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Contamination from Additives (PVC) in Wire Insulation Influences the Contact Resistance?

October 11, 2016

Q. I work on the optimization of the voltage drop of electrical connectors with a wire termination. Especially for fine stranded wires I observed an influence of the "wire quality" on the voltage drop. Some wires had really poor measured values, but the copper was not coloured. Other conductors with black, oxidized copper strands had better values that the not coloured strands. Cleaning the wires with bad voltage drops in ethanol improved the values.

At least in Germany, fine stranded wires are defined by the electrical conductivity, not by the actual diameter. I determined the conductance of the copper material of some wire manufacturer, there are no notable differences. But if I connect the wires to a spring clamp connection and measure the voltage drop between the tin coated copper bar and the wire there are large differences. The reason has to be found on the surface of the strands and I am sure it is not (only) oxidation. Some halogen free wires had also high voltage drops. So I suppose that the contamination results from any additives of the insulation material. After cleaning with ethanol the voltage drop becomes much better. I am interested in information about the additives, its migration and the effects on the copper surface.

Tobias D.
- NRW, Germany

October 16, 2016

Q. Why after PVC insulation Copper Tarnishes?


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