Copper is recognized for its many uses. From wiring to electrical switches, this popular metal can be found in homes, commercial operations, and even in the cloud.
At Three D Metals, one of our largest production distribution lines is our copper sheeting. But where can you find copper sheets in the electrical industry? Keep reading to find out.
Residential and Commercial Copper Sheet Electrical Applications
Next time you have to flip a switch in your electrical panel control box in your home, take a closer look at those switches and connectors. Most likely, they’re made of copper metal. And before that was a small switch, it was probably a cut from copper sheeting.
On a larger scale, you can find similar electrical cabinets near business industrial parks, with copper electrical switches and connectors that were created from copper sheets.
Have you ever thought about how your data is stored in the cloud?
Companies that provide cloud data storage operate large buildings that are full of electrical cabinets utilizing switches and connectors made from copper sheets. On a smaller scale, a similar example would be an IT room featuring multiple electrical cabinets with copper switches and connectors to store customer data and business information.
In both examples, the cabinets could also feature copper bus bar, to bring power into the box and back out.
Why Should You Choose Copper Over Another Electrical-Grade Metal?
Copper is considered one of the best choices for electrical applications, mainly for its high electrical conductivity — meaning copper metal can conduct a high level of electrical current. In the electrical industry, copper is also valued for its ductility, which means it can be manipulated into different shapes easily.
Copper metal is also prized for its corrosion-resistant, antimicrobial, and sustainable properties. Learn more about those here.
Copper vs. Aluminum for Electrical Applications
Another metal commonly used for electrical applications is aluminum. With supply chain challenges common with the current market, aluminum may be easier to come by. And although aluminum typically has a lower price point compared to copper, you would need three times more aluminum than copper because of the weight difference.
“So if someone was going to change from a copper to aluminum, especially for an electrical cabinet, they need to have room for three times the amount of aluminum in there because you need three times the amount to carry the same current,” explains Amy Gesdorf, territory manager at Three D Metals.
How Do You Know if a Copper Sheet is the Right Copper Product for Your Electrical Application?
When it comes to choosing which copper product is the best for your electrical needs, your machinery is one of the most important factors. For example, if you’re stamping, you would probably choose copper coil.
If you’re punching, putting holes in the metal, or bending it, copper sheeting or bar would be the best choice. Copper sheets can be bent in different ways, such as cross grain and with the grain, whereas copper bus bar can only be bent across the grain.
“Bus bar cannot be bent along, or with, the grain, because it fractures,” Gesdorf added. “When people have complex parts with multiple bends going across the grain and with the grain, that’s where a sheet is beneficial.”
Another benefit of using a copper sheet is that it can be used for nested applications — you can cut multiple parts out of the same copper sheet.
If you’re not sure which copper product would work best for your end-use electrical application, but you know the dimensions you need and the end-use, a Three D Metals team member would be happy to answer your questions. Simply email email@example.com to get started.
Which Electrical Industry Copper Alloys and Gauges Does Three D Metals Carry?
When it comes to copper alloys for electrical uses, the most widely produced and available alloy is CDA 110, which Three D Metals supplies, along with alloys 102 and 101.
As for gauges, our most popular standard sizes for electrical applications would be 0.062, 0.093, 0.125, and 0.1875. If you’re not sure what size or alloy you need, contact Three D Metals, and a team member can help.
If you would like to learn more about Three D Metals’ copper sheets product, read out our Copper Sheets Buying Guide and learn more about what to look for when you seek out a copper supplier or copper sheet distributor.