Choose copper or aluminum? The home appliance industry has a difficult problem to solve

Although copper and aluminum are both metals, they have always been treated differently as raw materials for home appliances. As copper prices have risen year after year, aluminum-based copper has become a choice for enterprises, either bright or dark. Some directly call aluminum-based copper a revolutionary material replacement method, but some companies call aluminum-based copper "stealing the column". "Shut up", the use of aluminum instead of copper home appliances is suspected of quality.

Regarding who is good about aluminum and copper, whether the quality of aluminum-based copper products is not enough. Many years ago, in an argument about aluminum-based copper for air-conditioning, many organizations stood up to cheer for the aluminum-based copper station. At that time, the situation was like this. The China Electronics Chamber of Commerce, China Household Electrical Appliances Research Institute, China Household Electrical Appliances Association and other institutions also said that the "aluminum-based copper" technology of air-conditioning connecting pipes is in the environment of tight copper resources, ensuring the function of connecting pipes. A material replacement technology developed on the basis of effects. This method of aluminum-based copper has also been recommended by the China Invention Association as an excellent project for energy conservation and emission reduction in 2007.

Despite the “strong support” of many organizations, consumers still stubbornly believe that only copper products are of high quality. Despite the pressure of rising or even soaring copper prices, some companies are still insisting on the old road of “copper”, and have not adopted the excellent projects of energy saving and emission reduction such as aluminum-based copper.

On this issue, in fact, most companies choose to be silent. And a few companies choose to stand up and "explore." In recent years, the use of aluminum-based copper products has come to the stage because of “exposing”, so that consumers understand this phenomenon. For example, the recent washing machine aluminum copper incident. The power washing machine is black, and the aluminum wire motor used in the washing machine products produced by some enterprises has the danger of spontaneous combustion. The power of the move caused discussion in the industry, and the aluminum wire motor was also caused by the high price of copper. The products using aluminum wire motor are mostly low-end products of small enterprises and some large enterprises in Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Power said that the aluminum alloy copper of the washing machine motor will reduce the performance of the product in many aspects. Since the “response” of the relevant companies was not obtained, the blackout incident seems to have subsided very quickly.

Whether it is the previous aluminum-based copper dispute over air conditioners, water heaters, or the recent blackout of washing machine aluminum wire motors, the root of the problem lies in the rise in copper prices. Copper prices are now more than 70,000 yuan per ton, up 60% from 2009. The price of aluminum is “cute”, only about one-fifth of that of copper. The cost advantage of using aluminum instead of copper is obvious. Even if every household appliance does not use much copper, but the output is large, the cost advantage of aluminum is revealed. Why is aluminum? In fact, in the 1990s, both copper and aluminum could be used as raw materials for motors, and the price was similar. However, due to the poor conductivity and large volume of aluminum, the company chose copper as the raw material for the motor. When the price of copper rises all the way, there is a certain basis for aluminum to go to the stage again. But from another point of view, since copper was chosen at the time, it means that aluminum as a motor raw material does have some technical difficulties.

The attitude of aluminum-based copper, this time is also different from before. Before the air conditioners and water heaters, there were authoritative departments to "support" for the aluminum-based copper, but this power became a lonely battle. Jiang Feng, chairman of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, said that the replacement of aluminum alloys on air conditioners and gas water heaters has also proven to be reliable. The replacement of raw materials must be carried out under the premise of technological advancement. Aluminum-based copper is not a simple substitute for pure aluminum, but an aluminum alloy instead. As for what products or components can be replaced and what cannot be replaced, they must undergo rigorous experimentation and rigorous evaluation. The aluminum wire motor is clearly not recognized as "reliable". Lu Jianguo, director of the inspection department of the National Household Appliance Quality Supervision and Inspection Center, pointed out that there is no technical breakthrough in the aluminum wire motor currently used in washing machines, but it may reduce the power efficiency of the product. The motor standard of the washing machine does not limit the materials used in the product. The impact of the aluminum wire motor on the performance is currently within the national standard pass line. However, this aluminum-based copper technology has not been broken. For enterprises, the aluminum wire motor that has not passed the long-term test in the market is still less useful.

Consumers’ attitudes in repeated blackouts are also worth considering. On the one hand, consumers believe that products using aluminum-based copper are black-hearted products, and on the other hand, companies that “cover the shady” are also considered to be “hyped themselves”. .

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