Aluminum Study Shows Cost Savings

Sapa Extrusions North America, manufacturer of American Conduit by Sapa, announced the results of a recent study highlighting the cost-savings and other benefits of rigid aluminum conduit over traditional steel conduit. 

Conducted by IBIS Associates, the study found that rigid aluminum conduit saves contractors and engineering firms up to 17 percent on usage costs.  Even more importantly, the study shows that rigid aluminum conduit meets or exceeds all UL6, UL6 A and National Electrical Code standards and performs at least as well as steel.  Furthermore, rigid aluminum conduit demonstrated a clear cost-savings across the board in a series of non-residential construction projects when used in place of traditional steel conduit.

 “In countless industries, the weight-savings benefits of aluminum have long been demonstrated, but this usually comes at a cost premium relative to steel.  It is well known that the material cost of aluminum is often greater than steel on a per pound basis, and even on an equivalent volume basis,” remarked Tony Mascarin, managing partner of IBIS Associates.  “Indeed, this is what gives rise to the mistaken assumption in the conduit industry that using aluminum conduit will cost more in total, however this study proves otherwise.”

 IBIS Associates collected data from industry experts, including contractors, suppliers, equipment representatives, distributors, engineers and conduit manufacturers, as well as government agencies, trade groups and publications in order to compare the costs for purchasing and installing various types, sizes, and materials of conduit.  Results indicated a constant savings associated with rigid aluminum conduit that increased with the size of conduit being used and the size of the project.

“One of the main challenges we face as a supplier is the misperception of rigid aluminum conduit as a more expensive material than traditional steel conduit, when in fact it is actually more cost-effective if you factor in the full life-cycle of the project,” said Louis Whittemore, national sales manager for American Conduit by Sapa.  “It is our hope that with the release of this study, the advantages and cost-savings of rigid aluminum conduit will become common knowledge within the electrical conduit industry.” 

The IBIS study also highlights multiple market factors and identifies several market trends connected to areas of opportunity for rigid aluminum conduit.  Because the growth of the electrical conduit market is tied so closely to the non-residential industry, increased capital investment in this industry has sparked an increase in conduit usage, particularly in the Southern US.  Although rigid aluminum accounts for just 15 percent of the current conduit market, recent studies speculate rigid aluminum conduit should grow significantly over the course of the next decade.

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