Tag: aluminum electronics

The Use of Aluminum in Electronics

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When it comes to the most common metals used in the world of industry, aluminum is one of the materials that stand out. Since being developed during the past few decades, aluminum has become a material that has taken the place of other metals, mainly due to its light weight and eco-friendliness. With production costs and carbon emissions being a very important concern for industries across the world, the use of aluminum has helped resolve these concerns.

Many industries rely on the use of aluminum in their products and machinery. These industries include aeronautical, automotive, manufacturing, construction, and medical. Another common place where aluminum is used is in electronics and electrical devices.


How is Aluminum used in electronics and electrical products?

Aluminum is one of the most versatile types of metal, being used in a wide variety of industries. Due to its qualities like ductility and electrical conductivity, aluminum has become a widely used material in electronics and electrical products. Here are some of the most popular uses of aluminum for electrical purposes:


Casing for devices

When it comes to providing a lightweight and eco-friendly casing for different kinds of electronic devices, aluminum has become one of the most popular materials used by different companies. These devices include laptops, smartphones, digital cameras, gaming consoles, digital watches, and even HDTVs. Compared to using heavier metals or flimsier plastics, aluminum is the best option, as it is cost-effective, versatile, and highly durable. Electronic devices are designed to be efficient and convenient, which is why aluminum has been tapped as one of the metals to use for their products.

Popularized by companies during the last decade, aluminum device casings have now become one of the standard ways to manufacture devices around the world. With technology looking to go smaller and lighter in the near future, the use of aluminum is key to making it a possibility.


Computer parts

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Along with electronic devices, aluminum is a key component in computer parts. The inside of the computer has many different metals present, all of which help the computer perform different functions smoothly and efficiently. Aluminum is the metal used to create heat sinks for your computer. A heat sink is designed to capture all of the heat present in the computer while working to prevent it from hitting other key components.

Along with being a key element for heat sinks, aluminum is also used to create other parts like PC casings, monitors, and other devices. Having the right metals is important to make computers function properly, which is why aluminum helps turn it into a more efficient device.


Power lines

One of the most common applications of aluminum in electrical products is its use in power lines. These power lines have long been the primary method of transporting electricity across various distances. Since the development of aluminum during the early 20th century, power lines have utilized the material. Aluminum is an effective material to use in power lines as they are lighter compared to materials like copper.

While it is not as electrically conductive as copper, it is much easier to manufacture power lines using aluminum, as it is a more flexible material due to its ductility. Aluminum is also resistant to different forms of corrosion, allowing it to withstand extreme conditions that power lines are subject to. With power lines continuing to become a regular fixture, aluminum will play a huge role in how the world is powered up.


Electric Motors

Electric Motors

Another device that uses aluminum is its structure are electric motors. Electric motors are designed to make different parts move around to accomplish different functions. Electrical motors come in different sizes, with each type being used in industries such as manufacturing, automotive and aeronautical. While regular motors are powered by fuel, electric motors can run on batteries, which can make them portable and easier to manufacture. Aluminum is mostly used in the body of the motors themselves, providing a light and durable structure, and can withstand high temperatures and extreme conditions.


Power Systems

Along with being used in power lines, aluminum is one of the metals used in power grids and other power systems. The conductivity of aluminum allows energy to be distributed in a fast and efficient manner. One of the reasons that led to more power systems using aluminum is the manufacturing costs. While copper is a good metal for electrical conductivity, it is costlier to produce, which can be difficult for different manufacturing companies. Aluminum provides the right balance between electrical conductivity and price, making it the ideal material for different kinds of electrical devices.


Key Takeaway

Aluminum has become one of the top metals used in the manufacturing industry, used to create products like electronics and electrical devices. Due to being light, strong, and conductive, aluminum provides these products with a strong material that performs well in different conditions and applications.

Copper vs. Aluminum: Which One Is Better Suited for Electronics?

Copper vs. Aluminum

Which one is better suited for electronics, copper or aluminum?

  1. Conductivity
  2. Physical properties
  3. Connections and terminations
  4. Platings and environmental issues



Copper and aluminum are arguably two of the most commonly used materials for conductors, electronics, and electrical equipment. Each of these metals has its own positive and negative characteristics that can affect how they are used in different applications. Because of these characteristics, both of these materials have been continually used in the electrical and electronics industry. While aluminum from suppliers like One Sky Aluminum is the more abundant of the two materials, the scarcity and demand for copper have caused wild fluctuations with its cost.

The debate over the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum vs. copper has been a topic of discussion for many years. However, many of the concerns that are brought up in this debate are usually based on old and sometimes inaccurate information. These concerns are usually centered on the very different characteristics and properties of the two materials and how they are suitable in the field of electronics.

This article aims to provide a comparison of the electrical and mechanical properties of aluminum and copper and how they can be used in various electronic products. Hopefully, this can help you assess your needs and make an informed decision on whether you should choose copper or aluminum for your applications.





Copper is one of the oldest known metals in the world. Thanks to its electrical conductivity and ductility, this metal has been heavily used by the pioneers of electricity such as Michael Faraday and Benjamin Franklin.

Aside from silver, copper is the most common conductive metal which is why it has become the international standard. In addition to the superior conductivity of copper, it also displays great thermal conductivity, thermal expansion, and tensile strength properties.

Aluminum, on the other hand, has certain advantages that make it attractive for specific applications even though copper has a long history as the metal of choice for conducting electricity. While aluminum only has 61 percent of the conductivity of copper, it only has 30 percent of its weight. This means that when electrical resistances are made the same, a bare aluminum wire can weigh half as much as a bare copper wire.

Aluminum is also usually less expensive when compared to copper conductors which is why during the 1960s and 1970s, it became the popular choice for household wiring. Due to low-quality workmanship at the time as well as the physical differences between the two metals, high-resistance connections were formed which then became fire hazards.

Today, aluminum alloys have been developed with properties that are more similar to copper in response to this.



Physical Properties

Typically, the physical properties of a metal refer to its thermal expansion and tensile strength. To be more specific, this concerns the ability of the metal to withstand the expansion of heat on the joints and forces that result from short circuits.

Even though aluminum does have a lower tensile strength than copper, it essentially has the same tensile strength for the same amperage capacity. This is important because as previously stated, the main area of concern would be the strength to withstand the forces during a short circuit.

The thermal expansion for aluminum is also 42 percent greater than that of aluminum which means that it can better expand and contract when used on electrical connections.



Connections and Terminations

Connections and Terminations

Over the past few years, the construction of aluminum products such as wires and terminals have been revised. In the past, most aluminum products were made of nearly pure aluminum but now, they are all made with much stronger alloys with physical characteristics that are similar to copper.

Aluminum wire terminations also now undergo much more severe test requirements which results in more reliable long-term connections as long as they are installed according to standards.



Platings and Environmental Issues

When exposed to the atmosphere, both copper and aluminum are going to oxidize. The chlorides, sulfides, or oxides of the base metal can make can make copper more conductive than aluminum. Because of this, aluminum joints with low resistance need to be plated in order to reduce oxidation.

Aluminum, when used for electrical and electronic purposes, depends on its plating in order to maintain the integrity of the electrical connection.



Key Takeaway

For many manufacturers, one thing they always consider is what percentage of an equipment or product is made with aluminum or copper. Most of them probably understand the difference between the cost of the two, but it is usually those that do not have personal experience with aluminum that is hesitant to change.

Nowadays, the performance of aluminum products that are designed to the applicable standards in the industry such as those provided by One Sky Aluminum is identical to those of copper. Whether you go with copper or aluminum, your expectations are going to be met as long as the standards are met and the components are installed correctly.