copper wires

Zirconium: An Alloying Element with Copper Alloys

Copper alloys are widely used metals for manufacturing purposes around the world. From copper pipes, electrical wires, mechanical components and other applications, manufacturers are creating the products for companies to run their operations and for the public to improve their daily lives. This unique alloy offers excellent thermal and electrical capabilities.

Other elements will also be added into copper alloys to improve the metals’ mechanical and structural characteristics. The elements may harden the copper, make it more malleable and workable, or improve its electrical and conducive nature. One element, zirconium, can be used as a deoxidizer.

Copper’s Gas Absorption Tendencies

Copper alloys will be melted when going through fabrication and processing. The nickel content that is present in the copper alloys will begin to absorb a wide range of gases that include oxygen. The more nickel content that is present combined with the rise in temperatures during the melt will increase the copper alloy’s tendency to absorb these gases.

When the copper alloy cools, the gases that are present will begin to become soluble. This solubility prevents the copper alloy to transition fully into a solid state. In locations where the oxygen was present, pores and blowholes will be present where the gases could not escape from the melt. Deoxidizing the copper alloy during the melt can help remove the oxygen to improve the quality of the copper alloy when it solidifies.

Zirconium Used for Copper Deoxidization

Zirconium elements provide many benefits to copper alloys. It helps strengthen the copper as well as adds heat and corrosion resistance to the copper. Yet another incredible benefit is zirconium’s deoxidizing capabilities.

When the copper is melted, zirconium is added. The zirconium becomes an oxygen scavenger. It locates the oxygen in the melted copper alloy and attracts it. The oxygen will chemically combine to the zirconium. The oxygen will begin to dissipate and will also rise to the surface of the melt to fully escape the copper alloy. Now, when the copper solidifies, the presence of pores and blowholes are reduced so that the manufacturer has an improved copper product that is workable.

Due to zirconium’s mechanical and structural properties and its ability to be added to copper alloys, it does not hamper or impair the copper’s own unique characteristics. So you obtain a superior copper alloy product that can be used in various applications.

Belmont Metal Providing Zirconium Products

Here at Belmont Metals, we offer zirconium in different concentrations based on the customer’s needs. We have 30% Zirconium Copper, 10% Zirconium Copper, 50% Zirconium Copper, 13% Zirconium Copper and 67-33 Copper Zirconium. When selecting a zirconium as a deoxidizer to reduce porosity in copper alloys, you will want to select a product that has a higher zirconium content. Contact our company today to learn more.