A free-to-access Copper Conductivity Materials database covering copper alloys for electrical conductivity applications is now available online to help specifiers and designers with material selection, addressing a current knowledge gap.
Copper has the highest conductivity of any non-precious metal. This, combined with its high ductility, good machinability, high strength, ease of jointing and good resistance to corrosion, makes copper the first choice as a conductor for electrical applications. The ease with which copper can form alloys with other elements results in the availability of a very wide range of materials suitable for the full range of electrical and electronic applications. Designers are not always aware of these options and miss out on the benefits they offer. Now, two online resources are available to address this knowledge gap and aid in selecting the most appropriate material for a given application.
Hosted on the Copper Development Association website, the Copper Conductivity Materials section provides an introduction to the range of copper conductivity materials. Information on specific alloys can be accessed either by required property combination—e.g. high conductivity and strength, high conductivity and resistance to softening—or via a table of physical and mechanical properties, ordered by electrical conductivity.
Summary information is presented on each material in an easy-to-digest format and includes:
- Basic physical properties—electrical and thermal conductivity.
- Mechanical properties—tensile strength, proof strength, hardness and elongation, suitability for different manufacturing processes (such as bending, joining and welding).
- Availability in different product forms—forgings, profiles, rod, sheet, strip and wire.
- Applicable standards—US, EN, Chinese and Japanese.
- Typical applications—illustrated case studies are provided showing typical as well as some more exceptional applications.
37 materials are currently included—each with its own unique combination of properties—providing a suite of options to suit the full range of electrical and electronic applications. For most applications, there will be several candidate copper materials that provide the required combination of properties.
Having browsed the summary information, users can then access more detailed technical information on a sister website, the Conductivity Alloys Knowledge Base. Based on in-depth literature research, the state of the art in copper conductivity materials is summarised, including chemical compositions, mechanical, fabrication, exploitation and technological properties—such as thermodynamic, optical, magnetic and solid state properties. An advanced search allows users to filter materials by a range of criteria.
Joining the associated Community of Practice allows users to quickly access information, news and updates, and Copper Alliance experts. Online learning resources from the Copper Academy will be highlighted and made available to the Community. These resources cover copper basics, applications, economics, processing, properties and sustainability. The course materials have been developed by Copper Alliance experts and invited lecturers from renowned European institutions such as AGH University of Science and Technology and Fraunhofer Institute.
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