The uses of Copper in the field of electricity and electrical goods are well known. Almost everything that runs on electrical current will have copper in some or the other form. The reason behind this phenomenon is wondrousness of copper – it is an amazingly tensile and durable metal with excellent conductivity. In fact, in terms of conductivity, it is second only to silver.
Copper is used in many forms- such as bars, cables, wires, connectors, etc. Braided Connectors with copper are used for flexible electrical connections, especially for big-sized components. Since there are several copper strands that are braided together to form a thick-set cable, it is heavily resistant to breakage under repeated vibration and movement. These braided connectors have a very big advantage of flexibility which makes them invaluable for electrical connections in areas that see lots of vibration and heat.
Tin is the most common coating metal.
So why is it necessary to tin copper? Cooper has a pretty high resistance to corrosion, but is not completely impervious to it. Any place with high humidity or wet environs wreaks havoc on copper and makes it lose performance.
This where tinning comes into play.
When copper wires are plated with tin, they last longer in every way. Their durability increases, as will well as their longevity.
Tin boosts the properties of copper, and it is a marriage made in heaven for both the metals. When a 12-gauge copper wire is coated with tin, it lasts much, much longer (up to 10 times) than a bare copper wire.
Tin is resistant to corrosion. Since the tin plating doesn’t get oxidized, the copper beneath remains safe and secure. This also keeps wear and tear at bay, which adds years to the life of this metal.
Copper also corrodes in very high temperatures. In such instance too, tinning helps immensely. In fact, tinned copper wires are of great use in marine applications. When copper is tinned, it is adaptable to soldering too. This is because tin is a primary component in soldering. Since tin strengthens copper, it becomes resilient to breakage and is impervious to lost connections.
It is widely believed that while tinning increases the cost of copper wires, it is a worthwhile expenditure in the long run. In fact it pays for itself several times over since it adds so many durable features to the base metal.
There are two processes that can be followed to apply metallic coating to individual strands of copper. The first among these is called the Hot Dip procedure. In this method, a bare copper strand is passed through a molten metal bath, and it gets coated with the metal. The second procedure is called Electroplating. In this, an electrolytic process applied the coating metal to each strand of copper individually.
The thickness of this coating is not specified by any existing industry standards; instead, it is managed and controlled by factors such as adhesion, coating continuity, weight, electrical resistance, etc.