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Regeneration of copper with aluminum to speed up the transformation of wire and cable materials

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In February 2013, the Shanghai Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association, the Shanghai Aluminum Industry Association, and the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology jointly launched the 100000 fan coil "aluminum instead of copper" cooperation project. The purpose is to accelerate the promotion of "aluminum instead of copper" in the air conditioning field. "Implementation progress.

In February 2013, the Shanghai Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association, the Shanghai Aluminum Industry Association, and the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology jointly launched the 100000 fan coil "aluminum instead of copper" cooperation project. The purpose is to accelerate the promotion of "aluminum instead of copper" in the air conditioning field. "Implementation progress.

Copper prices are expected to gradually stabilize in the range of 55000-56000 yuan/ton in mid-to-late March, and with the increase in demand for replenishment in the later period, it is expected to re-station the 60000 yuan/ton integer mark from April to May.

On March 15, my country's copper price oscillated in a narrow range, reaching 56800 yuan/ton, an increase of 215 yuan/ton from March 14. In the international market, it is expected that in the next six months, the price of copper in London will rise by 15% to US $9000 per ton, more than twice the increase in 2012.

In contrast to the increasing depletion of domestic copper resources and the rise in copper prices caused by foreign imports, many wire and cable companies have turned their attention to aluminum. Industry insiders pointed out that "aluminum instead of copper" has become an inevitable trend in the transformation and development of the cable industry.

    Copper resources are increasingly scarce cable industry is facing difficulties

Copper has good electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity, in the transmission of current can reduce the loss of electricity, has been difficult to cut wire and cable manufacturers. At present, more than 60% of China's wire and cable industry use copper to make cables, and the annual consumption of copper used to produce cables accounts for more than 60% of the total domestic copper.

China is the most populous country in the world, and its copper consumption accounts for about 40% of the world. In order to meet the needs of power grids, housing, automobiles and exports, in December 2012, my country's copper wire demand reached 4.2 million kilometers, the highest in 9 months. Moreover, in the context of increasing spending to stimulate the economy, the copper our country needs every month is enough to circle the earth more than 100 times. According to the 2012 China Wire and Cable Industry Analysis Report, the market capacity of China's power cables will continue to grow at an annual rate of 8% to 9% in the next five years.

As we all know, cable plays a vital role in the whole process of power transmission. With the implementation of the project of power transmission from west to east, power grid transformation and the gradual promotion of urbanization construction, the demand for cable also shows a rising trend.

At present, the output value of my country's wire and cable industry has exceeded 1 trillion yuan, accounting for more than 25% of the global wire and cable market, and has become the world's number one producer exceeding the United States.

However, the world's top ten mining giants control nearly 75% of the world's mine output, while my country's copper resource reserves are about 26 million tons, and the actual annual copper consumption is nearly 5 million tons. Goldman Sachs Group of the United States predicts that my country's copper demand will jump by 8% in 2013 to an unprecedented 8.833 million tons, which will increase the total global demand and create a supply and demand gap of 6000 tons, compared with 216000 tons in 2012.

It is estimated that China's copper resources support up to 5 years. Due to the lack of copper resources, 70% of China's copper concentrates are dependent on imports, which brings great pressure to smelting enterprises and causes a sharp rise in costs. According to the relevant enterprises, for every 1 ton of copper imported from abroad, the enterprise will lose 1000~2000 yuan. At the same time, as more and more companies pour into the field of cable production, the dependence of the cable industry on copper imports is also increasing, and manufacturing and construction costs are increasing.

In the next few years, China will build smart grid, nuclear power, railway, construction, etc. on a large scale, and the demand for wire and cable products will increase. How to save costs and increase benefits has become the number one problem for wire and cable manufacturers.

   Aluminum resources are relatively rich, economic and environmental protection have advantages

Due to the prominent contradiction between supply and demand in the copper market, prices have soared all the way, coupled with the difficulties in the construction and installation of copper cables, high installation costs, easy to steal, easy to age and other shortcomings, many wire and cable enterprises strive to develop new technologies and new materials, and develop aluminum materials with high technical content and excellent performance to meet the special needs of wire and cable products.

It is estimated that under the same transmission current, the cross section of aluminum conductor is 61% larger than that of copper conductor. Therefore, in terms of conductor weight, to make the two conductors have the same current carrying capacity, the weight of the copper conductor is about twice that of the aluminum conductor. In addition, the price ratio of copper to aluminum is about 3.5, and the cost of an equivalent copper conductor is 7 times that of an aluminum conductor.

In fact, from the perspective of resources, China's aluminum resources are more abundant than copper resources. At present, China has proven 310 bauxite mining areas, distributed in 19 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. The bauxite reserves reached 2.273 billion tons, of which 0.705 billion tons were of grade A + B + C, accounting for 31% of the total reserves.

Moreover, the use of aluminum core cable instead of copper core cable has more advantages. In terms of investment cost, compared with the same current carrying capacity of aluminum core cable and copper core cable, 35 kV aluminum core cable can save 40% ~ 60% of the cost, 10 kV aluminum core cable can save 50% ~ 70% of the cost, and the larger the cable section, the more obvious the effect. At the same time, in terms of transportation, laying overhead and other construction, due to the small outer diameter and light weight of aluminum core cables, it is labor-saving and labor-saving compared with copper core cables, and the matching of cable accessories is also easier to solve. In the distribution network construction project, the use of aluminum core cable can not only meet the requirements of power grid construction and development, but also reduce the construction cost.

Aluminum alloy cable has been developed and used by American scientists for more than 40 years since 1968, and its market share in North American countries is as high as 80%. It has withstood the test of time and history. Moreover, aluminum alloy cable has successfully passed the testing and certification of international authoritative institutions such as the United States, Canada and Australia, and the testing and certification of authoritative institutions such as China National Cable and Wire Testing Center. Moreover, no matter from raw material production, processing, manufacturing to transportation, installation, operation and recycling, aluminum alloy cable has incomparable economic and environmental advantages than traditional copper core cable, and is the best substitute for copper cable.

Aluminum instead of copper into a trend cable to open a new era 

As early as 2006, China has tried to use aluminum in many ways. According to statistics, in 2006 China's electrical copper consumption was 354 tons, aluminum conductor electrical consumption of 107 tons. The conductors for wires and cables involving copper include electrical aluminum wires and aluminum alloy wires, copper-clad aluminum wires, copper-clad steel wires, fine aluminum wires and copper-clad aluminum rows. In this year, the total amount of copper clad aluminum wire used in China was about 50000 tons, of which it was mainly used for communication cables.

At present, there are many enterprises in our country to wire and cable production raw material for aluminum alloy cable. In the case of a serious lack of copper resources, the cable industry "aluminum instead of copper" is tantamount to a material revolution. Although the current argument for aluminum on behalf of copper has not yet been unified, but the same is the general trend. For example, the Shanghai Cable Research Institute "on the Chinese cable industry with aluminum copper" clearly pointed out that in China's cable industry, "aluminum copper" significantly affects the cost and profit of cable products.

China's "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" emphasizes energy conservation and sustainable development. As a new type of energy-saving material, aluminum alloy cable conforms to the new idea of low-carbon environmental protection. The Ministry of Housing and Construction, the State Grid, the State Fire Administration and other departments have widely recognized the use of this new technology in China. The safety performance, electrical performance and mechanical performance of aluminum alloy power cables have been tested by relevant departments and meet the requirements of relevant standards. Now, China's power engineering is gradually promoting the use.

With the aluminum copper technology more and more mature, by saving raw material costs and the promotion of urbanization construction, it is expected that in the next 3 to 5 years, China's aluminum alloy cable market will show a scene of rapid growth, forming a market size of more than 200 billion yuan, aluminum alloy cable is about to open a new cable era