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Series 1100 Aluminum Wire

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  • Series 1100 Aluminum Wire

    This may help those having problems with electrical connections: carries alloy 1100 aluminum wire in 8 AWG to 28 AWG sizes. 1100 is practically pure aluminum, and is dead soft. The softness make it easy to cold flow under mechanical pressure; this helps in forming a liquid tight connection. The softness also makes it less likely that any damage or deformation will occur in the work.

    I used 14 AWG in the reference paper, but 18 AWG will do for most any LCD application. A 1/4 lb spool (170') costs $6.00.

    For the sake of convenience, recall that you don't need to use aluminum (or titanium) wire to make the connection all the way back to the power supply (I don't). When the wire (anode or cathode) is clear of the electrolyte, you can switch over to copper wire and ordinary alligator clips or whatever. Just keep the copper (or steel) out of the electrolyte!

  • #2
    On the subject of connection wires, does it matter which type of aluminium the connecting wire is? I have noticed that on parts that have anodized succesfully the wire has gone dark gray(like it is has impurities) the wire I am using is aluminium welding rods.
    I ask because I am having serious problems trying to anodize parts and wonder if it is because of the wire. I am still doing test bits so I drill and tap each piece so I'd say the connection is ok. I have a bid on a decent variable power supply so hopefully I can get that and forget about messing with the battery charger and dimmer!


    • #3
      Unless the wire is some exotic alloy that contains LARGE amounts of metals incompatible with anodizing (like copper and iron) no. I THINK aluminum welding wire is OK.

      It would help to leave a incomplete thread on the wire (or hole) so that you force the metals to cold flow when you tighten the connection. This is easier to do with soft alloys (like 1100).

      We are having a problem with semantics here; it seems that those who understand what "tight" means in the DC electrical sense have little/no trouble with connections. "DC electrical sense" means "tight" like the battery cable in your car, not "tight" like under a wire nut in 120/240 VAC wiring. It is the nature of high voltage AC to be highly tolerant of connections, this is not the case with low voltage DC. Im getting a bit frustrated, but such is life.