Cu-145 (11/2/20)

Copper + Tellurium = Better Cutting Copper

In machining copper is often considered to be one of the most difficult materials to machine because it is quite soft. The reason it is so difficult to weld and braze is actually because of its thermal conductivity because when you are welding, you are melting the materials together, well the larger the piece the more heat you have to put into the part to get it up to melting temperature. Turns out material sciences had an answer for the machining issue, among others. There's an alloy of copper that is readily available known as Copper 145. It is a material that is 99.5% copper and 0.5% tellurium. This gives it 300% more structural strength and about a 10% reduction in the thermal conductivity and bumps it's machining score up to an 85, which is pretty good. One of the kinds of machines that have been developed in recent years have been the 5 axis CNC machines which are computer controlled tool heads that do the work of normal machines such as a drill press, a mill a lathe and do all of those even better in conjunction with each other.

The sad thing about 5 axis machines is that they are extremely expensive and not particularly user friendly but like one long dead wise man once said, with great power comes great responsibility. These machines are near indestructible and if they are like their manual counterparts from last century, they will last at least a century. They are called 5 axis machines because they are able to rotate on 5 axes including cartesian x y and z with rotations around the z axis and the most expensive axis of them all, the rotation on the y axis. Some of them come with automatic tool changers, which is pretty useful.