So as you may have heard, there has been a lot of talk in recent months about installers switching from plain copper wire to tinned copper wire in fire alarm and security systems in Rotorua and Taupo, but do you know why?
Did you know that tinned conductors:
1. Improve water resistance
2. Increase conductivity
3. Last up to 10 times longer than plain copper
4. Are less likely to be affected by atmospheric conditions (high sulphur and salt content)
5. Are easier to use during soldering process
(See brief specification table below of products available)
The information below may be of interests to you and most has been sourced form a paper by Alex Mak, P.Eng on “Corrosion of Steel, Aluminum and Copper in Electrical Applications”.
In New Zealand, the Rotorua and Taupo environment is quite unique with low-level hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas in the atmosphere and the characteristic sulphur smell. While research has proven this has no detrimental affect on health the same may not be said of copper electrical conductors.
It is common knowledge that these atmospheric conditions will hasten corrosion of metals, especially copper. Corrosion in its simplest terms is really nothing more than the inherent tendency of metals to revert from a processed metallic state to their more natural “ore” state.
Copper is typically found as copper sulphate. This means in the presence of sulphur, copper will readily react with the sulphur and return to its natural state of copper sulphate.
Also when exposed to the atmosphere copper develops a strongly adhering oxide layer which thickens to acquire the familiar green patina we often see on copper roofs or guttering. In the presence of sulfur dioxide (SO2) the transition from oxide layer to patina is accelerated. In some applications this is beneficial, but definitely not the case for electrical conductors as the formation of this thick non-conductive patina is undesirable.
Copper is well known as a suitable metal in most atmospheric conditions. However in locations such as the Central North Island, with elevated sulphur (such as H2S) and ammonia content, the use of copper conductors should be avoided. When copper conductors are used in these environments, special oxide inhibiting pastes need to be applied. This is also the reason why nickel-plating and tin-plating are widely used as a means to prevent copper corrosion in other similar environments.
For Intruder Detection and other Security Systems Tycab recommends the use of tinned security cable in the Central North Island. This provides the installer with the comfort that their customers are getting the most appropriate cable for the purpose and the location. This should minimise failures and false alarms through cable deterioration, reduced conductivity and should improve performance leading to greater customer satisfaction.
Tycab distributes tinned security through the approved distributors listed. We suggest you discuss your future options and requirements with one of these suppliers.