Aluminium has a high conductivity and plasticity, reduces costs, avoids thefts of material and it is already accepted in all standards of lightning protection
Lately one of the problems of lightning protection has been the rise in price of copper, the most widely used material for down-conductors. This has not only increased the cost of the protection systems but also has led to dangerous deficiencies in them due to the stealing of the down-conductors in many installations. Steel is also often used, but has a lower conductivity than copper and is stiffer.
An increasingly common alternative is aluminium, which electrical conductivity is of the same order of magnitude as copper’s. Its cost is lower, it is much lighter and easy to install. Some alloys, particularly with magnesium and silicon, result in conductors that are easy to handle and have a good mechanical strength.
Aluminium can be used as air terminal and down-conductor but never as earth conductor neither embedded in concrete, due to corrosion problems. Care should also be taken when connecting with other materials. Aplicaciones Tecnológicas, S.A. has at your disposal a range of accessories in aluminium to prevent galvanic couples, such as the aluminium adapting piece (AT-151A), the aluminium AlMgSi alloy solid round conductor (AT-110D) and the bimetallic clamp (AT-013F) for connecting aluminium with copper, especially if this last one is going to be the earth conductor.