Posted on: 24 Feb, 2021 | Reading Time: 3 mins read
We have been in the business of non-sparking tools for over 10 years. Non-sparking tools have traditionally been made in 2 copper alloys – Aluminium Bronze and Beryllium Copper. In 2016 we read about a *revolutionary* alloy – Copper Titanium. We were curious and hence decided to reach out to the manufacturer about the possibility of supplying Copper Titanium tools.
Copper Titanium alloy for non-sparking tools was touted as nothing short of revolutionary. On paper, it has properties that would catapult it past both Aluminium Bronze and Beryllium Copper
We embarked on marketing and selling these Copper Titanium tools in India in 2017. We made a lot of effort in introducing these tools to our existing customers. Due to our long-standing relationship with our customers in providing them with great quality tools we found it relatively easy to market and sell Copper Titanium as a superior alternative. In the first year itself, we had booked many orders for these tools, and supply was done in a prompt manner.
As soon as tools were sold we started receiving complaints from various users that the tools were breaking. We reported this to the manufacturer and provided replacements. We were led to believe that being new to manufacturing there would be a few kinks in the design and as continuous improvements are made quality issues would disappear. However, quality issues never disappeared.
We continued to give the manufacturer of Copper Titanium the benefit of doubt hoping that the quality would catch up. This continued into the years 2018 and 2019. By end of 2019, we were quite sure that in spite of numerous tweaks being made by the manufacturer there was no abatement in the no of complaints. We strongly protested that Copper Titanium alloy was very brittle and that it offers no advantage over Aluminium Bronze alloy (let alone Beryllium Copper). However, our protest was met with a categorical denial of the facts, and a proclamation was made that Copper Titanium tools are the best quality tools in the world by the manufacturer.
There were endless complaints from customers ranging in these 3 areas –
Most end users complained that the tools were highly brittle. All the complaints had one general theme – issues were seen as soon as the tool was put to use.
Curiously we also received the following feedback consistently from our end users in the last 4 years – our Sparkless ™ Aluminium Bronze tools supplied to them prior to 2016 were still in use and the operators were quite happy with the performance and were confident in using it for their daily operations.
We have come to believe that Copper Titanium tools are over hardened using a process that causes the alloy to achieve higher hardness. However, this makes the tool very brittle unable to withstand the impact forces when it is put into normal use. The strength of these tools only lies in the marketing material and in actual use is a liability for the operator for these reasons:
Our conclusion is that Copper Titanium is highly inferior to the 2 alternatives in non-sparking i.e. Aluminium Bronze and Beryllium Copper. It offers no benefits in actual usage – in fact, it creates safety risks – either due to non-usage of tools or by way of injury