Why is copper chosen as the material of choice for copper slip ring manufacturing? Because copper is highly conductive and corrosion-resistant. But as the cost of copper increased, other materials had to be chosen as an alternative for slip ring manufacturing, preferably cost-effective and sustainable. Read the article below and choose the one that suits you best from our list of alternatives.
6 Alternative Materials
- High conductivity
- Corrosion resistance
- High reliability
- Excellent surface stability
Because of its characteristics, gold is often used in applications that require high precision. At the same time, slip rings made of gold usually do not cause noise pollution, so equipment that requires sound can choose gold. However, compared with copper, the biggest disadvantage of gold is its high cost, which is one of the reasons why it cannot be widely used. Aerospace applications and medical equipment are often high-end equipment and usually have a relatively sufficient budget, so gold can be selected as a raw material.
- High conductivity
- Corrosion resistance
- Not easy to change color
- High temperature resistance
If you want to choose a material that has high conductivity and high temperature resistance while being corrosion resistant and not easy to tarnish, then silver is definitely an option you can’t miss. Because of the characteristics described above, silver is often ideal for high current and high voltage applications. Although the price of silver is also more expensive than other materials, the price of silver is lower than that of gold. Slip rings made of silver are perfect for power and signal transmission and are often used in military, aerospace and medical applications.
- Good electrical conductor
- High wear resistance
- Low coefficient of friction
- High-temperature resistance
Compared with copper, slip rings made of carbon have the advantages of low electrical noise, high wear resistance, and high-temperature resistance. These advantages make them often used in applications that require low electrical noise and high-speed rotation. In addition, carbon is lighter than copper and cost-effective and can be used in wind turbine equipment.
- Lightweight material
- Good thermal conductivity
- Lightweight and durable
- Heat shock resistance
There is also aluminum, which has the same advantages of lightweight as carbon, and aluminum also has the characteristics of strong thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. Compared with precious metals such as gold and silver, aluminum is also cost-effective, but aluminum is only suitable for low-voltage, low-current applications, such as wind turbine equipment. This needs to be considered if you choose aluminum as the material for making your slip rings.
- Excellent electrical conductivity
- Good thermal conductivity
- Extremely lightweight and flexible
Graphene is a material that people don’t often think of, but it also has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, is suitable for high-speed applications, and can be used in aerospace and military applications.
- Excellent corrosion resistance
- High durability
When your slip ring is used in a harsh outdoor environment, it is recommended to choose a slip ring made of stainless steel. Compared with other materials, corrosion resistance, and durability are the biggest features of stainless steel.
The above are 6 common copper replacement materials and their respective characteristics and suitable applications. After comparison in various aspects, the advantages and disadvantages of various materials are clear at a glance, and users can choose suitable materials for their own needs and budget.
In general, if the budget is sufficient, it is recommended to choose gold. Gold is undoubtedly the most advantageous of several alternative materials. It not only has the same excellent electrical conductivity as copper but also can prevent rust and corrosion.
Of course, if your budget is not very sufficient, silver is also a good choice, and it has considerable performance in high current and high voltage applications.
Followed by carbon and aluminum, because their performance is not as widely used as gold and silver, but the price is lower than gold and silver, how considering the cost performance, it is recommended to use the two.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Is a Slip Ring?
A: The tool that transmits power, electrical signals, and data between stationary and rotating components is a slip ring, an electromechanical device.
Q: Why Choose Copper as the Common Manufacturing Material for Slip Rings?
A: Copper is often used as slip ring manufacturing material due to its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and ductility.
Q: What Are the Disadvantages of Using Copper as Slip Ring Manufacturing Material?
A: Compared with carbon and aluminum, the price is slightly more expensive; compared with gold and silver, the corrosion resistance is not very good; the biggest disadvantage of copper is that it is easy to wear, and the performance of the slip ring will be affected as the use time increases.
Q: What Are the Alternatives to Copper as Slip Ring Manufacturing Material?
A: Common materials that can replace copper include gold, silver, aluminum, carbon, graphite, stainless steel, etc.; each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and customers can choose according to their needs and budget.
Q: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Gold as a Slip Ring Manufacturing Material?
A: First of all, gold has good electrical conductivity and excellent corrosion resistance, and it is the best substitute for copper; but one thing to note is that gold is an expensive metal and is not cost-effective. It is suitable for customers with sufficient budgets to choose.
Q: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Silver as a Slip Ring Manufacturing Material?
A: Just like gold is expensive, the price of silver is not low. Although it is not as expensive as gold, it is also higher than other metals. It is not recommended for customers with insufficient budget. But silver also has its own advantages. Silver has very good electrical conductivity. In addition, silver also has good corrosion resistance, which is unmatched by copper.
Q: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Aluminum as a Slip Ring Manufacturing Material?
A: Aluminum conducts heat better than copper, is lighter, has advantages over copper in some applications, and is less expensive than gold and silver. However, the conductivity of aluminum is not as good as the three, which will affect the performance of the slip ring.
Q: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Graphite as a Slip Ring Manufacturing Material?
A: Graphite is a material that is often overlooked when people mention alternatives, but graphite conducts electricity well and is less expensive than gold and silver. Why is it not widely used? Because the durability of graphite is not high, the wear is serious. Users considering graphite as an alternative need to take this into account.