Raleigh, N.C. Stackpole Electronics, Inc. has announced plans to change the lead wire material for its standard carbon film resistors (CF series) and jumper wire products (JW series) from tinned copper to tinned copper-plated steel to help offset increases in the price of copper. The lead wire material can be as much as 60 percent of the total cost of carbon film resistors.
Although steel has been in limited use as the base wire for leaded terminations, recent improvements in the manufacturing processes for copper-plated steel along with the recent spike in the price of copper have made the plated material an increasingly more popular choice as a lead material, according to the company.
Stackpole said "technically the change should be transparent to all customers in all markets. Electrically there is not difference in terms of conductivity and the material properties are similar enough that the current carrying capability is equal to or better than the previous wire. Mechanically and physically the steel alloy is designed to behave exactly like other lead materials in terms of size and weight, but also tensile strength."
Making the conversion will allow Stackpole to maintain the current price level for most customers. However, prices will increase for those customers who need to use the tinned copper lead wire. Expect to see a 30 to 40 percent price increase for 1/4-watt carbon film resistors. Prices for jumper wire products will double.
Stackpole Electronics Inc., 1-919-850-9500, www.seielect.com