throughout.

You mean the part where aluminum turns out to burn like magnesium,
incredibly hot and impossible to quench?

I would under no circumstances put aluminum wiring in, well, anything.
Certainly not anything where a serious overload or arcing situation
could occur, which is nearly anything.

I seem to remember the government finding out about aluminum the hard
way with some of their armored fighting vehicles a decade or two ago.
When struck with a hot enough round, the armor itself just burned right
up.

   rgb

> 
> John Hearns wrote:
> > On Fri, 6 Feb 2004, Jim Lux wrote:
> > 
> > 
> >>This is why aluminum wiring was popular: the density of Al at 2.7 vs Cu at 
> >>8.96, even after you factor in the fact that you might need more aluminum 
> >>(because it's lower conductivity), it's still better than 2:1 weight 
> > 
> > 
> > Oh yes.
> > Lots of telephone circuits were wired in aluminium in the 1960's in the 
> > UK. Corrosion now means these customers have difficulty getting ADSL.
> > 
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> 

-- 
Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu



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