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Thread: How to tell if cable is copper or another metal?

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    Colonel Weller's Avatar
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    Default How to tell if cable is copper or another metal?

    One of my recent trailer purchases had a stray 25 foot section of 3 phase cable tossed on the deck and I'm trying to identify it before putting it to use or selling it.

    I cleaned it and found these specs...
    CO - 04HOF(4/4)1340 MIL - C - 3432D CAROL CABLE CO WEST

    Did some research and came away with...

    M3432 Heavy Duty CO Cable - 600V


    1st Letter = Duty:
    H: Heavy Duty, rated 600 volts


    2nd Letter = Class:
    O: Oil-Resistant, Medium Low Temperature (-40C to 75C)


    3rd Letter = Flexibility:
    F: Flexible

    Not sure what the 1340 refers to.

    I cut back one of the wires to get a better look.

    Copper, aluminum, tin plated, silver plated, other?

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    4 Star General Floridianson's Avatar
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    I have some cables like that and I thought they were tinned copper. I did some good marine grade tinned copper wires when I up dated my boat. Much better corrosion resistant and you don't find the wire corrosion walking through the whole cable.
    Last edited by Floridianson; 05-05-2019 at 19:30.
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    If you want to know if it's copper, flame it. Get a torch (like a propane torch) and heat a small piece of it. I mean really blast it. Copper will turn the flame a very pretty bright green.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...+in+flame+test
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    Tin plated copper. Definitely
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    Tin AND silver plated...4 gauge. Does it have 600v embossed into the jacket or say 600v? Works for single or 3 phase, around 80 amps. Some scrap yards take money off for the plated wire. Is around $4/ft to buy new (not plated). Wire a generator.
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    4 Star General Floridianson's Avatar
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    Yea it's a shame it's only 25 feet I have two and mine are 100 feet with plug in ends and one pig tale plug end for the gen side. I will need mine to use the plasma cutter to cut up a crane that is 75 feet away from my power box. I need 50 amps service for my plasma cutter and not looking forward to all the work. Had thought about just renting a big excavator and dig a real big hole. Yea he said 600V.
    https://www.galaxywire.com/applicati...y-power-cable/
    Last edited by Floridianson; 06-09-2019 at 12:02.

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    Thanks for all the replies, would be nice if it was longer but I'll probably use it, always something to be wired up.

    Good tip on the copper flame test and good mention on silver as I've had cables and silicone with silver in them before.
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