Marine vessels require high-performance power cables that can withstand the challenging environment of the sea. The salt content of seawater, moisture, extreme temperatures, and strong currents can degrade the ship’s electrical components, leading to malfunctions.
As such, ships need marine-grade power cables designed to handle undersea conditions. Various materials are used for power cables, but copper is still the number one choice for the marine industry’s electrical components.
Cable Source, one of the leading providers of shipboard cables in Singapore, is an expert in marine and industrial cables. Below are five reasons copper remains the industry’s top pick for power cables.
1. High Electrical Conductivity
Copper has the second-highest electrical conductivity among metals, following silver. Electricity can easily pass through the copper wires. High conductivity properties also allow electrical currents to travel long distances.
You can create longer, better-performing power cables by using copper instead of other conductive metals. It can help reduce your energy losses, improving overall energy efficiency.
2. Corrosion and Water Resistance
Copper offers resistance to corrosion and water, perfect for marine applications. When combined with nickel, copper has the best resistance to seawater flow velocity, among other wrought alloys.
Over time, copper metals oxidise in reaction to their environment. The oxidation forms a green patina on the outside of the copper wires. This surface film provides additional protection from further corrosion and doesn’t affect the metal’s matrix or conductivity.
3. High Ductility
Copper is extremely ductile, forming wire strands in varying lengths and thicknesses. You can bend, twist and spool the wires without them breaking or fraying.
This high ductility level is useful for shipboard applications where you transmit electricity at high voltages over long distances. The copper wires can channel electricity without losing any power due to shape deformity.
Copper is also one of the easiest metals to solder. This property, combined with its conductivity, makes copper the ideal metal for electrical components where good joint integrity is crucial.
4. Thermal Resistance
Copper has a lower thermal expansion coefficient. It means the size of the metal wires doesn’t change that much as the temperature fluctuates. Thermal resistance is essential in power cables since it reduces the risk of sag, deformity and breakage in the joints and wiring.
The thermal resistance of power cables is a valuable safety measure for marine vessels that transmit a high electricity voltage. Copper wires are also less likely to overheat, spark or melt, decreasing the risk of electrical fires.
Finally, copper is lauded for its cost-effectiveness. Although silver offers better conductivity, copper is still the preferred choice for power cables in marine applications. Copper’s resistance to corrosion, water and thermal expansion makes it less vulnerable to damage, requiring minimal repairs or maintenance work. This gives you better cost savings in the long run compared to silver and other conductive metals.
Make sure to use tinned instead of bare copper for shipboard cables. Tinned copper is better equipped to resist wet environments and extreme temperatures present in marine applications.
High-Performing Shipboard Cables Guaranteed
Cable Source is among the most trusted marine cable suppliers in Singapore. Our power cables are made with tinned copper components and designed to withstand extreme environments that involve constant exposure to elements like humidity, abrasion, heat, cold, acids and oil.
Our products are ideal for various electronic and electromechanical equipment, electric distribution and lighting systems, emergency and critical systems.
Contact us today to learn more about marine and industrial power cables.