Tinned Copper Bus Bar
WesBell Tinned Copper (Bus bar) is soft drawn solid copper with a coating of tin suited for overhead transmission and distribution applications. Also used for uninsulated hook-ups and jumpers. Tinned copper (Bus bar) is also used as a ground wire in electrical construction. The main reason for the coating of tin over the copper is to make it easier to solder the wire during the connection process. The tin will slightly melt when the solder iron is applied which then connects with the solder to form a single bond, and it quickly dries together.
Tinned Copper Construction
The construction is simple, once the copper is drawn from a liquid base it’s formed into a circular form depending on the gauge size, and a layer of tin is coated over the top. Different sizes are needed for different applications, depending on the amount of current needed to transmit, which creates the need for many different sizes and forms of tinned copper. WesBell has 13 different sizes in stock ranging from 26 AWG to 2 AWG, all solid copper form. As the diameter increases the amount of current (amperes) increases as well. Pricing is also more expensive for larger sizes due to the amount of copper and tin used to create it.
Bus Bar Applications
Generally, bus bar wire is used for overhead drive transmissions and distribution applications, but can also be used for smaller electronic projects that don’t require the protection of insulation. Previously, tin was mixed with lead to create a cheaper but still effective conductor of electricity for a cheaper cost. However, lead became an unsafe metal especially when exposed to heat (breathing the smoke) and was nearly banned from being used altogether.
RoHS was a movement that hit the wire and cable industry hard and fast which was a mission to get rid of anything that included lead. Most often, tin and silver with mixed with lead along with tin pots and solder. Solder adheres to tinned copper wire in order to bond it to an application which became slightly harder without the combination of lead. Solder pots, or tin pots filled with tin/solder (60%/40% respectively) were used to dip stranded wires. When a stranded wire bumps into something the strands look like a messy haircut, so the wire was immediately dipped into melted tin in order to bond all of the strands together and keep the haircut looking nice and smooth.
I wouldn’t dare say it’s easy to become a tinned copper manufacturer however it’s not as complicated as being a multiconductor cable manufacturer that includes UL approvals, insulation, shields and jackets into the equation. Not to mention those manufacturers start with bare and tinned copper to make their cables. International Wire Camden is a very large manufacturer that even supplies many cable manufacturers with copper strands in order to save them time in the copper drawing process. WesBell buys directly from International Wire Camden for all of our bare and tinned copper needs. We sell small and large quantities, cut it to length with specialized equipment and inspect our job through our ISO 9001 quality processes.
Our ISO 9001 certification starts with assessing the risk of every job we accept and follows with creating procedures and processes that help ensure a quality product. We collect data of all good and bad jobs, assess them, and make changes that assure we continue doing the good and avoid the bad. Continuous improvement is a phrase we were built on and paying attention to our customer’s needs is exactly what we like to do.
- Bare solid copper
- Tin coating
- Call for hard drawn
- Overhead transmission and distribution
- Uninsulated hook-ups and jumpers
- Ground wire in electrical construction