Raw materials costs can quickly make it difficult for companies to maintain their profit margins on a given product. At a time when copper prices have been steadily increasing, it may make sense for firms to look at other materials. Yet to do so, they may also need to consider alternatives to achieve dissimilar materials joining.
Companies in China are moving from using copper in cabling to using aluminum, a Metal Bulletin report indicates, where just 10 percent of total production uses the metal compared to roughly 50 percent in the U.S. and even more in other developed countries. The rationale is that the cables can be priced 20 to 30 percent cheaper due to the decrease in material costs. Similar moves are occurring throughout the electronics industry. Yet without the use of specific metal solders to join materials, adapting designs can be extremely difficult.