Oxygen free copper, also known as oxygen free high conductivity copper, is a group of wrought copper alloys that are refined through electrolytic process. Oxygen free copper exhibit high conductivity. Electrolytic refining is done to lower the oxygen content to or below 0.001%. Oxygen free copper is not only highly conductive, but also exhibits high chemical purity. Therefore, it is highly valued and widely used in industrial applications such as manufacture of semiconductors and superconductors and high vacuum devices such as particle accelerators that involve deposition of plasma. The usage of oxygen free materials in such applications is important, as presence of oxygen or any other impurity leads to undesirable chemical reactions with the materials present in the surroundings. . Wires made up of oxygen free copper exhibit higher conductivity, better ability to transfer low frequency sounds, and durability etc.
Therefore, oxygen free copper is extensively used in the manufacture of high end audio-visual systems. This includes manufacture of speaker wires, audio-video connector cable assemblies, and amplifier wires. Growth in automobile and electronic goods industries in developing countries in Asia Pacific and need for infrastructural development in underdeveloped areas are some of the factors driving the oxygen free copper market. At the same time, copper wires possess a few disadvantages such as poor binding properties and higher chances of electrical interference leading to unclear audio signals. This gives rise to the need for substitutes for better and more efficient options. Furthermore, the high cost of copper is the major disadvantage. As a result, fiber optic cables are being used as substitutes in semiconductor devices.
Based on application, the market for oxygen free copper can be segmented into electronics & electrical semiconductors, superconductor matrices, vacuum tubes, glass to metal seals, and power substations. The electronics & electrical conductors industry is anticipated to expand significantly during the forecast period primarily due to the increasing demand for electronic semiconductor devices in developing countries of Asia Pacific such as China, Japan, and India owing to factors such as rising disposable income, improvement in standard of living of the people in these countries, and industrial and infrastructural development in the region. This is one of the key factors boosting the electronics & electrical semiconductors segment of the oxygen free copper market.
Geographically, the oxygen free copper market can be divided into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is anticipated to dominate the market for oxygen free copper during the forecast period due to the growth in automotive and electronic goods industries in the region. Oxygen free copper is employed extensively in these industries. Industrial, economic, and infrastructural development leads to rise in disposable income and improvement in standard of living of the people. This is a prominent factor augmenting the automotive and electronic goods industries in the Asia Pacific region, thereby propelling the demand for oxygen free copper.
Key players operating in the oxygen free copper market include Copper Braid Products, Farmer’s Copper Ltd., Citizen Metalloys Ltd., Hussey Copper Ltd., Haviland Enterprises Inc., Heyco Metals Inc., and Millard Wire & Specialty Strip Co.