When you want to create some castings, you will need to carefully consider which metal would be the right choice. In many cases, aluminium castings will be a great fit for your needs but that is not the only possibility; there are often good reasons to consider copper base alloys in your castings as well.
Understanding the mechanical properties of copper
Copper is perhaps most widely used commercially in electrical wiring. The electrical conductivity offered by copper can only be exceeded by silver, and the price of that does not make it practical for widespread use. Another characteristic of copper is that it rarely corrodes which is why it is often considered suitable for pipework and radiators as well as electrical wiring. However, perhaps the most important characteristic of copper as regards casting is its strength. Copper exhibits a greater tensile strength than aluminium which can make it ideal for applications where strength is a priority.
What are copper base alloys and where are they used?
To further enhance the properties of copper, it can be mixed with other metals such as zinc, tin, or nickel to create alloys such as brass, bronze or cupronickel. These copper base alloys have wide application throughout industry although they have found to be particularly advantageous in the transport sector where they are used to produce gears, bearings and bushings. To determine which copper base alloys could be the best fit for your project, it can be helpful to discuss your needs with the casting company. They will have a good understanding of the properties of each alloy and should be able to offer you some advice.
What's the casting process for copper?
The sand casting process for copper base alloys is similar to aluminium castings; however, the higher melting point of copper may require the use of an induction furnace. The higher melting point also means that the sand used in the casting process may need to be coated with a material that stops the metal burning into the mould. It is only in this way that an acceptable finish can be achieved on the casting.
To find out more and decide whether copper base alloys could be the right choice for your next project, talk to your local casting company today. They will be able to explain the advantages of the casting process and answer any questions you might like to raise.