Tungsten-Copper (W-Cu)

Tungsten-Copper (W-Cu) is a composite material that combines the high strength and thermal conductivity of copper with the high melting point and wear resistance of tungsten. In this article, we will explore the specific features of tungsten-copper as a material in chemical etching and delve into common tungsten-copper alloys used in the market.

Characteristics when chemically etching Tungsten-Copper:

Tungsten-copper is a versatile material that can be easily etched using chemical methods. Some of its notable characteristics during chemical etching include:

High thermal conductivity: Tungsten-copper has high thermal conductivity, meaning that it can quickly dissipate heat during the etching process. This feature is crucial in preventing overheating of the material and ensuring the desired results.

High corrosion resistance: Tungsten-copper has excellent resistance to corrosion, making it an ideal material for etching applications. It can withstand prolonged exposure to acidic solutions used in the etching process without degrading its integrity.

Easy to etch: Tungsten-copper is a relatively soft material, which makes it easier to etch than other metals like stainless steel. This property also enables the use of less aggressive etchants, which reduces the likelihood of undercutting and other undesirable effects.

Characteristics of Tungsten-Copper:

Apart from the above features, tungsten-copper has other notable characteristics, which make it a popular material in many industries. These include:

High strength and durability: Tungsten-copper has a high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent wear resistance, making it ideal for applications that require high strength and durability.

Good electrical conductivity: Tungsten-copper has good electrical conductivity, making it an ideal choice for electrical contacts and other applications that require good conductivity.

Good machinability: Tungsten-copper is relatively easy to machine, which allows for the production of complex shapes and parts with high precision.

Difference between traditional sheet metal precision processing VS Chemical etched sheet metal processing

VECO’s video to learn what metal etching is.

Comments related to etching technology:
From @chadr2604:
There is another way it involves stacking many layers of very thin material with an There is another way it involves stacking many layers of very thin material with an adhesive, pressing the stack, then either stamping or punching the blank then heating it to release the adhesive. The parts will not be as accurate the tolerance is limited to about .002″ but if its good enough its much faster.
From @chadr2604:
If you try to cut that stack with a laser you will just start a fire we had an aluminum fire trying that.

Modern precision sheet metal fabrication includes a common technique known as etching, which differs from traditional sheet metal fabrication in several ways. Here are some key differences between etching and traditional precision sheet metal fabrication:

  1. Principle: Traditional sheet metal fabrication typically involves mechanical processes such as cutting, bending, and punching to shape and form metal sheets. Metal etching by Metal Etching Machine , on the other hand, is a chemical process that uses specialized etchants to selectively corrode the metal surface, achieving precise etched patterns and features.
  2. Accuracy and Complexity: Etching offers advantages in terms of precision and complexity. By controlling the composition, concentration, temperature, and etching time of the etchant, extremely fine etching can be achieved with accuracy down to sub-micron levels. Additionally, etching allows for the creation of intricate geometries, microstructures, and patterns that may be difficult to achieve using traditional mechanical methods.
  3. Processing Speed and Cost: Etching generally offers faster processing speeds, particularly in large-scale production. In comparison, traditional mechanical fabrication methods may require more time and cost to achieve the same level of precision and complexity.
  4. Materials Compatibility: Etching techniques are applicable to a range of metal materials, such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. Traditional sheet metal fabrication methods may have limitations when it comes to certain materials or thicker metal sheets.
  5. Design Flexibility: Etching provides greater design flexibility. By incorporating techniques like photolithography or screen printing during the etching process, complex patterns and structural designs can be achieved. This makes etching suitable for applications in microelectronics, optical devices, microfluidic devices, and more.

Common Tungsten-Copper Alloys:

There are several tungsten-copper alloys available in the market, each with unique characteristics that make them suitable for specific applications. Some of the common tungsten-copper alloys include:

70W30Cu: This alloy contains 70% tungsten and 30% copper by weight. It has high strength, good wear resistance, and excellent thermal conductivity, making it ideal for applications such as heat sinks, electrical contacts, and electrodes.

80W20Cu: This alloy contains 80% tungsten and 20% copper by weight. It has higher tungsten content than 70W30Cu, making it more wear-resistant and suitable for applications that require high wear resistance, such as resistance welding electrodes.

90W10Cu: This alloy contains 90% tungsten and 10% copper by weight. It has the highest tungsten content of the three alloys, making it ideal for applications that require high density and hardness, such as radiation shielding and balancing weights.

In conclusion, tungsten-copper is a versatile material with unique characteristics that make it an ideal choice for chemical etching applications. Its high thermal conductivity, high corrosion resistance, and ease of etching make it a popular choice in various industries. Additionally, the numerous tungsten-copper alloys available in the market make it possible to select the most suitable alloy for specific applications.

If you have an Tungsten-Copper (W-Cu) etching project that you need help with, please contact us.