Copper and Zinc Alloys


Engineering Studies – H4 Telecommunication Engineering – Materials and Manufacturing

This topic covers the use of copper alloys in electrical applications. The effect of alloying elements and manufacturing techniques are key concepts.

Key Concepts

  • Electrical applications of copper alloys and zinc alloys
  • Electrical properties of copper alloys and zinc alloys
  • Aluminium alloy for electricity transmission

coiled copper wire


Discussion Questions

  1. Explain why copper plays a significant role in many electric appliances and electrical systems.
  2. Name instances where copper is used in electrical applications.
  3. Name and describe the properties and applications of the following alloys:
    • Cu – Zn
    • Cu – Sn
    • Cu – Al
    • Cu – Be
    • Cu – Cd
  4. How is copper wire manufactured?
  5. What is electrolytic tough pitch copper?
  6. What insulation is often added on the wire used in electrical motor windings?
  7. Compare the use of aluminium alloy wire to copper alloy wire when used as an electrical transmission medium.