Cu-Nb, Cu/Cu-Nb and CuFe conductors

High Strength, High Conductivity Nanocomposite Cu-Nb Wires

Nanostructured Cu-Nb wires is a new class of electro technical conductors. These conductors are characterized by a unique combination of high mechanical strength and high conductivity. Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) higher than 1100 MPa and conductivity higher than 70% IACS (International annealed Copper Standard, where 100% IACS is 1.7241 μΩ • cm.

Technical parameters



















Extremely high strength in microcomposite Cu-Nb wires is associated with ultra-fine-scale microstructure. The extended interfaces between ribbon-like niobium filaments and copper matrix contain the areas of semi-coherent interfaces. Such interfaces is the main reason of significant level of residual stresses of microcomposite Cu-Nb.

Anomalous increase of strength in nanocomposite materials

Anomalous increase of strength in microcomposite Cu-Nb wires is associated with the nanoscaled dimensions of the ribbon like niobium filaments embedded in copper matrix. Extremely high values of strength (UTS) in nanostructured composite materials is not associated with the high density of dislocations in both components (BCC – Nb – filaments and FCC – Cu – matrix). The performance parameters – Strength and Conductivity are defined by the specially organized highly extended boundaries regions in two components composite materials. The boundary area should be well coherent - orientations of BCC (011) planes and FCC (111) should be strictly aligned due to texturing through large drawing deformation with precise intermediate heat treatments.

The principal difference between traditional materials and nanostructured composite materials is the absence of the saturation of the mechanical strength with deformation. 

Cross-section of Cu/Cu-Nb wire 3х5,8 mm
• Nb-filament
Scheme of the developed Method of fabrication of large cross section high conductivity, high strength bulk nanostructured Cu-Nb composite conductors

Formed Cu-Nb composite from alloy

Cu-Nb phase diagram (low mutual solubility, absence of intermetallic compounds)
Cross section of Cu-18%Nb ingot (Nb dendrites in Cu matrix)

Application form


Ultimate strength, MPa

Yield strength, MPa

Conductivity, % IACS












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