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What is Solid Copper Wire?
Solid wire is a single strand of insulated wire, as opposed to stranded wire, which contains multiple pieces of wire braided together. Copper has the highest electrical conductivity rating of all non-precious metals, which is why it is the metal most commonly used in electrical wiring.
Why choose solid copper wire?
Solid wires is typically rigid, so it is most commonly used in permanent, infrequently handled environments where the wires do not often move, including high voltage AC applications and common house wiring. Solid wire is only available in small sizes, which helps to contribute to its the inflexibility of the wire and makes it better for use in static applications.
Using solid wire, as opposed to stranded wire, has advantages and disadvantages. Its inflexibility makes it more likely to be subject to metal fatigue, which causes breaks in the wire that are a result of a wire being subjected to too much loading and unloading. In addition, solid wire is cheaper than stranded wire.
The advantages of using solid wire are its lower surface area, which decreases the likelihood of the wire corroding, and its mechanical ruggedness, which allows the wire to withstand high impacts.
Solid Copper Wire Specifications
Square, Round, or Rectangular/Flat Solid Copper Wire
Square wire will have less space between the wire turns as they are being formed into a coil. Because they can be wound tight, square wires are used in confined spaces and in higher power applications with a large capacity and wire gauge. In contrast, round wire will have more space between the wires while it is being wound.
The wire also comes in a rectangular/flat shape. Rectangular wires are arranged in a plane and are then laminated into a flat ribbon of flexible, insulating plastic. Rectangular wire is used on edge-wound coil springs.
Pictured above: Rectangular wire (left), round wire (right)
Insulated vs. Bare Solid Copper Wire
Insulated wire is covered with with some non-conducting material, such as plastic or silk, in order to protect the wire while it is being wound.
Bare wire, as the name indicates, does not have any insulation. If the turns of bare wire were to touch each other, they would short out, so if bare wire is to be wound it must be spaced out accordingly. Insulated wire can be wound so that the wires can touch, so for a wire that would require turns that number in the hundreds or thousands, insulation is a necessity.
Bare copper is better at dissipating heat than insulated wire. The inductance of the coil is not affected by the insulation, but it can increase coil losses at high frequencies.
Bare wire will be used in power sources for trains, buses, and industrial cranes. Large inductors used in transmitters might use bare copper wire that is silver plated, allowing for increased conductivity.
Insulated copper wire that has a very thin layer of insulation made out of enamel or yarn, as opposed to the thicker plastic insulations of regular solid copper wire, is called magnet wire.
Polyurethane, polyester, and polyamide are a few of the many insulations that can be used, each one with different specifications, including gauge and temperature rating.
Magnet wire is used in windings of electric motors, transformers, inductors, generators, headphones, loudspeaker coils, hard drive head positioners, electromagnets, and other devices.
Pictured above: Insulated wire (left), bare wire (right)
Tinned Wire/Tin-coated Copper Wire
Tinned wire is wire coated by tin. Tin coating provides the wire with increased durability by making it more resistant to corrosion, and gives the wire higher conductivity and strength.
There are two ways that wire is tinned. The hot dip method and the electroplating method.
- Hot Dip Process involves the tin being melted in an electric pot and the wire is then dipped in the melted tin in order to coat it.
- Electroplating Process requires that the wire be coated in a solution containing tin salts. The wire is then connected to an electrical circuit that will be passed through the wire. This causes the metal ions in the solution to bond with the wire and coat it.
Where can I purchase my Solid Copper Wire?
Click the links below to view the solid copper wire selection offered by TEMCo. We carry different gauges, temperature ratings and insulations. TEMCo can give you quotes on any wire you might need, so give us a call today!
"I needed a 3 phase rotary phase converter to run a DoAll Mill."
The family friend I purchased the mill from had purchased one from TEMCo several years ago, and told me that's the company to deal with. Very competitive price, fast delivery, and a solid, quality product. The shipping was fast, and the phase converter was crated very well and had zero damage from shipping. This thing runs so quietly I hardly know it's running.
I HIGHLY recommend TEMCo!
- mrtriton, 3/15/10
"Excellent advice, service & product".
The staff helped determine exactly the size converter I needed, answered any questions I had thoroughly. The unit was shipped quickly & was very welled packed. The product is so well designed that installation was a breeze & the converter works great.
Got me up and running very quickly.
- Michael Hall, 3/25/11
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TEMCo's Phase Converter and Transformer customers include:
American Family Radio
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Lawrence Livermore National Labs
and many thousands more.
TEMCo products meet the demands of tough industrial applications with dependability and quality.
Since 1968, TEMCo has become a trusted name in Industrial Power Products.