Glossary of Copper Fabrication Terms

  1. Abrasive: Used in abrasive waterjet cutting, but also used for grinding, polishing, super-finishing and more. The most common type of abrasive used in waterjet cutting is garnet. Other options include emery, cubic boron nitride, silicon carbide, and more[1].
  2. Alloy: A substance with metallic properties made up of two or more elements, where at least one of which is metal; partial or complete solid solution of copper with one or more alloying elements such as zinc, tin, nickel aluminum or silicon[3].
  3. Alpha: The name of a phase or a certain range of copper alloys which contains one or more alloying elements dissolved in copper, the phase being a homogeneous, solid solution3.
  4. Annealing: The process involving the heating and cooling of a metal to induce softening, improve machinability, and reduce internal stresses; a form of heat treating.
  5. Beta: The name of a second phase in the internal structure of certain copper alloys, generally harder and less ductile than the alpha phase. The beta phase renders the alloy more ductile when hot and less ductile when cold.
  6. Bus Bar: rigid, high conductivity copper electrical conductor or tubular or solid section. Also spelled buss bar and busbar.
  7. C11000: A copper alloy for high current applications; electrolytic tough pitch (ETP) copper, used in most electric current carrying applications. 99.9% pure copper with 100% electrical conductivity. Conductivity, corrosion resistance and ductility makes it very versatile; anneal resistant. Also written C110[4].
  8. Cable Assemblies: cable harness, also known as a wire harness, cable assembly, wiring assembly or wiring loom, is an assembly of cables or wires which transmit signals or electrical power. The cables are bound together by straps, cable ties, cable lacing, sleeves, electrical tape, conduit, a weave of extruded string, or a combination thereof[5].
  9. CDA: The Copper Development Association Inc. is the market development, engineering and information services arm of the copper industry, chartered to enhance and expand markets for copper and its alloys in North America. Abbreviation for “Copper Development Association, Inc. is CDA.”
  10. Cold Cutting (Cold Working): The process of changing form or cross-section of a piece of metal at a temperature below the softening or recrystallization point, but commonly at or about room temperature. It includes rolling, drawing, pressing and stretching.
  11. Cutting: The procedure of bringing a product to desired dimensions by such operations as slitting, shearing, sawing, and blanking. As applied to surface finishing--cutting through or removing the surface of a metal with a buffing wheel and suitable abrasive compound usually coarser than that used for buffing.
  12. Computer Numerical Control Machining: A process used in manufacturing that involves the use of computers to control machine tools; lathes, mills, routers and grinders CNC Machining is the process by which material is removed from a piece of material with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment that cuts away unwanted material. Also known as CNC Machining[6].
  13. CNC Manufacturing: CNC automation also allows for more flexibility in the way parts are held in the manufacturing process and the time required to set up the machine to produce different components.
  14. Copper: A ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys. Machining of copper is possible, although it is usually necessary to use an alloy for intricate parts to get good machinability characteristics. Also known as “The Red Metal”.[7].
  15. Corrosion: Chemical or electrochemical deterioration of a metal or alloy.
  16. Ductility: The property of a metal that permits permanent deformation before fracture by stress in tension.
  17. Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM): A process occurring in water that uses electricity to spark or discharge from an electrode to the material, with cutting times measured in inches or fractions of inches per hour[8].
  18. Electrostatic fluidized bed coating; application uses the same fluidizing technique and the conventional fluidized bed dip process but with much less powder depth in the bed. An electrostatic charging medium is placed inside the bed so that the powder material becomes charged as the fluidizing air lifts it up. Charged particles of powder move upward and form a cloud of charged powder above the fluid bed. When a grounded part is passed through the charged cloud the particles will be attracted to its surface. The parts are not preheated as they are for the conventional fluidized bed dip process. Also known as powder coating[10].
  19. Electroless nickel plating: An autocatalytic chemical technique used to deposit a layer of nickel-phosphorus or nickel-boron alloy on a solid work piece, such as metal or plastic[11].
  20. Fabrication: The building of metal structures by cutting, bending, fabricating and assembling processes.
  21. Flexible bonding: 2K power mix – polyurethane; Used in various high and low voltage electric appliances to be used for flexible connectors or grounding; conductive ratio high and anti-fatigue ability is strong[13].
  22. Flexbraid: Flexible electrical copper braided connectors for high voltage and ground strap applications. Also known as flexible bonding straps, flexible bonding connectors, ground braids, braids, and shunts.
  23. Galvanizing: The process of coating steel with zinc to create a surface that is highly resistant to corrosion[14].
  24. Ground Bar Kit: A thick copper bar with the associated insulators, steel mounting brackets, bolts & lock washers in a single package. Ground bar kits are used in telecom room and other installations to provide a central ground-point for equipment. The ground bar kit provides a common grounding point for connecting grounds from telecommunications equipment, computers, and other data center equipment.
  25. HAAS® Milling Machine: The first-ever, fully automatic, programmable collet indexer – a device used to position parts for machining with very high accuracy[15].
  26. HSS (High-Strength Steels): A broad category of steel products commonly having yield strength in excess of 40,000 psi.
  27. Insulator: Standoff electrical insulators provide a barrier where internal electric charges do not flow freely, and which therefore does not conduct an electric current, under the influence of an electric field. Made up of plastic or ceramic materials, then UV coated, with mechanical connections. Storm Copper is one of the largest distributors in the US of insulators used in grounding applications[16].
  28. Laminated busbar: (lamination) a multilayer conductor, which by means of construction provides a flexible or ridged low inductance electrical connection.
  29. Metric copper: Flat rolled copper bars in metric sizes.
  30. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer): A company the makes products or components that are purchased by another business and retailed under that purchasing company’s brand name. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured a fully finished product[17].
  31. Plating: A surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Typical plating options are Tin, Bright Tin, Matte Tin, Silver, Lead, Nickel and Electroless nickel.
  32. Powder Coating: A type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder; does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. Can be sprayed on or suspended in a fluidized bed.
  33. Punch: Generally the upper member of a tool set which cuts or forms the top side a product; process of putting holes into a piece of sheet metal using a die or punch, Also known as Punching.
  34. Punch press: A type of machine press used to cut holes in material. It can be small and manually operated and hold 
one simple die set, or be very large, CNC operated, with a multi-station turret and hold a much larger and complex die set.
  35. RFQ - Request for Quote: A RFQ is issued when an organization wants to buy something and chooses to make the specifications available to other companies so they can submit competitive bids[18].
  36. Shearing: The cutting action in a straight line to separate metal by two moving blades; a machine with blades or rotary disks for cutting sheets, plates or bars of metal[19].
  37. Shunt: A device that allows electric current to pass around another point in the circuit by creating a low resistance path[20].
  38. Stainless Steel: Group of corrosion resisting steels containing a minimum 10% chromium and in which varying amounts of nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium as well as other elements may be present.; Also known as inbox steel, is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel does not readily corrode, rust or stain with water as ordinary steel does. It is also called corrosion-resistant steel (CRES) when the alloy type and grade are not detailed, particularly in the aviation industry. Stainless steel is used where both the properties of steel and resistance to corrosion are required.
  39. Superalloys: Strong alloys that are incredibly tough to machine, many are nickel-based metals.
  40. Water jet cutter: An industrial tool capable of cutting a wide variety of materials using a very high-pressure jet of water, or a mixture of water and an abrasive substance; preferred method when materials being cut are sensitive to high temperatures generated by other methods.