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What is difference between XHHW-2 aluminum conductors and THHN wire?

Sep. 13, 2017

THHN uses a thinner PVC insulation. This thinner insulation—while saving space—could be a disadvantage depending on the application. The reduced coating can lead to current leakage and can break down from chemical or environmental exposure.

XHHW-2 aluminum conductor has XLPE insulation instead of the PVC insulation used in THHN wire.

This makes XHHW the more expensive option, but its coating is more resistant to chemicals, ozone and abrasions. THHN’s coating is thinner and emits a toxic smoke when burned. This is avoided in XHHW-2 with the use of a different insulation.

THHN wire isn’t as flexible as some alternatives because of the nylon coating—what you gain in mechanical strength and sturdiness, you lose in flexibility. XHHW-2 aluminum conductor’s coating is more flexible and may be advantageous for difficult projects.

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Jennifer Kevin leo