Copper has been used in electrical wiring since the invention of the electromagnet and the telegraph in the 1820s. The invention of the telephone in 1876 created further demand for copper wire as an electrical conductor. Copper wire is used in power generation, power transmission, power distribution, telecommunications, electronics circuitry, and countless types of electrical equipment.

Electrical wiring in buildings is the most important market for the copper industry.  Roughly half of all copper mined is used to manufacture electrical wire and cable conductors.

Copper has the highest electrical conductivity rating of all non-precious metals.  Because of its superior conductivity, annealed copper became the international standard to which all other electrical conductors are compared. 

Usually, the stronger a metal is, the less pliable it is. This is not the case with copper. A unique combination of high strength and high ductility makes copper ideal for wiring systems. At junction boxes and at terminations, for example, copper can be bent, twisted, and pulled without stretching or breaking.

Copper has excellent creep characteristics that minimizes loosening at connections. For other metal conductors that creep, extra maintenance is required to check terminals periodically and ensure that screws remain tightened to prevent arcing and overheating.

Corrosion is the unwanted breakdown and weakening of a material due to chemical reactions. Copper generally resists corrosion from moisture, humidity, industrial pollution, and other atmospheric influences. However, any corrosion oxides, chlorides, and sulphides that do form on copper are somewhat conductive.

Copper has a 60% higher thermal conductivity rating than aluminium, so it is better able to reduce thermal hot spots in electrical wiring systems.

Under many applications conditions copper is higher on the galvanic series than other common structural metals, meaning that copper wire is less likely to be corroded in wet conditions. However, any more anodic metals in contact with copper will be corroded since they will essentially be sacrificed to the copper.

For over 40 years, Electra Cables has been manufacturing cables that are called for under AS/NZS Standards and are rigorously independently tested for ultimate performance. Electra’s Power Cables are Greenstar Certified, with Greenstar Certification being Australia’s only rating system for environmental practices within the building and construction sector.

Electra Cables is one of the largest, if not the largest, stockist of cable in Australasia.