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Thermal Conductivity and Electronic Components Made with Precision Metal Stamping in Minneapolis, MN

August 16th, 2017 · No Comments

Even the highest quality of design and engineering would be useless if the right materials aren’t utilized for a given part. Metallurgy has long been a vital tool in helping industrial manufacturers determine which metals fit the function and type of a part. At Thomas Engineering Company, our years of experience in parts engineering, tool design, and production with precision metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN, has given us the agency we need to provide expert suggestions when it comes to part materials.

One market for which we specialize in providing parts is the electronics industry. Manufacturing electronic components and electronic connectors requires a large knowledge base of when and how to use materials with high and low thermal or electrical conductivity.

High Conductivity

For materials that must transmit electrical current in parts designed for the electronics industry, a high electrical conductivity is optimal. In most cases, metals like copper and aluminum have a high thermal conductivity that goes hand-in-hand with a high electrical conductivity. Though it’s a rule that most metals with high thermal conductivity will have a high electrical conductivity, there are exceptions. For example, tungsten has a high thermal conductivity yet a low electrical conductivity. Similarly, platinum has a higher thermal conductivity than nickel, but nickel has a higher electrical conductivity than platinum.

Metals with middling electrical conductivity, such as brass, nickel, and zinc, are selected to carry currents in electronic components for the additional benefits of their other properties. Occasionally, precious metals like gold and silver are used in metal alloys for electronic parts needing extremely high electrical conductivity. However, precious metals also have a low melting temperature and must be alloyed with other metals for effective use in current-carrying parts.

Low Conductivity 

In many cases, electronic components pair with parts that work to insulate heat from the conductive unit. These metals have low thermal conductivities but high enough electrical conductivities to move a current to the faster conductor adjacent. Metals that are often used for these purposes include steels, titanium alloys, and iron alloys. The most effective metals used to protect conductors from overheating have a low thermal conductivity and a middling electrical conductivity.

The materials we use in all our parts are well-tested, effective, and not compromised in any way during manufacturing or parts production. For more information about the materials we use and the markets we serve with precision metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN, contact Thomas Engineering Company at (763) 533-1501 today.

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