Copper has been used in electrical wiring since the invention of the electromagnet and the telegraph in the 1820s.
Standard copper wires are used for numerous applications reliably for many years. However, as the technology changes requirements from the current carrying wires changes. Current copper wires are too heavy for applications such as aerospace and mobility and applications such as charging batteries and microelectronics would benefit from higher current capacity
A composite material combining copper embedded in a CNT matrix or other non-metallic conductive porous matrix was developed as an alternative material for electrical conductors. Cu wires replacement materials should have high maximum current carrying capacities (ampacity), increase the conductivity per unit of weight, and enhance the cable mechanical properties, such as strength and flexibility. Electrodeposition is employed as a facile, cost-efficient preparation method, providing high-purity deposits and having the potential to deposit Cu inside the three-dimensional (3D) CNT tissue. In order to permit the ultimate path for electrical conduction in the composite material, the Cu particles must be interconnected, i.e., forming a Cu network within the CNT matrix.
- The composite wires carry higher currents than can be provided by pure Cu cables
- Lower cable weight
- Cost efficient preparation method
Applications and Opportunities
- Light weight cables for automotive, aerospace, microelectronic, battery packs for electric vehicles, medical applications and telecommunication & utilities
- Cables for fast battery charging