The paper outlines technologies currently used for the production of the Ag-Re10 and Ag-SnO2Bi2O3 contact materials in a form of wires and solid and bimetallic rivets. Their characteristic parameters, including physical and mechanical properties and microstructure, are given. It has been found that the level of these parameters, particularly electrical properties (resistance to electric arc erosion), is unsatisfactory considering the present requirements, which applies mainly to the new Ag-Re10 [wt%] alloy, so far not fully technologically mastered. Therefore, under this work a new method for the production of this type of materials has been designed and the related research works were undertaken. The new-generation contact materials in a form of nanostructured composites will be characterised by similar chemical compositions as those specified above but with increased functional properties, including enhanced resistance to arc erosion. In this paper preliminary results of the examination of structure and properties of semi-products obtained by new technology based on powder metallurgy techniques are presented. Conditions for pressure consolidation and plastic consolidation applied for material processing into wires and rivets (solid and bimetallic) have been determined.
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