Copper trolley wire is today used extensively as a current-carrying contact wire which supplies power to urban transit like light rail transit systems, railroad vehicles, mining equipment like underground mining motor cars, and industrial cranes. However, the manufacturing process of these copper products just like that of Copper Wire, Copper Rod, Copper Tubing, and Cadmium Copper is quite complex.
Well, what exactly are the components used in it? It consists essentially of at least 99.90% copper and at most 0.10% of a metal. The metal may be selected from the group consisting of silver, cadmium, tellurium, titanium, magnesium, manganese, chromium, zirconium, tin and its combination’s.
The copper wire has a uniform fine grain size. The manufacturing process involves casting a copper rod of the appropriate composition, hot working or “conforming” the cast rod to reduce its diameter, and then cold working it to form the desired wire by drawing it through one or more dies. Most of the times, the annealing step is skipped.
Copper trolley wires are great as they have the maximum commercial-grade conductivity, are resistant to corrosion, and also wear characteristics. It comes in many ASTM configurations like Round, Grooved and Deep-Section Grooved etc., or as per customer specification.
However, individual manufacturing companies have their own method of preparing trolley cables. Recently, a major mining company developed a patented process which provides silver bearing, oxygen free (CDA 107) trolley wire with the highest tensile strength in the industry.
It is to be mentioned that most of the renowned companies operating in the mining of copper is positioned to provide the commuter and light rail industry with trolley wire in a variety of configurations and alloys to meet the specific needs of any new or refurbished project.