Copper-Silicon (Cu-Si)

As with the copper–nickel alloys, corrosion resistance of copper–silicon is due to protective films that form on the surface over time. General corrosion rates of 0.025–0.050 mm have been observed in quiet waters. This rate decreases towards the lower end of the range over long-term exposures (e.g., 400–600 days). There is generally no pitting with silicon-bronzes. Also, there is good resistance to erosion corrosion up to moderate flow rates.

Because copper–silicon is weldable, rigid pens can be constructed with this material. Also, because welded copper–silicon mesh is lighter than copper-zinc chain link, aquaculture enclosures made with copper–silicon may be lighter in weight and therefore a potentially less expensive alternative.

Luvata Appleton, LLC, is researching and developing a line of copper alloy woven and welded meshes, including a patent-pending copper silicon alloy, that are marketed under the trade name Seawire™. Copper-silicon alloy meshes have been developed by the firm to raise various marine organisms in test trials that are now in various stages of evaluation. These include raising cobia in Panama, lobsters in the US state of Maine, and crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. The company is working with various universities to study its material, including the University of Arizona to study shrimp, the University of New Hampshire to study cod, and Oregon State University to study oysters.