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Copper possesses the highest electrical conductivity of all commonly found metals on earth. This property of copper when added to its inherent strength, formability and corrosion resistance make it and its alloys unique in their usefulness as conductors of electricity. This series of data sheets will discuss some of the basics of physical properties, fabrication and applications of copper and copper alloys in strip form. This series is presented as a general introductory guide to assist parts designers, materials engineers, metallurgists and material buyers to understand copper alloys and some of their basic properties. Additional technical information is also available in the Standards Handbooks published by Copper Development Association Inc., Metals Handbook published by ASM International and technical publications from suppliers of copper and copper alloys.

This design guide was written as a primer for understanding and selecting copper alloys used in the manufacture of electrical and electronic connectors. The editorial staff for this electronic connector design guide were: Nathan Church (consultant), John G. Cowie (CDA), Max Peel (Contech Research, Inc.), Laura Peragallo (CDA), Dianne P. Shannon (CDA), Robert D. Weed (CDA) and S. Paul Zarlingo (Z-Connection). AMP Incorporated, IBM, and Instron Corp generously provided photographs for this design guide.

Properties of Copper & Copper Alloys

Selection of Copper Alloys for Connectors

Beyond the Basics - Performance Over Time

Plating & Common Related Failure Mechanisms

Terms & Definitions