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Introduction

Made up of at least 99.3% copper (Cu), copper alloys are characterized by excellent electrical and heat conductivity. These properties make copper alloys suitable for use in various areas, including construction and architecture, shipbuilding, automotive, machinery, appliances, defense and more.

Copper Subtypes

cnc machining raw material - copper

110 Copper

110 copper, also known as ETP copper, is one of the closest alloys to pure copper (made up of 99.9% pure Cu), which means it has excellent electrical conductivity. 110 copper also has good formability and is commonly used in electrical applications for manufacturing wire connectors, gaskets, rivets and more.

Tensile StrengthElongationHardnessMaximum TempManufacturing Process
42,000 psi20%40 HRF500ºFCNC Mill, CNC Lathe
cnc machining raw material - copper

101 Copper

101 copper, also known as OFE or OFHC copper, is made up of 99.99% copper, making it the alloy with highest copper content. 101 copper has exceptional electrical conductivity and is ideal for electrical applications, like fabricating terminal lugs and coaxial cables.

Tensile StrengthElongationHardnessMaximum TempManufacturing Process
37,000 psi14%60 HRB500ºFCNC Mill, CNC Lathe

Surface Finish

Electroplating

Electroplating can be functional, decorative or corrosion-related. Many industries use the process, including the automotive sector, in which chrome-plating of steel automobile parts is common.

Electroplating Image
Painting

Painting the surface of a part improves its aesthetic appearance and can provide brand recognition to consumers. In addition, painting can have a protective effect on parts.

Painting Image
Polishing

Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface, either through physical rubbing of the part or by chemical interference. The process produces a surface with significant specular reflection, but in some materials is able to reduce diffuse reflection.

Polishing Image
Powder Coating

Powder coating forms a durable, wear resistant and corrosion resistant layer on the surface of parts. Powder coating can be used to apply colors to parts and is compatible with any metal.

Powder Coating Image

Manufacturability

Tolerance

- Standard: (+/-) 125 μm -Achievable: (+/-) 100 μm , (+/-) 50 μm

Wall Thickness

- The minimum wall thickness should be at least 1 mm for machined parts. - 2 mm is suggested for better strength and 2.5 mm for a rigid wall.

Pocket depth

- Pocket depth should be up to 3 times the diameter of the end mill

Engraving

- Engraving is preferable to embossing - For clear, legible text consider fonts such as Arial or Gothic - Design letter strands with a width of at least 2 mm

Internal Radii

- The minimum internal radii possible is 1 mm - In general, internal radii dimensions depend on the depth of pocket being milled

Holes

- Use standard drill bit sizes - Minimum of 1 mm in diameter

Threads

- Use standard metric inserts - Smallest threaded insert possible is M2

Design Recommendations

Copper is primarily known for its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity but it is also a metal that is generally easy to machine and has good plasticity. The ductile metal requires less cutting force than most other metals of similar strengths.

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