The COPALUM Aluminum Wiring Solution
How The COPALUM Aluminum Wiring Solution Works
Copalum Connector Construction
The connection consists of 2 components; the AMP COPALUM connector and the Heat Shrink Tubing.
AMP COPALUM Connector
The AMP COPALUM connectors consist of a tin plated, copper alloy sleeve with a tin plated brass screen insert. The sleeve has flared ends to retain the screen inside the sleeve.
COPALUM Heat Shrink Tubing
The heat shrink tubing serves two purposes. First, it insulates the crimped connector; second, it provides strain–relief so that when the finished crimp is placed back into the electrical box, the conductors are bent where they enter the heat shrink tubing, and not where they enter the connector. Presently, AMP COPALUM Connectors are the only UL Listed connectors for aluminum–to–aluminum and aluminum–to–copper solid conductors for the home reconnection program. The connectors are designed for solid conductors only, and each will accept a combination of conductors. The Instruction Sheet and Customer Manual list the wire combinations that each connector will accept.
COPALUM Crimping Tool
The crimping tool is a portable tool which operates on a rechargeable battery. The tool has two crimping sections (one for each of the connector sizes) and is color coded the same as the appropriate connector to make identification easy. The crimping areas are opened by depressing one of two levers for insertion of the connector, and a terminal stop helps position the terminal for crimping. After the connector is placed in the tool and the proper wire combination is inserted into the connector, the tool is activated by pressing the switch. The tool goes through the complete crimping cycle and returns to the load position. The crimped connector is then removed by depressing one of the two levers.
Watch the Video to See How The Copalum Connection is Done
How COPALUM Fixes Aluminum Wiring
Aluminum Wiring Creep
The design of the AMP COPALUM connector eliminates the problem of aluminum wire creep. During the crimping process, the aluminum is forced into the holes of the liner, forming a cold weld. The secondary crimps (used for mechanical strength) hold the conductors inside the terminal, which also helps eliminate conductor creep.
Aluminum Wiring Oxidation
During the crimping process any oxides already formed on the aluminum are broken down as the aluminum is forced through the liner holes. This allows unoxidized aluminum to interface with the connector. Since the finished crimp is gas–tight, no new oxides can form.
Aluminum Wiring Thermal Expansion
A cold weld is formed during the crimping process between the conductor and the terminal; therefore, thermal expansion of the aluminum does not affect the termination.
Aluminum Wiring Galvanic Corrosion
Both the sleeve and screen which make up the COPALUM Connector are tin plated. The tin plating has an intermediate galvanic potential and is in direct contact with the aluminum and copper conductors. Also, the crimp is gas tight. With these two factors, galvanic corrosion is eliminated.