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[TowerTalk] Radial wire deterioration

To: TowerTalk <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Radial wire deterioration
From: Red <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 13:51:09 -0500
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Contributors report differing experiences regarding deterioration of 
various wires used as radials.  Don't forget, soil chemistry has a lot 
to do with whether a particular kind of wire survives for a long time or 
only a short time.  Much is determined by pH.  Acidic soil, pH lower 
than 7.0, attacks iron and copper.  Alkaline soil, pH over 7.0, attacks 
aluminum.  pH near 7.0 attacks metals more slowly than those with pH 
more different from 7.0, indicating greater chemical activity.  There 
are other factors, for which others are more qualified than I am to 
explain.  I hope they will add to this.

I suspect that some forms of insulation offer some protection, some more 
than others. 

Since electric fence wire is inexpensive, we can afford to replace it 
every few years.  Test the soil and choose steel or aluminum fence wire 
according to pH.

My experience, in soil with pH about 6.8, is with enameled copper, from 
an old transformer.  It has survived about 10 years, now.  It was placed 
on top of the soil with grass mowed short, and has long since been well 
covered, but not deep.  If I hadn't stumbled on a spool of thousands of 
feet of it for scrap price, I would have used fence wire, and would have 
experimented with both steel and aluminum to satisfy my insatiable 
curiosity as to how it might survive in this soil.

I guess we need to post this now and then for those new to the hobby and 
those whose memory is slipping :-).

73 de WOØW

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