At California Fine Wire Co., we manufacture fine and ultra-fine wire products from a wide range of metals and alloys. This broad material selection enables us to produce wires that accommodate the material requirements and restrictions of various industries and applications. Whether a customer requires a wire made from a standard or high-performance material, we can deliver a solution that meets their needs.
What Are High-Performance Alloys?
High-performance alloys—also referred to as superalloys—are metal materials that are designed to offer enhanced characteristics, such as:
- Higher mechanical strength
- Better corrosion and oxidation resistance
- Greater thermal creep resistance
These properties enable them to withstand use in demanding applications, such as those found in the aerospace and marine industries.
High-Performance Alloys and Other Materials Used for Fine Wire
We utilize a variety of high-performance alloys to produce fine and ultra-fine wire for our customers, including:
- Alloy 36
- Alloy 42
- Alloy 42-6
- Ni-Span-C Alloy 902
In addition to these high-performance materials, we also work with many other standard and non-standard metals.
Aluminum is the fourth-best electrical conductor (behind silver, copper, and gold). It is also lightweight, corrosion-resistant, non-sparking, non-magnetic, and non-toxic. It is often alloyed with other elements to improves its mechanical properties (e.g., strength and elasticity). Altogether, these qualities make it suitable for use in a variety of wire applications, including:
- Drift chambers
- Implanted cardiac devices
- Power transmission lines
- Semiconductor interconnects
Composite-clad materials consist of two or more materials metallurgically bonded together, which results in a final material that demonstrates a combination of properties from the base materials. Typical applications for wires made from these materials include:
- Chemical processing
- Oil producing and refining
- Power generation
Copper offers excellent ductility and malleability, which makes it ideal for use in wire production. It is the second-best electrical conductor (behind silver), making it a common material for bonding wires. It is also often alloyed with nickel and/or manganese to make resistance wire.
Gold is the third-best electrical conductor (behind silver and copper). Its excellent electrical conductivity, combined with its low reactivity, makes it a suitable material for applications involving harsh environments. For this reason, it is often used for wire for the aerospace, electronics, and medical industries:
- In the aerospace industry, it is used for instrumentation, radio communication equipment, and wire-wound potentiometers.
- In the electronics industry, it is used for implants, diagnostic and treatment devices, and surgical instruments.
- In the medical industry, it is used for entertainment devices, communication devices, and various consumer and industrial products.
Nickel is characterized by its resistance to corrosion, oxidation, and high temperatures. These qualities make it suitable for use in aerospace, chemical processing, marine, oil and gas, and heat treating applications. Its specific electrical resistance values also make it an appropriate material for many electrical and electronic consumer devices (e.g., hairdryers and toasters).
The term “precious metals” refers to a group of metals that are rare, chemically inert, and valuable. It includes gold, silver, and platinum. Many of these materials also demonstrate good electrical properties. Combined with their low reactivity, this quality makes them suitable for demanding applications, such as those found in the aerospace and medical industries.
Refractory materials are a family of materials that includes molybdenum, niobium, tantalum, tungsten, and rhenium. They exhibit excellent resistance to corrosion, heat, and wear but susceptibility to oxidation in low temperatures. As a result, they are generally coated to protect them from oxidation or used as-is in non-oxidizing environments. Typical wire applications include:
- Lamp filaments
- High-temperature thermocouples
- Medical probes and implants
Stainless steel is well-known for its corrosion resistance. However, it also offers a high strength-to-weight ratio, fire and heat resistance, impact resistance, cleanability, and recyclability. These qualities, among others, make it a suitable material option for many industrial and commercial wire applications, such as:
- Aerospace components
- Electronic parts
- Kitchen utensils
- Medical instruments
High-Performance Alloy Wires at California Fine Wire
Looking for high-quality fine or ultra-fine wire? California Fine Wire has got you covered. Equipped with an extensive inventory of raw materials—including standard and high-performance metals and alloys—we can produce a wire solution for nearly any customer need. If you need assistance choosing a material with the right properties, our experts are ready to help you out.