2009 Volume 129 Issue 2 Pages 309-314
In past studies, after thin straight copper wires of 0.1mmφ were exposed to an impulse current, their temperature rose; they melted according to the specific pre-arcing Joule integral in an adiabatic state. However, in this study, we confirmed that thick straight copper wires of 1mmφ and over it were broken in a solid state before melting The effect of physical damage on copper wire performance was confirmed. The test data suggest that ohmic heating is the main reason for thin (less than 1mmφ) copper wire breakage in the experiments. However, the magnetic force and skin effect are primarily responsible for breaking thick copper wires rather than thermal failure, as previously thought. And the thicker the copper wires diameter was, the more noticeable the magnetic force and skin effect were. Then the impulse current was impressed through curved copper wires from 0.3mmφ to 2.0mmφ. Because of different breakage mechanism for thin and thick copper wires, the current-carrying capability of thin curved copper wires did not change comparing to that of straight ones. However, the current-carrying capability of thick copper wires greatly decreased when they were curved.