Comparison between CE alloys and competitive materials

Osprey™ CE alloys offer many advantages compared to most competitive materials. For example, CE alloys are lighter than competitive materials, such as:

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  • Aluminium alloys
  • Aluminium silicon carbide (AlSiC)
  • Iron nickel alloys (e.g. Kovar*, Alloy 49, F15)
  • Titanium (Ti)
  • Copper-molybdenum (Cu-Mo)
  • Copper-tungsten (Cu-W)
  • Steels

CE alloys also have controlled expansion coefficients at any preselected value in the range 5 to 17 ppm/°C.

The tables shows comparisons of CE alloys with other thermal management and packaging materials in terms of, for example, density, coefficient of thermal expansion, thermal conductivity and specific stiffness.

Competitive materials Osprey™ CE alloys
CE alloy advantages over competitive materials
Copper-85% tungsten (CuW) CE7 uses significantly lower cost raw materials and is 1/6 the density.
Copper-85% molybdenum (CuMo) CE7 uses significantly lower cost raw materials and is 1/4 the density.
Kovar* (FeNiCo) CE7 and CE9 housings are comparable in price but are 1/3 the density and have 6–9 x thermal conductivity, eliminating the need for heat sinks. CE7/9 do not normally require heat treating and do not burr.
Aluminium- silicon-carbide (AlSiC) CE7 and CE9 do not require mould tools, thus prototypes can be delivered quickly and with much lower setting-up costs. CE7/9 are readily machinable and plateable.
Beryllium-beryllium oxide (Be-BeO) CE alloys are environmentally friendly and non-toxic.
Titanium CE9 or CE11 are 1/2 the density and have 6x the thermal conductivity.
Aluminium alloys (e.g. 6061) CE17 is 5% lighter, 30% stiffer and has a lower CTE than 6061 Al alloy, similar to many laminate board materials (e.g. FR4). CE17 is also less prone to burring.
Copper CE17 is 1/4 the weight, stronger and easier to machine.
Steel CE13/11 have similar CTEs but are 1/3 the density.


Osprey™ CE alloys are practically the lowest density, controlled expansion alloys commercially available and offer substantial weight advantages over most other regularly used materials such as CuW, CuMo, Kovar*, Ti, AlSiC and Al alloys.
Mechanical properties for CE alloys

Coefficient of thermal expansion

Osprey™ CE alloys exhibit a range of CTEs depending on Al and Si content. For example, CE7 (70% Si) matches the CTE of alumina, LTCC and GaAs; whilst CE17 (27% Si) matches the CTE of Cu and several laminate board materials.
Thermal properties for CE alloys

Thermal conductivity

Osprey™ CE alloys have much higher thermal conductivities than titanium and Kovar* and, therefore, housings can be manufactured without the need to include heat sinks.
Thermal properties for CE alloys

Specific stiffness

The high specific stiffness of controlled expansion alloys such as CE7 enables products to remain extremely flat during thermal cycling.
Mechanical properties for CE alloys

Alloy CTE, ppm/ºC Thermal, W/mK Density, g/cc Modulus, GPa Yield, MPa
Al6061 22.6 210 2.7 70 140
Copper 16 385 8.9 110 33
CE17 16.0 150 2.6 92 150
Steel 12.2 52 7.8 200 180
Titanium 8.9 17 4.5 116 140
CE11 11.0 150 2.55 110 150
Cu-4CuMo-Cu 8.0–10.0 170 10.0 195 630
Al graphite 7.5/23 190 2.5 89 160
CE7 7.2 120 2.5 125 110
Al SiC 6.8 170 3.0 290 450
Cu 85% W 6.8 180 16.4 360 1150
Cu 85% Mo 6.8 165 10.0 310 1000
Kovar 6.0 15 8.4 131 345
Molybdenum 5.2 140 10.2 330 415
Alloy Plateability Machine Welding Forming
Al6061 Good Good Good Good
Copper Good Good Good Good
CE17 Good Good Good Good
Steel Good Good Good Good
Titanium Fair Fair Fair Good
CE11 Good Good Good Poor
Cu-4CuMo-Cu Fair Poor Poor Fair
Al graphite Poor Good Poor Good
CE7 Good Fair Poor Poor
Al SiC Poor Poor Poor Poor
Cu 85% W Fair Fair Poor Poor
Cu 85% Mo Fair Fair Poor Poor
Kovar Good Good Good Good
Molybdenum Fair Poor Poor Poor

* Kovar is a trademark of Carpenter Technology Corporation.