Ways on How to Physically Differentiate a Aluminum Magnet Wire from a Regular Wire

The aluminum magnet wire has a very this layer of varnish on it that serves as insulation. Usually, it is brown, but a darker color than bear copper, and you can tell the difference if the varnish is removed from the end of the wire. Regular copper wire may or may not have insulation on it

The aluminum magnet wire has a very this layer of varnish on it that serves as insulation. Usually, it is brown, but a darker color than bear copper, and you can tell the difference if the varnish is removed from the end of the wire. Regular copper wire may or may not have insulation on it. If it does, it will be much thicker than the varnish and easy to see.

So called “magnet wire” is simply copper wire that has been enameled so that has very thin insulation on it. This layer of insulating enamel (lacquer) allows the wire to be close wound without shorting. This is the only difference between magnet wire and regular copper wire.

In order to use magnet wire the enamel coating must be removed at the point where an electrical connection is to be made to it. This can done by scraping the end of the wire with a sharp knife or razor blade or by removing the coating at a location by dissolving it with a rag dipped in acetone.

To tell if a piece of wire is magnet wire or regular copper wire take a three or four inch long piece of the wire and lay it across the terminals of a one cell battery AA or C or D cell. Don’t touch the ends of the wire to the ends of the battery. Rather press the wire against the terminals of the battery so that contact is made with the sides of the wire. (ie touch the wire 1/4 of an inch in from each end, to the battery – this will make sure that the enamel coating, IF it is there, will insulate the connection)

IF the wire gets hot/warm it is regular copper wire. If it doesn’t heat up, then it is magnet wire (coated wire).

The aluminum winding wire is also our hot product, you can click to view.


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