Through the ages, copper has been integral to human development. Besides being the best conductor of heat and electricity among commercial metals, it possesses a unique combination of other properties – ease of fabrication, corrosion resistance, recyclability.
Nevertheless, copper has competition from alternative materials and technologies. In the context of wire & cable, some alternatives are aluminium and copper-clad aluminium, optic fibres and wireless.
Can copper still compete?
The copper industry, through the International Copper Association (ICA), promotes the value proposition of copper as the material of choice for current and new applications, including but not limited to the W&C industry. In general, copper offers superior attributes in terms of technical performance, aesthetic value, sustainability, essentiality for life, and contributes to a higher standard of living.
In the context of W&C, ICA carries out its mission through programs which aim to:
ICA spends a sizable budget on W&C programs. Around 40 cablemakers from around the world partner with the ICA Network, globally or locally with knowledge and expertise, and co-funding of joint projects.