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Copper wire - properties and applications

Copper wire is the basic element of power grids and electric motor windings. It is widely used due to its high electrical conductivity, non-heating and corrosion resistance. There are several types of wire, each of which is better suited for a specific task.

Wire types

The main categories of wire are hard and soft. The first is less suitable for engineering purposes and is used as a decoration. The second is the basic type that is used in cables and electrical appliances. Both types are produced in a factory way; the material is ore or processed raw materials.

Wire types The main categories of wire are hard and soft. The first is less suitable for engineering purposes and is used as a decoration. The second is the basic type that is used in cables and electrical appliances. Both types are produced in a factory way; the material is ore or processed raw materials. The cost depends on the grade of copper, which determines the purity of the content. The highest rate is 99.99%, it is marked with the Mob category. Impurities affect the electrical and thermal conductivity of copper; the most abundant — oxygen — reduces strength. Also, the cross-section and number of cores affect the price.

The company «Special Materials» provides the following copper alloys:

  • AERIS 1105 — Russian analogue of MOb — Cu-OFE alloy
  • AERIS 1100 — Russian analogue of MOb — Alloy Cu-OF
  • AERIS 1150 — Russian analogue M1 — Alloy Cu-ETP1
  • AERIS 1120 — Russian analogue of М1Р — Cu-DLP alloy
  • AERIS 1125 — Russian analogue М1Ф — Cu-DHP alloy
  • AERIS 1130 — Russian analogue М1Е — Cu-ETP alloy

Properties

The widespread use of copper is due to its basic characteristics. These include:

  1. Density. The index of 8.96 g / cm3 gives a combination of a fairly dense structure with a small mass.
  2. Low resistance. High electrical conductivity in the absence of heating of the material.
  3. Durability. Copper is resistant to corrosion. The wire does not rust and can be stored for a long time.
  4. Strength. The strand of copper wire easily withstands repeated bending without damage.
  5. Oxidation has no critical effect on properties — the film is easily destroyed and has little effect on conductivity.

The main disadvantage of copper wire is the cost, which is twice the price of aluminum. It is also much heavier — if copper is often used in the production of terrestrial cables, then aluminum is preferred when laying through the air. Otherwise, more support structures have to be installed.

The material is easily processed by soldering and pressure, but poorly cut. Welding work is also difficult due to poor casting properties. In gas welding, a boric solution is used to remove oxides. Fuel consumption depends on the thickness of the alloy. Argon welding is recommended — minimal risk of air bubbles and difficulties during work.

Технология

Copper wire is produced by drawing on special machines. The source material is pre-processed. The wire is etched in a heated hydrochloric acid solution and annealed. This allows you to get rid of the scale that remains on the machine parts and negatively affects their service life. After that, they begin to create products:

  • the ends of the wire are sharpened;
  • apply a lubricant to reduce friction;
  • fill in filters — holes of a drawing machine with a diameter less than the wire itself;
  • successively passed through filters to the desired cross-sectional index.

The process is carried out in a semi-automatic mode. The operator controls the operation of the machine, prepares and feeds the raw material into the filters. After drawing, copper is too stiff and springy, so the last stage is annealing and further drying.

If recyclable materials are used as raw materials, a processing procedure is added to the manufacturing technology. The used wire is cleaned of the insulation layer and sent for remelting. Superfluous elements burn out; refractory debris is removed using a hood. Metallic impurities are removed at the next stage — ingot electrolysis. Finally, wire is prepared from the pure copper obtained by casting.

Application

Copper wire is found in most well-known electrical appliances, home appliances and manufacturing. It is found in its pure form as a winding of transformers and motors. For these purposes, a wire with a low impurity content is selected in order to prevent delays in the passage of current through the conductor. This increases the operating period of the generators. Copper serves as the main material for the manufacture of cables, where it is covered with an insulating layer. The lack of heating and high electrical conductivity are important here. The closest available alternative is aluminum, which does 65% worse under the same load. Solid wire is used for decorating, weaving and creating artistic frames. Characteristics in this case do not play a role, copper of low grades is used.

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