To protect the first installations of modern electrical wiring, early systems made use of the old gas pipe that had been put in when gas light fixtures were converted to electric lamps. This offered superb protection for the wiring, and its usage expanded quickly. Couplings and fittings designed specifically for electrical use came on the market by the early 20th century. Today, many different types of conduit are available for interior wiring, utilizing materials such as steel, PVC and aluminum.
Electrical metallic tubing (EMT), sometimes referred to as thin-wall conduit, is one type of tubing or conduit that is used to protect and route electrical wiring. Its lighter weight and lower cost make it more popular than galvanized rigid conduit (GRC), and it is most commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings. Aluminum is often the preferred material for the conduit and couplings when there is a requirement for superior corrosion resistance, because GRC steel tubing is not suitable for installations where there is a lot of water or chemicals, such as food processing plants.
EMT conduit protects enclosed conductors from damage that may result from impact, moisture, and fumes from chemical compounds. Design and construction are simplified because many different sizes and types of conductors can be pulled through a single conduit. This reduces the extra expense of multiple cable runs and custom composite cables. Wiring systems in buildings are altered frequently and EMT conduit makes this process simpler and safer. Existing conductors can be removed from the EMT conduit and new conductors installed without disturbing the entire installation.
Aluminum EMT conduit has some important advantages over steel GRC and conduit made from other materials. Aluminum EMT conduit can be easily cut, bent and threaded on the job site, resulting in neater installations, and does not require many manufactured fittings. Any differences in cost can be equalized by the lower labor costs that come from its light weight (1/3 the weight of steel) and easy installation. Although EMT conduit cannot be threaded, threaded fittings that clamp to it can be used. These are major advantages, particularly when following irregular or curved building profiles.
Aluminum EMT conduit helps block the electromagnetic radiation emitted by electrical circuits that is responsible for unwanted interference and noise. When installed with proper sealing fittings, aluminum EMT conduit also provides superior protection from fire and explosions by preventing the flow of flammable gases and fumes from volatile substances. While aluminum cannot be embedded in concrete because it reacts to the alkalis in cement, aluminum EMT conduit can be coated to protect it from incidental contact when installed in concrete walls and slabs.
American Conduit by Sapa Extrusions, based in Burlington, NC, produces a comprehensive line of both aluminum EMT conduit and rigid aluminum conduit to meet your needs and provide you with superior durability and lower cost. Our solutions are designed and engineered to meet all of your application challenges and our nationwide distribution network ensures easy access throughout North America.