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Plating on Tellurium
Copper (TeCu)

Tellurium Copper, also known as TeCu, is one of the most common copper alloy substrates in the machining industry. TeCu maintains all the well-documented benefits of copper (conductivity, malleability, ductility, etc.) while also being incredibly easy to machine.

This ease of machining makes TeCu a staple substrate for many machined parts. On top of this, TeCu is highly abundant. This high abundance makes Tellurium Copper the most cost effective copper alloy on the market, especially when bought in bulk.

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Tellurium Copper vs Other Copper Alloys

Oftentimes, materials in their purest forms don’t provide the exact qualities needed, cannot be easily plated or machined, or are far too expensive for an entire job. This is where the creation and use of alloy metals can be beneficial.

In the case of TeCu, Tellurium is added to the pure copper material, and it evenly fills throughout the microstructure of the copper. This precipitate causes the copper to become more easily machinable, without effecting its ductility and only slightly affecting its malleability.

Aside from pure chrome, Tellurium Copper is a far better conductor of electricity than popular copper substrates Brass and Bronze. However, it should be noted that TeCu is not as physically strong as other copper substrates like brass, bronze, and phosphor bronze. However, its softness and machinability provide the substrates with their own niche in the manufacturing industry.

Common Tellurium Copper finishes include:

On top of being highly machinable and cost effective, Tellurium Copper can have nearly any material electroplated on top of it. Aside from Cadmium, TeCu can receive any electroplating treatment offered at AOTCO.

  • Nickel
  • Electroless Nickel
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Tin
  • Copper
  • And more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits of Plating Tellurium Copper
Much like pure copper, Tellurium Copper often needs to be electroplated to improve its physical strength and resistance to corrosion. Some of the most notable benefits of plating tellurium copper substrates are as follows:
  • Thermal Resistance 
  • Long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing finish
  • Increased Strength
  • Adjust Electrical Conductivity
  • Corrosion Resistance 
  • And many more!
Common Industry Applications of Plated Tellurium Copper

Like pure copper, Tellurium Copper is often utilized in the manufacturing of electrical components across a wide range of industries. Since Tellurium Copper is highly machinable it is often used for components that need to be drilled, turned, or machined in some way.

The great flexibility and conductivity of copper have made it an essential part of the electronics industry. TeCu’s great machinability, high ductility, and superior conductivity make it the most efficient copper alloy option for most forms of electrical wiring.

Since TeCu is softer than some of the other copper alloys like Brass or Bronze, it is not the best choice when seeking parts that will be exposed to prolonged wear and extended use. Some of the most common industry applications of plated tellurium copper include:

  • Electrical Connectors
  • Circuit Board Components
  • Plumbing Fittings
  • Welding Torch Tips
  • Transistor Bases 
  • And many more!
For more information about available metal finishing services, Military Specs, AMS Specs and ASTM Specs, visit AOTCO Military Plating Specs page.

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Learn more about the specifications AOTCO offers, including NADCAP-accredited and RoHS-compliant ones.
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