High Strength Conductors
Source: Ames Laboratory
Date: 9/20/96    Record No.: 10403
Contact: Larry Jones, 515-294-5236

High Strength Conductors
A new class of alloys developed at Ames Laboratory has 10 times the tensile strength of copper, at about 80% the electrical conductivity. These are deformation processed copper metal matrix composites that have a long filamentary microscopic structure.

Possible applications, in addition to non-sagging transmission and distribution wires that could allow hotter operation and increased tower spacing, include use in equipment where tensile strength is extremely important, such as generators or pulsed-power magnetizers that are used to make permanent-magnets.

While the metallurgy aspects have been published in trade journals, there's been no funding currently available to pursue these various power systems applications. The Lab would appreciate input from interested industrial parties.

In related work, the Lab also has developed improved aluminum metal-matrix composites with increased strength and very little loss of conductivity, which may be another candidate for power conductor applications.

Contact: Larry Jones, (Principal Investigator), Ames Laboratory, 515-294-5236

Topics: T&D