Electrical engineering and energy
In the electrical industry, a very wide range of copper materials is used – pure copper as well as a variety of its alloys – in accordance with the diverse requirements. First and foremost, copper in unalloyed form is processed into cables, conductor ropes, wires, rails, strips and other electrical engineering components.
The reason for its use is a combination of outstanding properties, mainly the very good conductivity for electrical current and heat, usually sufficient strength, good machinability and good corrosion resistance. If, in addition to conductivity, there are also special requirements for mechanical strength or wear resistance, the properties of copper in this respect can be considerably increased by alloying elements. Unfortunately, the conductivities of alloys are always much lower than those of pure metals. Therefore, a variety of low-alloyed copper materials are offered as optimal compromises. On average, between 50 % and 65 % of the total copper production goes into electrical engineering as conductor materials each year.
Next to silver, copper is the metal with the lowest electrical resistance.
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