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Old 14-01-2016, 09:29   #1
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Brass stock for electrical connectors

I'm hooking up my battery system and I need to connect bus bars to ANL fuse blocks and other connections alike. I have some brass plates from a old throttle shifter assembly that I was going to cut up to use as the connectors instead of wire, as I wire with lugs will need too much room. They will of course be cleaned very well.

Is using brass alright for this application? It's about 1/8", at least, thick and I'm making them about 3/4" wide.

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Old 14-01-2016, 09:40   #2
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

There are lots of different formulas for brass, but in general brass has about 1/4 the conductivity of copper (differences in brass conductivity mostly depend on how much zinc is in the mixture). But, the bottom line is you need about 4x the cross-sectional area in brass to carry the same current with the same losses.

You might find this interesting:

https://www.bluesea.com/resources/10...y_of_Materials

And the conclusion:

Quote:
One should not conclude from this, however, that brass should never be used in electrical applications. There are instances where the superior tensile and machining characteristics of brass make it a better choice than copper as long as the sectional areas are increased proportionately to achieve the conductivity that a copper part would have in the application. Size for size, however, copper is exceeded only by silver among the materials commonly used for electrical applications.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:48   #3
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

Brass was commonly used in hand wired electronic gear. And is commonly used on purchased terminal strips also.
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Old 14-01-2016, 10:05   #4
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

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Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
I'm hooking up my battery system and I need to connect bus bars to ANL fuse blocks and other connections alike. I have some brass plates from a old throttle shifter assembly that I was going to cut up to use as the connectors instead of wire, as I wire with lugs will need too much room. They will of course be cleaned very well.

Is using brass alright for this application? It's about 1/8", at least, thick and I'm making them about 3/4" wide.

See more @ redemptiverepair.com
===

.750 x .125 equals about 94,000 sq mils, about half way between 0 and 00 gauge copper wire. Assuming clean connections it will have a resistance of about .00009 ohms/ft and a current carrying ability of around 190 amps without excessive heating. After cleaning to a bright shine, I'd coat the connection areas with something like Thomas & Betts Kopr-Shield to prevent corrosion.

CP16 Thomas & Betts Kopr-Shield Compound, 16-Oz

AWG Copper Wire Size Table and Data Chart @ 100 Degrees F | Engineers Edge
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Old 14-01-2016, 12:42   #5
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

Copper is what you want to use.
https://www.bluesea.com/resources/10...y_of_Materials
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Old 14-01-2016, 13:55   #6
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

Don't know if this will help, but I have some 2" X 42" x 1/4" thick silver plated copper bus bar from an industrial distribution panel. They are drilled with pairs of 1/4" holes 1" apart across the width, and 1 3/8" apart down the length. I'm in Slidell, so if you're in the area and you can use one or a piece of one, let me know.
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Old 14-01-2016, 13:56   #7
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

Pure Cu, while having better conductivity, is quite soft. For applications where the screws must be removed frequently or where there is much strain on the wires , the chances of buggering the threads is significant. For those applications, brass has been the common material... with the appropriate cross section increase.

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Old 15-01-2016, 09:21   #8
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

.750 x .125 equals about 94,000 sq mils, about half way between 0 and 00 gauge copper wire. Assuming clean connections it will have a resistance of about .00009 ohms/ft and a current carrying ability of around 190 amps without excessive heating. After cleaning to a bright shine, I'd coat the connection areas with something like Thomas & Betts Kopr-Shield to prevent corrosion.

CP16 Thomas & Betts Kopr-Shield Compound, 16-Oz

AWG Copper Wire Size Table and Data Chart @ 100 Degrees F | Engineers Edge
OK great, I figured they would be enough. I'll look into that coating as well.
I measured them out with calipers and they are. .96 x 7/8".

As soon as they all fit I'm going to run them in my vibrator tumbler to clean them up and polish then a quick hit on the buffer wheel.

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Old 15-01-2016, 09:23   #9
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Don't know if this will help, but I have some 2" X 42" x 1/4" thick silver plated copper bus bar from an industrial distribution panel. They are drilled with pairs of 1/4" holes 1" apart across the width, and 1 3/8" apart down the length. I'm in Slidell, so if you're in the area and you can use one or a piece of one, let me know.
Hey Jim, I think I have it but had this not worked I would definitely give you a shout.

Side note I'm also in Slidell!

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Old 15-01-2016, 14:44   #10
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Re: Brass stock for electrical connectors

After adding up the costs for Blue Sea components, I went with my own ANL fuse block assembly. I used a silver coated copper bus bar (1/4" x 1") from McMaster-Carr (#88865K21).



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