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What is Tungsten Copper Alloy?

The tungsten copper alloy is made of discrete particles of one metal scattered in a matrix because copper and tungsten are not soluble in each other. So, rather than being a natural alloy, the microstructure is more like a metal matrix composite.

The pseudo-alloy Tungsten Copper (tungsten–copper, CuW, or WCu) composites are made of the refractory metal Tungsten and copper. The material combines the qualities of the two metals, creating a substance that is easy to machine, thermally and electrically. It is also conductive and ablation-resistant.

The alloy’s composition determines its characteristic properties. Its density, hardness, and resistivity are all higher in the less-copper-containing kind. The mixture of tungsten and copper has many purposes. This article will delve deep into tungsten and copper’s uses, benefits, and features.

Can you mix tungsten with copper?

As mentioned earlier, tungsten and copper are not mutually soluble. By compressing the tungsten particles into the proper shape, sintering the compressed component, and then infusing it with molten copper, CuW (Copper tungsten alloy) composite is created.

Out of this, composite sheets, rods, and bars are created. The typical Tungsten Copper (W-Cu) composites have 10 to 50 weight percent copper, with the majority of the remaining material being tungsten.

Uses of Tungsten copper (W-Cu) composites

Based on its chemical and physical properties, Tungsten and copper has multiple uses and is used in industries extensively. One of their major uses is in high-voltage electrical switches. For these switches to be made, they must be highly durable and extremely conductible.

Unfortunately, methods for boosting their strength, such as alloying and doping with tiny particles, considerably reduce their conductivity.

Materials for Microelectronics:

The limited expansion characteristics of tungsten and the high thermal conductivity of copper are both present in tungsten copper electronic packaging and heat sink materials.

When strong heat-resistant, increased electrical and thermal conductivity, high malleability, and low thermal expansion are required, copper tungsten is utilized for flash and butt-welding electrodes.

The composition of tungsten & copper can be altered to change its thermal conductivity and thermal expansion coefficient, giving it a wider range of uses.

Because tungsten copper material has superior thermal conductivity, high heat-resistant, and a thermal expansion coefficient that is compatible with gallium arsenide, silicon wafers, and ceramic materials, it is frequently employed in semiconductor materials.

Military and aviation materials:

In the fields of aerospace and aviation, tungsten copper alloy is utilized for nose cones, rocket engine nozzles, gas rudders, and air rudders.

Tungsten’s excellent wear resistance and copper’s high electrical conductivity provide a combination that maximizes manufacturability.

High-temperature resistance to airflow is the major criterion. To lower the surface temperature of tungsten copper and assure its use under extremely high temperatures, the sweat cooling effect created by the volatilization of copper at high temperatures is mostly exploited.

High voltage switches and vacuum contact material:

Tungsten copper alloy is frequently used in lightning arresters, high-voltage vacuum load switches, and circuit breakers.

The high-voltage vacuum switch is lightweight, simple to maintain, and has many uses. It can be used in corrosive, explosive, flammable, and humid situations. Arc ablation-resistant, fusion welding resistance, low cut-off current, low air content, and low thermionic emission capability are the primary performance requirements.

CuW can also be utilized in a vacuum as a contact material. Due to its low cost, resistance to arc erosion, strong conductivity, resistance to mechanical wear, and resistance to contact welding, copper tungsten contacts are good materials for vacuum contact.

Electrodes for Electro Processing:

Early EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) electrodes employed graphite or copper, which are both inexpensive but not relatively resistant. These materials have largely been superseded by tungsten copper electrodes. CuW is less likely to erode in the air.

High-temperature resistance, high-temperature strength, arc ablation-resistant, superior electrical and thermal conductivity, and quick heat dissipation are all benefits of using tungsten copper electrodes.

Their primary uses are high-voltage discharge tube electrodes, resistance welding electrodes, and electric spark electrodes.

For vacuum, oil, and gas systems, CuW is typically used as a contact. Since the surface will oxidize when exposed, it is not a good interface for air. When the material contains a higher percentage of copper. CuW can be used as an arc tip, arc plate, and arc runner in the air.

Final thoughts

Indeed, for many applications, including electrical contacts for high voltage electrical switches, heat-sink materials for high-density integrated circuits, microelectronic blocking materials for microwave packages, and thermal transfer management in fusion power plants, tungsten copper (WCu) composites have attracted considerable interest.

This is mostly due to the qualities of their combined high melting points and hardness of Tungsten (W) and good electrical and thermal conductivities of Copper (Cu). Up until the alloy reaches 80% tungsten, an increase in tungsten causes an increase in ultimate tensile strength. After this mixture, the tensile strength declines.

Contact Agescan International Inc. to learn more about Copper Tungsten and its uses.

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