Copper Bus Bars
Copper bus bars are formed strips of copper that are used to distribute current, mount components, and dissipate heat. Bus bars are frequently installed in bespoke enclosures or boards for the distribution of considerable amounts of power.
Applications of Copper Bus Bars
- Electrical power distribution
- Electrical bonding
Bending Instructions For Copper Bus Bars
If you want your copper bus bar to be as effective as possible, you need to pay attention to how you bend it—both the size of the bends and how hard you make them.
C110 copper has great formability, which means you have a lot of leeway in designing the bus bar you need for your unique application.
We are limited in the extent of our capability to bend copper due to our machinery and tooling. Having said that, we are prepared to give you a high degree of freedom in choosing your bus bar’s exact specifications.
Copper Bus Bar Guidelines
For two reasons, we recommend stainless steel self-clinching fasteners as fasteners in your bespoke copper bus bar:
The material of choice for most copper applications is corrosion-resistant stainless steel. To avoid any problems with compatibility, the same should be true for your bus bar.
While copper alloy is soft enough to be formed into a bus bar, it’s too soft to tap threads into it. That’s where the self-clinching feature comes in handy. It outperforms a standard fastening because it makes its threads and doesn’t require any tapping at all. If you’re cautious, you could torque fasteners into tapped holes. However, we strongly advise against it.
To fabricate Copper Bus Bars that meet your specifications, stainless fasteners, especially self-clinching fasteners, are your ideal choice.
Copper Bus Bar Finishing Techniques
Typically, unpainted bus bars are left unfinished. Why? Because you want the highest possible electrical conductivity.
Unfinished copper oxidizes and loses color, eventually forming a thin green film on the surface. Consider a coin. It loses its bright shiny finish in a short time if it is not treated with something to prevent oxidation – such as lacquer. Bus bars are designed to carry electricity and therefore need to be electrically conductive – so they can’t be painted with lacquer or any other substance that would insulate or reduce their ability to conduct electricity. Copper bus bars turn green as they age.
Tin plating is completed by immersing the copper in a bath of pure tin. This process deposits a thin layer of the tin onto the copper, which increases the corrosion resistance and electrical properties of the bus bar while also improving its weldability. However, keep in mind that this process must be completed by a third-party supplier, so you should account for extra lead time and expense.
In addition to powder coating your copper bus bars, you can also mask off the contact regions within the bus bars to ensure proper masking. Powder coating reduces the conductivity of the copper bus bar, so you will need to define the contact regions where the mask should be applied. It will be possible to leave the exposed electrical conductivity sections of the bus bar uncoated if you do this.