Manufacturing Copper Parts with Lasers
The name copper is derived from its Latin name cuprum. It is part of group 11 on the periodic table of elements. It has an atomic number of 29 and a symbol of Cu. It is called a transition metal. These types of metals are malleable and ductile and are conductors. Because of their atomic make up, they are brightly colored. So far, a reasonable sounding material. We see and use copper perhaps every day. Some of it being for architectural use whiles others may have custom lamps or kitchen fixtures using copper for its color and ultimate patina. I do model building of Sci-Fi figures occasionally, and copper, bronze and gold colored paint is always a joy in the final touches of highlights. In my professional world, I see copper being used for the properties it has.
Copper is produced in many forms from foils, sheets, tubing, wire, coils and comes in four basic grades. Pure copper is ductile and soft. Many times, it will have other elements added to it to increase the stiffness. As “pure” it has 0.7% in total impurities and has a UNS (Universal Numbering System) of C10100 to C13000. Electrolytic coppers are produced by electrolysis and after this refinement, the copper has conductivity up to 101% of IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard). The UNS is C1100. The purest grade of copper is Oxygen Free Coppers. From the process, the copper is 99.99% pure and is extremely conductive with a UNS from C10100 to C10200. Containing sulfur to make the copper more machinable, Free Machining Copper are used in applications such as nozzles, electrical components, and many more. It has a UNS of C14500.
Alternative Energy seems to have taken hold in our lives and rightfully so. I believe we need to find the better ways we can power the industries and products we have accustomed ourselves to. Within this race to produce the better battery, the longer lasting cell and keeping them in an environment that allows optimum performance is where laser technology is supporting. Copper is being used in many of these applications with bounds of R&D being needed. These multitudes of iterations progress rapidly. UV laser technology is one method to support this growing technology.
With copper the world is dependent and that holds true for many materials we utilize. Perhaps an alternative will be found or developed. Or perhaps new technology will spring us into new territories for the use of copper. I look forward to learning more about it a d being part of the solution during this ride.
About the Author
Joe has been part of the A-Laser team for over 10 years and has extensive experience with laser cutting technology, sales, and customer service. Joe was born and raised in San Jose, CA and has resided with his family in Gilroy, CA since 1997. The unique projects he gets to learn about and the industries they support, keep everyday new! His hobbies include photography, he is a member of the Morgan Hill Photography Club, hiking, model building and collecting vintage camping lanterns and stoves. His favorite places include Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park, Portland OR, and Boston MA.