About Copper Cadmium

Copper Cadmium - Alloy C16200

Copper cadmium alloy, (aka C16200, CuCd1, cadmium bronze, cad copper) a copper alloy containing 1% cadmium was once a very important material in many world markets. Some of them follow, but many others:

  • C16200 was the standard for decades in telephone cords because of its high strength flexing properties.
  • C16200 was also prominent as the preferred conductor in heating blankets.
  • C16200 used in oil exploration as a signal wire form those deep well holes to find the oil.
  • C16200 was used by major airlines in Europe for the highest standard in airframe conductors.
  •  C16200 was used in torpedo guide wires.
  • C16200 was used prominently in overhead conductor wire for railway catenary systems.
  • C16200 was used in many electronic components where the conductors needed excellent flexing of vibration characteristics with maximum electrical conductivity, such as braided speaker wire.

Since cadmium has been identified as a human carcinogen it is not only banned as a RoHS compliant material but has become scarce as demand has fallen off the cliff over the past 20 years, and manufacturers have dropped it for the safety of the workers in the mills.

There are alternatives with heat treatable copper alloys that are RoHS compliant and offer similar or better strength with minor loss in electrical conductivity.

One of Cadi's most popular substitutes is C15000 Copper Zirconium or C18150 Copper Chromium Zirconium. More information can be found at www.cadicompany.com or call Cadi Company® talk to our metallurgist who has decades of history with C16200, copper cadmium as well as a vast array of heat treatable copper alloys.

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