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Aluminum and copper, which one is the better choice for air con pipe system?

aluminum bar and copper bar

In this artical, we would like to discuss the differences between aluminum and copper pipes for air con (a/c).

 

The aluminum is much more cheaper than copper. Belowing are two tables of LME price on 28 July 2017.

LME OFFICIAL PRICES, US$ PER TONNE (28 July 2017)

CONTRACT BID (US$ / TONNE) OFFER (US$ / TONNE)
Cash 1891.00 1892.00
3-months 1912.50 1913.00
Dec 17 1953.00 1958.00
Dec 18 1983.00 1988.00
Dec 19 2010.00 2015.00

 

LME OFFICIAL PRICES, US$ PER TONNE (28 July 2017)

CONTRACT BID (US$ / TONNE) OFFER (US$ / TONNE)
Cash 6282.00 6283.00
3-months 6312.00 6315.00
Dec 17 6390.00 6400.00
Dec 18 6415.00 6425.00
Dec 19 6415.00 6425.00

Comparision of copper pipe and aluminium pipe

    Copper   Aluminium
Density kg/m3   8,920   2,700
Thermal conductivity, kW/m K   401   237
Specific heatcapacity, cp kJ/kg K   0.386   0.982
Radiant heat emissivity, ε   0.05   0.04
Young’s modulus, GPascals   130   70
Rigidity, GPascals   48   26
Approximate price, USD/lb   2.00   1.08
Manufacturing   Extrusion   Extrusion
Bending   Using tube bender   Using tube bender
Jointing   Tube expanding combined with soldering (for operating temperatures below 450 oC), tube expanding combined with brazing (for operating temperatures above 450 oC), threaded connection   Welding, threaded connection, hose clamp