Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
I couldn’t find anything about residential use of tinned copper but here’s some basic information on why tinned copper is used.
Solid soft tinned copper wires are used primarily in applications involving current flow, corrosion resistance, or the need to solder the wire to some component. The addition of a tin coating facilitates the soldering process with only a small price differential over bare copper. A tin coating is also desirable in applications where operating temperatures exceed 100? C up to 150? C. At such temperatures the corrosion resistance of bare copper declines and the tin coating acts to protect the surface of the bare copper.
Single-strand conductors can be tin coated as soft, medium hard or hard wire. The standard minimum thickness of tin coating is 40 micro-inches.
Although there are several coating materials used in wire today, the most common is tinned plating. Coating copper wire began over 40 years ago for the primary purpose of speeding and improving the quality of soldered applications. Bare copper oxidizes to form a copper oxide film. Copper oxide film is a poor conductor of electricity. To effectively solder a copper conductor the oxidation must be removed. Tin oxidizes much more slowly than bare copper, it is also of relatively low cost making it the dominant coating material for general purpose applications. Tin coating helps to make a tin-solder connection sound. The corrosion resistance of tinned copper has an added benefit in Marine applications. Harsh, caustic environments that marine vessels can be subject to will quickly undermine a Boat?s electrical system causing loss of conductivity and key component failure. Tin plating extends a wire?s life span considerably.
And here's another, though off topic, one about the history of "Basic Electrical Connectoring". I found it interesting, but the master electricians wandering among us may not.
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