I want to use some fine WRe wire (50 micron diameter, 80/20) in a particular environment where it has to conduct a few millamps of current while supporting 100g of mass. The problem being the contact between the wire and its copper/bronze supports has to be extremely consistent. We are looking for changes in current in the nanoamps, so just clamping it in place will not work given oxide layers, surface electronic effects etc. not to mention mechanical tension. We have done this before with a Platinum alloy which we could solder.

So, first question - can this be soldered or spot welded in place?

Second, if not can we perhaps alloy the surface with Gold by heating the wire to (say) 2500degC when coated in a Auric salt or Gold foil? And would this help us to find a solder that would "stick" to the surface?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Tough question. Neither W nor Re have any alloys with Cu, so while spot welding might physically work the joint might be weak or brittle. If you could plate the end of the wire with Ni that might be better - Ni has some solubility with both W and Re, and plays well with Cu. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Dec 4 '19 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Thanks. Might be worth trying before we go the Gold route. $\endgroup$ – Dirk Bruere Dec 4 '19 at 16:16

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