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Uses for Refractory Metal Contacts

Uses for Refractory Metal Contacts

With their extremely high melting point of 4000° F, refractory metals are uniquely capable of withstanding heavy use under severe conditions. This property, as well as their high density and chemically inert characteristics, make refractory metals ideally suited for a number of industrial applications. Here are just a few instances of the way in which these remarkable materials can be utilized.

Refractory Metal Contacts

Any industrial use that requires constant wear at low to medium voltages is an ideal circumstance for refractory metals. Motor controls, power transfer switches, circuit breakers, push-button switches, wiring devices, and countless other examples of electrical contact assemblies make good use of the refractory metals’ toughness and durability.

Refractory Metals in Powder Form

The advantages of refractory metals – such as their exceedingly high melting points – means manufacturing can be a challenge. One technique to better utilize their characteristics while reducing cost is to apply refractory metals in powder form onto a base metal. By bonding an extremely thin layer of refractory metals onto a surface area of a cheaper metal, manufacturers can cut back on the amount of precious metal required to achieve the same advantages that come with standalone refractory metals. These powder metal contacts are only necessary at critical points, so the cost is reduced without any reduction in quality.

Silver Contacts

Silver has a high conductivity, so it’s perfect for electrical contacts. Besides the better conductivity, contacts made of silver alloys such as silver nickel, silver tin oxide, silver graphite, and silver tungsten are highly durable and low in environmental toxicity, making silver alloys the preferred contact used in many industrial situations.

Cadmium Contacts

Cadmium, unfortunately, is highly toxic and has gone out of fashion of late due to environmental concerns. Composed mostly of alloys such as silver cadmium oxide, the more reliable and safer alternative silver alloys are replacing cadmium in most modern applications.

The durability, reliability, and low cost of refractory metal contacts – as well as the decreased environmental impact of new silver alloys – has led to their increased demand in the world of industry and manufacturing for the present and for the indefinite future.


Assembly Process Performed

Our Method of Production Includes:
Press / Sinter / Infiltrate Process and Press / Sinter / Re-Press Style of Production for Refractory Metals, and Wrought Materials for the Semi-Refractory and Noble Metals

Fabricated Products

Precious Metal Contacts Tips
Machined Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Components
Hot Extruded, Cold-Drawn Copper Shaped Bars
Value-Added Contact Assemblies


Power Transmission & Distribution
Low / Medium Voltage
Electric & Diesel Electric Transportation
AC & DC Motor Control
Household Appliances
Material Handling
Rail Signaling

Production Volume

Short Run
High Volume
Blanket Order Releases
Consignment Accounts
100% Stocking Availability for Emergency Service

Lead Times

Calendar 6-10 Weeks
6-10 Weeks
Quoted on Job by Job Basis
Quoted on Job by Job Basis
Emergency Services Available
Emergency Services Available
Rush Services Available
Rush Services Available

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