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Copper Bus Bar, Industry Standard for Surface Finish.

I am a Project Engineer with a provider of telephony power, DC power supplies and distribution. We do a lot of work with copper bus bar. We specify an ETP 110 grade copper. (ASTM B187 [affil link]) We currently process the bus bars through a time saver sanding to remove the mild oxidation, and then apply a coating of NO-OX-ID grease.

We like the copper to remain "Bright" after it is installed.

My question is this... Is there some kind of a Specification for "Brightness" and how do you measure it?

Is there some kind of Industry Standard for surface finish of Copper Bus Bar?

Thank You.

Todd Fike
- Galion, Ohio


Sorry, Todd, if there is one I'm not aware of it.

Achieving long-term brightness involves starting with brightness, then retaining that brightness.

If what comes out of the Timesaver is bright enough for you, fine. If not, there are copper bright dipping solutions available that involve an oxidizing acid like nitric acid, or sulfuric acid plus hydrogen peroxide.

Keeping it bright requires a dip in a preservative like benzotriazole [adv: item on eBay or Amazon] or, if the insulating characteristics is not a problem, a lacquer or electrophoretic treatment.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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