Tinned Copper Wire

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Copper wire is one of the most widely used conductor in almost any task that involves electronics; this involves telecommunications, transportation, electronic devices, power generation, medical equipment, etc. It is available in abundance, which keeps its cost down, and its versatility has made it the first choice among industries dealing with electronics in any form. However, its comes with its challenges; since the metal is relatively soft, malleable, it can degrade rapidly over time.

To address this, most copper wires are coated with a later on tin by immersing the wire in a container filled with molten tin. This coating acts as a barrier between the copper wire and the external elements surrounding it; it protects the copper from oxidisation and corrosion, and improves it performance and longevity considerably.

Copper Capabilities

Besides being abundantly available across the globe, what sets aside copper as the most preferred conductor in any applications are:

  • 2nd most conductive metal after silver.
  • Easy to work with since its flexible and can be shaped in any way we like.
  • Copper can also be recycled without losing its inherent properties which makes it eco-friendly.
  • While copper is corrosion resistant, it can also be mixed with other components to improve its durability while retaining its functionalities.
  • It is also resistant to microbe which makes it perfect for using it in medical equipment.
  • Its can be used in various applications spanning across industries such as telecommunications, automobile, household appliance, power generation, industrial machinery, etc.

These unique properties make copper wire an ideal choice for a wide range of applications and industries.

Oxidation Problems

Oxidisation is a common issue faced by any metallic substance; this is a process where the metal reacts with the oxygen to form an oxide. This oxide is a chemical compound that can cause multiple reactions on the metallic substance, such as discoloration, corrosion, and weakening of the material. Copper wires also face the same challenge if left unattended. One way to prevent this from happening is by applying tin on the wire. This is a process where you either paint a layer of tin or dip the wire in molten tin to create a layer which will protect the device for extended period.

Tinning Benefits

The primary purpose of tinning is to improve the copper wires resistance to corrosion and oxidisation. Tin is highly effecting in creating a barrier between the copper metal and oxygen. Additionally, tinned wires are more solderable than the un-tinned variants. It also has lower coefficient of friction that un-tinned surfaces, which is particularly useful for mechanical operations. On account of its low transference, it is in high demand in the electronics industry. Tinned surfaces are also more resistant to tarnishing and discoloration compared to un-tinned surfaces.

Cost Disadvantages

Copper is considerably cheaper than other metal conductors since it is found abundantly in nature. Additionally, it can be recycled a number of time without losing its functional properties. That being said, it need not always be the right wire for the job. It’s essential to ensure manufacturers identify the scope of the requirement before finalising on the final product. Tinned copper wire is 30% costlier than the bare-essential variant. The best way to minimise costs on such situation is to identify the working conditions which may allows users to opt for the basic variants too. If humidity, heat, and other weather conditions are not a concern, then a non-tinned copper will work as well.