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What is Cu Wire?
Cu is the chemical symbol for copper as it appears on the periodic table. Copper is the metal most commonly found in electrical wiring, as it has the highest electrical conductivity rating of all non-precious metals.
Cu wire is found in applications that will necessitate tight coils of wire. Copper wire can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as loudspeakers, motors, overhead lights, and telephone cords.
Square, Round, or Rectangular/Flat Cu Wire
Square wire has some benefits over round wire. Square wire will allow less space between the wire turns when the coil is formed. Square wire is most often used in confined spaces and for higher power applications that have a larger capacity and wire gauge.
Round wire will not fit together as tightly as square wire simply due to its shape, and will, therefore, have more space between the wires.
Rectangular/flat copper wire will be arranged in a plane and then laminated into a flexible plastic flat ribbon. Rectangular copper wire is easily wound, so edge-wound coil springs are typically made of flattened wire.
Pictured above: Rectangular wire (left), round wire (right)
Solid vs. Stranded Cu Wire
Solid copper wire is a single strand of insulated wire. It is also sometimes called solid-core or single-strand wire. Solid wires are not very flexible, and are used in applications where they will not be required to bend.
Stranded copper wire, on the other hand, will contain numerous wires braided together to form one larger wire.
Stranded wires have much more flexibility than solid wires; the more strands the wire has, the more flexible it will be. The minimum number of strands that a wire will contain is seven, with six wires wrapped around one in the middle.
Stranded wire has more surface area than a solid wire, so it is more susceptible to corrosion, but it also has a higher resistance to metal fatigue, which occurs when a wire is subjected to frequent loading and unloading, eventually causing the metal to crack. The flexibility of the stranded wire helps to prevent this problem.
Stranded wire is used in circuit board connections, audio headphones and connections that involve moving joints. Solid wire is found in electric motors, coils and magnet wiring.
Pictured above: Solid copper wire (left), stranded wire (right)
Litz wire is an example of stranded wire. It will contain multiple stranded wires braided together in order to reduce the skin effect and proximity effect.
When an alternating current becomes concentrated in the surface layer of a wire, leading to an increase in effective resistance, it called the skin effect. The depth of the current in the wire is known as the skin depth, which will be around a centimeter for a wire running at 60 Hz, and less at higher frequencies.
When an alternating magnetic field flows through a conductor, resulting in eddy currents in adjacent conductors, this is called the proximity effect. Eddy currents are swirling electric currents that can change the distribution of current in a wire. The current in the adjacent wire may concentrate in the part of the wire that are farthest away from other conductors that are carry current in the same direction.
Insulated vs. Bare Cu Wire
Insulated wire is made of either thin varnish/enamel or a yarn made out of polyester or fiberglass, though the wire may contain both in some cases. The insulation is meant to increase the wire's thermal endurance.
Bare wire does not have any insulation. The turns of the bare wire will short each other out if they touch each other, so the wire needs to be spaced out to avoid this. Insulated wire turns can touch, so for a wire that requires hundreds or thousands of turns, insulation will be necessary.
Bare wire applications include overhead power sources for transit systems, such as trains, buses, as well as industrial cranes. They are sometimes found in large inductors used in transmitters; in these cases the bare wire can be silver plated, which allows for greater conductivity.
Some common types of insulation are polyurethane, polyester, and polyamide. There are many different types of insulations and they all have different specifications, including gauge and temperature rating.
Pictured above: Insulated wire (left), bare wire (right)
Magnet wire, also known as enamelled wire, can be made of either copper or aluminium. It is then coated with a very thin layer of insulation.
Magnet wire is used to convert electric energy into magnetic energy and will be found in windings of numerous applications including transformers, inductors, generators, and electromagnets.
The conductivity of aluminum is much lower than copper, making it so that aluminum magnet wire requires a cross section that is 1.6 times larger than copper wire to create the same resistance.
Tinned Wire/Tin-coated Cu Wire
Tinned wire is wire coated by tin.
Tinned wire is wire coated by tin, which is corrosion resistant and has high conductivity.
There are two ways to tin copper wire: the hot dipping method and the electroplating method.
In the hot dip method, the wire is coated by being dipped in melted tin. In the electroplating method, the wire will be coated in a tin salt solution, then will be connected to an electrical circuit. The current that is then passed through the wire will cause the metal ions in the tin salt solution to bond with the wire.
Tinsel wire Cu wire is the most flexible type of wire. It is prepared by wrapping numerous copper foil strands around textile core. Due to the thinness of the foil, the wire becomes extremely bendable. Tinsel wire is good for resisting metal fatigue.
Tinsel copper wire can be utilized in telephones cords, handset cords and loudpeakers. There is a braided wire that comes out of the center of the speaker's voice coil that connects to the speaker tabs. This wire will be tinsel copper wire.
Where can I purchase Cu Wire?
Click to view the Cu wire selection below from TEMCo. Wires are available in different gauges, temperature ratings and insulations. Buy your Cu wire from TEMCo!
"I needed a 3 phase rotary phase converter to run a DoAll Mill."
The family friend I purchased the mill from had purchased one from TEMCo several years ago, and told me that's the company to deal with. Very competitive price, fast delivery, and a solid, quality product. The shipping was fast, and the phase converter was crated very well and had zero damage from shipping. This thing runs so quietly I hardly know it's running.
I HIGHLY recommend TEMCo!
- mrtriton, 3/15/10
"Excellent advice, service & product".
The staff helped determine exactly the size converter I needed, answered any questions I had thoroughly. The unit was shipped quickly & was very welled packed. The product is so well designed that installation was a breeze & the converter works great.
Got me up and running very quickly.
- Michael Hall, 3/25/11
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TEMCo's Phase Converter and Transformer customers include:
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and many thousands more.
TEMCo products meet the demands of tough industrial applications with dependability and quality.
Since 1968, TEMCo has become a trusted name in Industrial Power Products.
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I had many tech question and they spend about 30 mins on the phone answering all ofthem for me. It is not to often to find service like that!!!!! I am so happy and will definitly purchase from them again. A+++++
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They delivered the 5-HP Electric Motor IMMEDIATELY in Perfect Condition. They bent over backwards to enable us to execute payment using an alternative method, Thank You So Much. We are comming back soon for a Power Converter. ! ! !
- R. A. "BOB" KEMP, NEVADA CENTRAL RAILROAD, Henderson, NV, 11/30/11
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Very friendly, very knowledgable.
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"Have ordered transformers from this company previously and just ordered again."
Quick order shipment and prompt customer service. When they accidentally sent the wrong transformer on one order they immediately sent a replacement without any hassle at all! Good to do business with.
- m4pilot, 8/13/11
"Not only is the equipment from TEMCo the best, they have been the most helpful and pleasant company we have dealt with."
We bought 2 of the TEMCo phase converters for our machine shop as we did not want to bring in 3 phase power. Not only are their converters the best quality in this type of equipment it is made in North America and the most reasonably priced.
The converters have performed flawlessly with hard use and we expect they will continue to serve us for many years.
Not only is the equipment from TEMCo the best, they have been the most helpful and pleasant company we have dealt with.
If anyone needs the type of equipment TEMCo sells, there should be no hesitation, they are the place to purchase it.
- hydropower, 10/01/10