Developments in Alloy Conductors

From WCTI Magazine, September 2003

Copper’s main attribute is its high electrical conductivity. However, copper has low strength and softens readily at relatively low temperatures, whereas many applications require higher strength, greater softening resistance while still maintaining a high electrical conductivity. Adding various elements to copper will modify its properties and increase its strength. The trade-off is that additions to copper, whether an impurity or an intentional alloying element, reduce copper’s electrical conductivity.

Although alloy conductors have long been used in wire and cable the cadmium alloyed with copper to make these conductors is hazardous to the environment. Developments in copper alloys can now satisfy both engineering and environmental aspects.

The environmental regulations on cadmium, already affecting the electronics and connector industries, will affect the wire and cable industry as well. Click here for the entire article.