Tinned Copper Wire

Since electricity was discovered, humanity has relied on it for progress and support in daily life. We’ve used it to develop machinery that makes work faster and easier, and technological advancements have called for more electricity to power up those machines in the home and at work.

Most wires and cables are used for power and energy transmission that tend to be electrical in nature. As electrical needs grew and developed, one of the wires that became a favorite in most homes and industrial applications is tinned copper wire. Steel, copper, silver, gold and iron are all known to be good electrical energy conductors. Tinned copper wire takes advantage of the inherent characteristics that make copper a high performer while providing it with the anti-corrosion properties of tin. These attributes make it a favorite for a wide range of electrical applications.

What Is Tinned Copper Wire Used For?

Tinned copper wires can suit a wide range of purposes because they are non-corrosive and have an impressive ability to conduct electricity. The ideal location for tinned copper is one in which there is constant exposure to dampness or moisture. Tinned copper wire is used primarily in places that are hard to reach.

Both bare and tinned copper wires are common in ground electrical systems. Grounding wires shouldn’t transmit electrical current because they can electrocute anyone who might touch the wire and the incident could be fatal.

Copper wire is available in a variety of sizes and tempers. It is an all-purpose wire, but when electricity transmission is involved, it is better not to use this material because it can electrocute no matter how low the voltage may be.

Tips for Buying Tinned Copper Wire

Tinned copper wire can be purchased in stranded or solid type, and you can choose between hard or soft wire. You can also purchase it by meter or spool. Spools can be a better choice if you need lots of wire because you will be able to save by ordering in bulk.

There are many sellers that offer tinned copper wire, and you can compare tinned copper wire prices immediately when you browse online. If you are after a large amount of wire, look for the seller that has the best offer, such as free shipping with large purchases. You should also look into the reputation of the seller to make sure that the wire you are purchasing is within the given standards for safety.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) has specified many important standards to abide by. These rules were created to ensure constant safety and protection for manufacturers and users. Stay away from sellers that have a reputation for selling unsuitable wires, even if offered at very low prices — you’ll end up paying a higher price when accidents are caused by faulty products.

Be sure to think carefully about where you buy your tinned copper wire. It is important that you are buying quality materials that pass all necessary requirements. Just because you’re using an all-purpose wire does not mean that you won’t have safety standards to follow. It is always better to be cautious, so make sure you are working with reputable merchants who have a track record of success.

Is Tinned Copper Wire Safe?

Like any electrical wire, tinned copper is unsafe if damaged or improperly installed. However, it provides many safety advantages over bare copper wire, especially in corrosive environments. The tin plating provides protection from humidity, high temperatures, weather and water while still retaining the conductive properties of copper, providing longevity to a material that could otherwise corrode quite quickly and cause safety concerns.

Historically, you could run into trouble with older rubber insulation with low heat resistance, but modern manufacturing practices have taken care of this problem.

Is Tinned Wire Better Than Bare Wire?

Considering the safety characteristics outlined above, you can see where tinned copper offers better longevity. It can withstand poor weather and corrosive elements, making it better than bare wire in many marine and underwater applications. Part of this solid performance comes from copper’s resistance to galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion occurs when a metal is in contact with another metal and creates a point of electrical contact, deteriorating one of the pieces.

Tinned copper wire can also provide better electrical conductivity than other types of copper wires. Copper is already an excellent choice for high-powered applications due to its high electrical and thermal conductivity, malleability, strength and machinability, but tinned copper adds capabilities for specialty applications and resistance to the elements. It allows copper to serve as a more practical and wide-reaching cable that stands up to many different situations. That’s part of why it’s used so frequently today.

The biggest advantage of tinned wire is its corrosion resistance. It can last up to 10 times longer than non-tinned copper, and it isn’t difficult to manufacture. There is a drawback, however, and that’s its higher cost. Tinned copper wire prices can be as much as 30% higher than bare wire. You won’t want to use it in environments where it isn’t necessary —  if corrosive properties like acidic agents, heat or humidity aren’t an issue, you can often use non-tinned wire instead.

WesBell’s Tinned Copper Wire

If tinned copper wire is right for your application, WesBell Electronics can help. We carry tinned copper wires in various American Wire Gauge sizes. By default, our tinned copper wire is a soft-drawn solid copper, but give us a call if you need to buy tinned copper wire that is hard-drawn. We also offer bulk tinned copper wire pricing for large quantities.

WesBell has a proven track record of providing quality wires from trusted manufacturers at affordable rates. We pride ourselves on finding cost-effective solutions unique to your application. Not sure what you need? We can help with that, too! We’ll talk through your project and help you find the right cable for the job. We also offer a variety of wire preparation services including tin dipping to help ensure your cables are ready for use upon arrival.

If you need to buy tinned copper wire, take a look at our inventory above and contact us if you have any questions.