Copper foil and sheet stocking alloys come in a wide variety of choices. Among the most popular are the 110 alloy along with the 101,102 and ED (Electro Deposited). A full range of thicknesses are also available to fit an eclectic array of applications. Stock typically starts at.0007″ thick and goes up to 0.062″ thick, but for those who require specific thicknesses, material up to 36″ wide and as narrow as 1/4″ wide can also be processed.
Recently this material made the news in regards to a test conducted on graphene to determine if it really is as impermeable as scientists have purported it to be. This determination is an important one since this supposed impermeability is believed to make the substance “ideal as a barrier film.” Phys.org, a leading web-based science, research and technology news service, debated this contention last month in an article titled “Tiny pores in graphene could give rise to new membranes that may filter water or separate biological samples.”
Therein, an experiment was conducted on graphene, a lightweight substance made of pure carbon, in which the substance was grown on copper foil. The foil was then “exposed to a chemical agent that dissolves copper.” That’s when an unexpected outcome occurred. Rather than the graphene protecting the copper as science has led one to believe, the chemical agent passed through, “corroding the underlying copper.” Although a limit existed on the size of the molecules that were able to pass through, the substance didn’t quite live up to expectations. Scientists are now left with the task of discriminating “between smaller molecules.”
Another yet completely different way in which copper foil is used is as a tape. To make the tape, slim bands of copper are joined together. Like copper foil sheeting, copper foil tape comes in varied widths. It is also available in adhesive and non-adhesive varieties. But it is copper foil tape’s applications that are most eclectic. The conductivity of the product makes it ideal for the electrical and electronics fields. Typically it is used in these areas to protect delicate but vital electronic components. Crafters also frequently make use of it in their mosaic and stained glass projects.
In what other applications might one also find it making an appearance? Electrical springs and switches, for the same reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph, often incorporate copper foil. It is also a component of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), which is found in transformers, capacitors, and electric motors, field and collector (electrode backing) materials. When ion batteries are produced, the PI film they are laminated with contains copper foil as well. Finally, a wide range of coaxial cables for data, TV, and control couldn’t do their job without it.
What makes it such a versatile material? It is resistant to cold temperatures, mechanical wear and tear, moisture, oil, and acid. It also maintains a high level of viscosity, meaning it resists the forces that tend to cause a fluid to flow. Additionally, it holds up well to aging, it is flame retardant, and it exhibits high thermal conductivity.