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Friday, 28 June 2013 09:25

Cambridge researchers kill copper

Written by Nick Farrell

Carbon is the new way forward

Cambridge researchers have developed a usable electrical wiring made from carbon rather than copper. The researchers have been trying to come up with a material capable of carrying electricity more efficiently than copper.

Cambridge University has said wires created with carbon instead of copper could “significantly improve” how efficiently electricity is supplied. Apparently they have managed to gain a new level of control over carbon nanotubes and developed nanotubes which can be used in electrical systems.

The wires developed by the researchers are 10 times lighter and up to 30 times stronger than copper wires and they can be joined to their standard metal equivalents for the first time making hybrid energy networks a possibility. Preparations are under way for a hybrid carbon-copper wire in which the carbon is used to make the copper stronger and lighter and cut transmission losses.

Carbon wires are also corrosion resistant and can carry a higher current. At the moment they are not as conductive. This is the next thing the researchers want to resolve.

Nick Farrell

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