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Publication numberUS2796346 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1957
Filing dateApr 28, 1955
Priority dateApr 28, 1955
Publication numberUS 2796346 A, US 2796346A, US-A-2796346, US2796346 A, US2796346A
InventorsStumbock Max J
Original AssigneeBaker & Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical contact material
US 2796346 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent ELECTRICAL CONTACT MATERIAL Max J. Stumboek, South Orange, N. J., assignor to Baker & Co., Inc, Newark, N. J., a corporation of New Jersey No Drawing. Application April 28, 1955, Serial No. 504,663

2 Claims. or. 75 -173 The present invention deals with an electrical contact and, more particularly, with a ductile electrical contact alloy characterized by improved electrical performance.

The prior art indicates that electrical contacts of fine silver can be improved by the addition thereto of various oxides such as tin oxide, cadmium oxide, indium oxide, etc., introduced to the silver component by powder metallurgical methods. Further improvements were attempted by providing an alloy of, for example, silver and cadmium and internally oxidizing the cadmium component to provide useful contacts. The silver-cadmium oxide contacts, although useful for some purposes, did not appear to perform as well as desired, and efforts have been made to still further improve such contacts. In view of the above, tin and indium additions were studied and applied. Other experiments included the addition of aluminum, beryllium, magnesium, etc. It was found that tin or indium actually improves the electrical performance, apart from the fact that all of these additions introduced an undesirable hardness to the oxidized material to the point of brittleness, which precluded the use thereof in the manufacture of certain contact assemblies. Some electrical contacts are fiat, round, or square members soldered onto screws or brackets, where some brittleness may be tolerated. However, in other cases, where the contacts are preferred in the form of the rivets with or without hollow shanks, ductility is of critical significance, and the oxidized contact alloys heretofore proposed do not lend themselves to sufficient plastic deformation without fracture for desirable application in such form.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an electrical contact alloy, which upon oxidation provides for improved electrical performance and suitable ductility, permitting plastic deformation without fracture. It is another object of the present invention to provide an electrical contact element in the form of a rivet, and composed of a material having improved electrical performance together with suitable ductility permitting the attaching of said rivets to a contact arm or other support therefor by staking or spinning of the shank. Other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the description hereinafter following.

The present invention relates to an electrical contact alloy consisting of silver-cadmium-tin, which retains desirable electrical properties and ductility when the tin content is maintained below a critical maximum content, whereby, upon internal oxidation of the cadmium and tin, the tin oxide content is below a critical maximum content, and the excellent electrical properties of tin oxides are maintained without rendering the composite contact material disadvantageously hard, whereby the material is amenable to plastic deformation essential in the manufacture of electrical contacts int he form of rivets with shanks deformable without fracture.

The alloy of the present invention is composed of from 0.1% to 15% cadmium oxide, 0.01% to 0.2% tin oxide, the balance being silver, and preferably of an alloy of 88% silver, 11.85% cadmium, and 0.15% tin, whereby 7 13.31% cadmium oxide, and 0.19% tin oxide. As soon as the addition of tin oxide is increased to over 0.2%, and cadmium oxide over 15%, a deterioration of the physical properties is noticeable, and the hardness ofthe ma terial is sufficient to preventplastic deformation without cracking. According to this invention, it is found that indium behaves substantially identically to tin, and, there: fore, the use of indium as a substitute for tin, in the identical amount as tin, is contemplated within the scope of the invention.

Both indium and tin may be incorporated into the contact materialso long as the combined amounts do not exceed 0.2%.

The contact material of this invention can be rolled and formed after oxidation to a remarkable degree, and, in view of the ductility, additional work hardness may be introduced if required.

In order to obtain the advantages of this invention, it is not necessary to completely oxidize the alloy throughout, so long as the electrically operating surface provided by oxidation shows a substantial layer of oxidized alloy.

Example An alloy composed of 88 oz. fine silver, 11.85 oz. cadmium, and 0.15 oz. of tin was melted in a graphite crucible under a charcoal cover. The alloy was suitably liquified at about 1700 F. and cast at 1850 F. into an upright wire mold. After cooling, the bar was scalped on a lathe and cold rolled with 60% reductions and anneals at 1200 F. in between. Part of the bar was drawn into round wire and part was flattened into strip. The wire was cut and headed into a rivet form having .312 head diameter and .125" shank diameter, and into another rivet having .125" head diameter and 0.625 shank diameter. The strip was cut and stamped into a disc having a diameter of .250" diameter and .032" thickness. Also, a square of .375" x .375" with a thickness of .050" was cut and stamped from the strip. The samples were then oxidized in an electrically heated furnace with a slight circulation of fresh air at between 800 C. to 850 C. The samples appeared to oxidize easier than many similar compositions with less cadmium or with no tin constituents. The disc was oxidized for 7 /2 hours, the square for 23 hours, the heavier rivet for 38 hours, and the other rivet for 12 hours.

The oxidation time left only about 5% of the total volume as only partially oxidized in the sample centers.

Although the above example is specific, it is thought that the reductions with anneals can be advantageously carried up to of the cross-sectional area. By increasing the time of oxidation, the oxidation can be conveniently carried to a depth of .0625" from the surface.

The physical properties of this alloy are:

Annealed 4 N0. Oxidized Unoxihard Un- Oxidized and dized oxidized Worked Rock. hard., T 15 27 82 61 80 Ult. Tensile Stu, p. s. i 28, 000 43, 000 36, 000 38, 000 Elong, percent in 2 55 10 28 7 Elec. Res. Ohms cm :l0- 5.1 5. 5 2. 3 3.5

A. Commercially available oxidized material with no tin oxide (rivets diameter):

200 amps, 100 operations5 sticks (no weld) 250 amps, 100 operations6 sticks (3 welds) 250 amps, 100 operations-7 sticks (3 welds) 83 amps, 7000 operations1 stick (no weld) B. 88% silver, 11.85% cadmium, 0.15% tin, oxidized (rivets diameter'Rock. 15T-61):

200,amps., 100 operationsno sticks 250 amps., 100 operations-no sticks 300 amps., 100 operations-4 stick (no weld) 83 amps, 15000 operations-1 stick (no weld) a base metal or silver solder; an inlay or overlay strip of the alloy of the invention on a base metal support; composite brackets or arms with the contact alloy soldered thereto; and contact springs with rivets attached by staking, double heading, or spinning, which rivets are composed of the oxidized alloy of this invention.

What I claim is:

1. An electrical contact material composed of from 0.1% to 15% cadmium oxide, from 0.01% to 0.2% of an oxide taken from the group consisting of tin oxide, and indium oxide, the balance being silver.

2. An electrical contact material composed of from 0.1% to less than 15% cadmium oxide, from 0.01% to less than 0.2% tin oxide, the balance being silver.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,970,319 Kern Aug. 14, 1934 2,486,341 Stumbock Oct. 25, 1949 2,669,512 Larsen et a1. Feb. 16, 1954

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1970319 *May 8, 1931Aug 14, 1934American Metal Co LtdSilver alloy
US2486341 *Jun 30, 1945Oct 25, 1949Baker & Co IncElectrical contact element containing tin oxide
US2669512 *Jan 9, 1951Feb 16, 1954Mallory & Co Inc P RElectric contact material and method of making the same
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2932595 *Mar 31, 1958Apr 12, 1960Texas Instruments IncSilver base alloy for use as electrical contact member and method of making same
US3114631 *Aug 24, 1960Dec 17, 1963Handy & HarmanSilver composition
US3317991 *Apr 2, 1965May 9, 1967Mallory & Co Inc P RMethod of fabricating preoxidized silver-cadmium oxide electrical contacts
US3506437 *Nov 7, 1967Apr 14, 1970Textron IncMethod for making silver/cadmium oxide contact materials
US3607244 *Mar 6, 1968Sep 21, 1971Sumitomo Electric IndustriesElectric contact material and method of making the same
US3874941 *Feb 14, 1974Apr 1, 1975Chugai Electric Ind Co LtdSilver-metal oxide contact materials
US3930849 *May 24, 1973Jan 6, 1976P. R. Mallory & Co., Inc.Electrical contact material of the ag-cdo type and method of making same
US3933485 *May 29, 1974Jan 20, 1976Chugai Denki Kogyo Kabushiki-KaishaElectrical contact material
US3989516 *Sep 29, 1975Nov 2, 1976P. R. Mallory & Co., Inc.Method of making silver-cadmium oxide-tin oxide type contact materials
US4072515 *Jul 3, 1974Feb 7, 1978Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.Electrical contact material
US4462841 *Apr 19, 1983Jul 31, 1984Mitsubishi Kinzoku Kabushiki KaishaSilver-metal oxide alloy electrical contact materials
U.S. Classification148/431
International ClassificationH01H1/02, H01H1/0237
Cooperative ClassificationH01H1/02374
European ClassificationH01H1/0237B2