Performance and Application of Tungsten-Copper Composite Materials

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Tungsten boasts high melting point, high density, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and high strength, while copper exhibits excellent thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. The W-Cu composite material, composed of tungsten and copper, combines the advantages of both W and Cu, such as high high-temperature strength, high electrical and thermal conductivity, good electrical erosion resistance, high hardness, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and certain plasticity. Furthermore, by adjusting its composition ratio, its various mechanical and physical properties can be controlled and optimized. Additionally, it possesses novel properties arising from the combination of tungsten and copper, such as self-cooling due to the heat absorption through evaporation of the copper content under high-temperature conditions. Therefore, it finds widespread applications in various industrial sectors such as aerospace, electronics, machinery, and electrical appliances, especially in high-tech fields.

The tungsten-copper composite material emerged in the 1930s, and initially, it was primarily used as electrical contacts for various high-voltage electrical switches in the electrical industry. Its high voltage resistance and low electrical erosion properties have driven the continuous improvement of voltage levels and power ratings in high-voltage electrical switches, making it an indispensable key material in these applications. Subsequently, in the machinery industry, tungsten-copper materials have been used as electrodes for resistance welding and electrical machining, significantly improving the quality and precision of machined products. In recent years, with the development of large-scale integrated circuits and high-power electronic devices, tungsten-copper materials have begun to be used on a large scale as upgraded products for electronic packaging and target materials. Additionally, in aerospace technology, tungsten-copper composite materials are used as high-temperature materials exposed to high-temperature combustion gases, such as rocket nozzles, aircraft throat liners, nose cones, and gas vanes. In the military industry, tungsten-copper composite materials have been used as key materials for kinetic energy anti-armor applications, demonstrating higher anti-armor capabilities than traditional copper materials. They are currently being used in various weapon models abroad.