The addition of 0.05-0.15% Zirconium to Copper, results in a medium strength, heat treatable alloy with an increased softening temperature compared to pure copper whilst maintaining excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. Copper-Zirconium (CuZr, CW120C) was designated as a European alloy in The Compendium of Compositions and Properties PD CEN/TS 13388. There was no British standard for this alloy. A number of CuZr European proprietary alloys have been developed.
Copper-Zirconium Alloy Properties
The properties of Copper-Zirconium are developed by a thermo mechanical heat treatment. This involves heating to 900-925oC and water quenching, cold working, ageing at 400-425oC and cold working to final dimensions. The softening temperature of Copper-Zirconium is 500oC. This compares to 200oC for Copper and 300oC for Copper Silver. This means that Copper-Zirconium components have increased life at higher working temperatures.
Copper-Zirconium Alloy Applications
Copper-Zirconium is one of a number of Copper alloys used in the construction of electric motors and generators. It is ideal for processes such as cold formability, hot formability, soldering and brazing.