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Old 07-22-2016, 01:58 PM   #29
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My understanding is that the main problem is the different expansion rates of the different metals.

Over time, this expansion/contraction difference causes the screw terminals to loosen. This in turn causes the connection to get hot.
Copper clad alu does not solve the problem.

Dan
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:22 PM   #30
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:55 PM   #31
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Regarding Al to Cu connections....very bad idea as these metals are far apart on the galvanic scale and will generate electrolysis and the subsequent degrading of the integrity of the connections.

Lead and Copper are not far apart on the galvanic scale and hence no reaction between these two elements.

Copper plating without a sub-plating of Ni(Nickel) will allow metal migration of the Al through the plating and yield the same result of a connection that will eventually fail.

The hydraulic crimping tool that is linked to in this thread looks like a marvelous addition to my tool box.

Full disclosure: my career was spent in the interconnection industry (Amp, Molex and their competitors) and we specialized in solderless interconnection technologies.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:59 PM   #32
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Regarding Al to Cu connections....very bad idea as these metals are far apart on the galvanic scale and will generate electrolysis and the subsequent degrading of the integrity of the connections.

Copper plating without a sub-plating of Ni(Nickel) will allow metal migration of the Al through the plating and yield the same result of a connection that will eventually fail.

The hydraulic crimping tool that is linked to in this thread looks like a marvelous addition to my tool box.

Full disclosure: my career was spent in the interconnection industry (Amp, Molex and their competitors) and we specialized in solderless interconnection technologies.
What about simple copper clad aluminum wire. Sounds like that would self destruct. Also, how do the "Copalloy" products work?

My understanding is you need some form of electrolyte to get galvanic action, and a proper connection "should" be air tight. What am I missing?

Dan
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:22 PM   #33
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What about simple copper clad aluminum wire. Sounds like that would self destruct. Also, how do the "Copalloy" products work?

My understanding is you need some form of electrolyte to get galvanic action, and a proper connection "should" be air tight. What am I missing?

Dan
The only thing I know is that copper clad aluminum wire is used in limited applications and involves actual welding of the copper to the aluminum in the manufacturing process.

This type of interconnection is completely sealed to the elements and therefore the galvanic reaction does not occur.

At Amp we manuactured specialty copper terminals (Trademark Copalum) to terminate Aluminum conductors for the utility transformer manufacturers. This involved a normal copper wire barrel with a perforated sleeve and a very radical configuration "bar crimp" to force the aluminum to extrude through the perforated sleeve and generating a void-less crimp, i.e. completely sealed.


The trick is getting that interface sealed and electrolyte free.

As you point out, a proper connection would be void free, however in reality most connections are made with whatever tool the electrician had in his tool belt, especially in RV manufacturing facilities.

Don't know anything about the other product that you mentioned.
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Old 07-23-2016, 06:07 AM   #34
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Thanks Dave, I was going from memory and got the name wrong...I think Amp had a patent so it must have been Copalum

They really put a wrench in the works introducing aluminum wiring

Dan
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Old 07-23-2016, 06:42 AM   #35
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Thanks Dave, I was going from memory and got the name wrong...I think Amp had a patent so it must have been Copalum

They really put a wrench in the works introducing aluminum wiring

Dan

Actually the Amp Copalum terminals were approved as a solution to the problem of using AL wiring in residential construction.

We loaned the expensive Copalum tooling to electricians in order to re-terminate the AL conductor and mitigate the situation where the wiring was overheating and causing a fire hazard.

The electric utility industry has always favored AL conductors over copper due to the cost differential, but they always use AL lugs and splices so no reliability issues. This did not work out for residential construction and was subsequently banned. Al wiring already in place had to be re-terminated and Copalum terminals and splices were approved for that application.

A bit off subject and for that I apologize....however the history re-enforces that fact that AL/CU connections are a bad idea in an RV.
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