ELKONITE(®)
Elkonite® is a trademark of Sherbrooke Metals Corporation.
This family of unique composite materials consists of
Tungsten combined with Silver or Copper. They are
excellent electrical contact materials for heavy duty
switching applications. The high melting temperatures
and high strengths of the refractory give them a high
resistance to arc erosion, welding, mechanical wear and
deformation. The high conductivity metals provide good
electrical and thermal conduction and a low contact
resistance. Because they have these unique properties,
these Elkonite® materials are also used in many other
applications. Some applications are: resistance welding,
electrical discharge machining, electrochemical machining
and semi-conductor bases. Special applications where their
density, expansion, or strength is important characteristics
include structural and inertial materials
The Elkonite® family consists of the following materials:
          TUNGSTEN-SILVER
          TUNGSTEN CARBIDE-SILVER
          MOLYBDENUM-SILVER
          TUNGSTEN-COPPER
          TUNGSTEN CARBIDE-COPPER

The refractory metals are insoluble in silver and copper. They do not form alloys and cannot be made by the usual melting and casting methods. Instead they are made by powder metallurgy techniques. Elkonite® is made using the press-sinter-infiltration procedure whereby refractory powders are pressed and sintered to form strong bodies with a pre-determined amount of porosity. The pores are then filled with molten silver or copper to form essentially fully dense bodies. There is usually an excess of silver or copper on one of the surfaces which in most cases is removed by machining. With the press-sinter-infiltrate process, the refractory content of the materials can range from about 35% to 90% by weight. The materials made by the press-sinter-infiltration process normally have the greatest resistance to arc erosion. They are used for almost all of the larger switchgear contacts as well as for some of the lighter duty applications.