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Swage strength - Aluminum vs. Copper
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olympicmtnboy


Apr 28, 2005, 12:10 AM
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Swage strength - Aluminum vs. Copper
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So I've been playing around with making some heads and stuff working off copperhead's excellent post and I had a question for all you techie folks. I know that aluminum swages are softer, and can pull through on small aluminum heads, but can i use them for the clip in loop? How strong will a swaged aluminum loop in 1/8" cable be vs. a copper swage, vs. the cable strength? Looking on FISH's site and on the picture of Eric Khol's swaged stuff on here, it looks like some of the swages are Al.
Mostly I ask this because I want to dink around with some stuff and play the "will it hold" game from the ground and not have to go buy a bunch of heads to trash, and there is no nearby place to buy copper swages. The local hardware store has Al swages, cable, a cutter, and a nicopress I can use. I don't want to be playing around with stuff that will behave too much differently than in the real wall world though.


mikeehartley


Apr 28, 2005, 1:14 AM
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Re: Swage strength - Aluminum vs. Copper [In reply to]
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I haven't done any testing with small swages and my copperhead bashing experience is limited. Given that, I owned a rigging business for 15 years and have done 10 squillion swages. If you talk to Nicropress they will tell you that aluminum is for lighter weight applications (80% of the wire rating) and copper is for high load applications (90% rated). In reality I've found little difference in destructive tests PROVIDED you have a good compression. Aluminum is more brittle than copper and occasionally the ferrule will crack during the swaging process. You should inspect the ferrule closely. I have never had the cable slip out of the swaged fitting (though I've heard of it happening - always check the compressions with a gauge). In all of my testing the cable always breaks at the ferrule. So on the eyesplice/clip-in loop you should be OK with aluminum. Once again the official line is to use copper at this splice

In spite of what the other knowledgeable people have posted, I have not found aluminum to be more malleable that copper - just the opposite. I wonder if the "cable pulling through the head" reference isn't due to the aluminum actually cracking and splitting.


olympicmtnboy


Apr 29, 2005, 11:11 PM
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Re: Swage strength - Aluminum vs. Copper [In reply to]
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Thanks Mike, satisfied my curiosity. I made up a few aluminum heads down at the hardware store. They got some good bashing at my local choss spot today. Nothing pulled that wasn't a really crappy placement (which most of them were cause I'm not so good at placing em). :-)


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