Some Manufacturing Defects in Copper Conductors
Following the fusing of one of the copper leads in the choke circuit of an electric welder, a piece of the affected lead was obtained for examination. The sample had large internal cavities and surface bulges. It is remarkable that a wire containing defects of the magnitude present in this case could have been drawn without failure. Failure in service was due to overheating resulting from the inability of the conductor to carry the current where its cross section was reduced by the presence of a cavity. Another failure of a conductor occurred in one of the field coils of a direct-current motor. The mode of failure and the changes in the microstructure showed that fracture was due to a defective resistance butt-weld which had been made when the wire was in process of drawing. A further example of a conductor failure occurred in a 12 SWG copper connection between the rotor contactor and the resistance in a starter. A transverse section through the zone of failure showed an oxide layer extended almost completely across the plane of a weld, and also the grain growth that had occurred in this region.