Tungsten-Copper Chemical Etching
As the elements are not mutually soluble, the material is composed of distinct particles of one metal dispersed in a matrix of the other. The microstructure is therefore a metal matrix composite rather than a true alloy.
Fotofab’s chemical etching process produces designs that can withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses an acid (Ferric Chloride) to etch into unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project’s applications.
Characteristics of Tungsten-Copper
- Excellent arc resistance
- Good thermal and electrical conductivity
- Low thermal expansion
- Good machinability
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Tungsten-Copper Etching Applications
The electrical and thermal properties of Tungsten-Copper are dependent on its composition and are used where the combination of high-heat resistance, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion are needed. Some applications for acid etched Tungsten-Copper include:
- Electrodes in resistance welding
- Arc contacts and vacuum contacts in high/medium voltage breakers or vacuum interrupters
- Electrodes in electric spark erosion (EDM) cutting machines
- Heat sinks and heat spreaders for passive cooling of electronic devices
- Radio base station components
- IGBT modules for hybrid-electric (HEV) and full-electric (EV) vehicles
- Power semiconductor devices
- An increase in Copper increases WCu thermal conductivity for use in circuit breakers
- An increase in the percentage of Tungsten increases the element’s electrical resistivity
- An increase in Tungsten leads to an increase in ultimate tensile strength up until the alloy reaches 80% Tungsten and 20% Copper with an ultimate tensile strength of 663 MPA
- Copper tungsten materials are often used for arcing contacts in medium to high voltage sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) circuit breakers in environments that can reach temperatures above 20,000 K