Record Copper Prices Prompt Switch To Aluminum – WSJ.com

Aluminum , Copper , Metals Mar 17, 2011 No Comments

Copper’s price surge this year is sparking a switch among manufacturers to another electricity-conducting metal: aluminum.

Makers of automobiles, air conditioners and industrial components are increasingly turning to the much cheaper metal to help offset rising cost pressures as the global economic recovery gains steam.

The difference between the prices of copper and aluminum is now enough to cover the costs of retooling some manufacturing processes and pay for the extra aluminum it takes to conduct the same amount of electricity as copper.

“There is a lot more engineering and development activity as these companies think about how to replace copper with aluminum,” said Charles Belbin, spokesman for Atlanta-based aluminum producer Novelis Inc., a unit of India’s Hindalco Industries Ltd.

Markets ripe for the switch include wiring for automobiles and buildings and evaporator and condensing coils used in commercial refrigerators.

via Record Copper Prices Prompt Switch To Aluminum – WSJ.com.

Rod Sherkin

Rod is a former senior executive, responsible for Purchasing, for both Pillsbury and Ball Packaging back in the 80’s and 90’s. Since then, he has continued to work in the Purchasing field as both a consultant and founder of the website Propurchaser.com.