Copper Alloy a Definition

A copper alloy is an alloy of primarily copper, mixed with different alloying elements that give rise to an entire range of materials, each of which is designed to maximize a particular characteristic such as strength, ductility, formability, machinability, or electrical conductivity.

Copper alloys are metal alloys that have copper as their principal component. They have high resistance against corrosion. The best known traditional types are bronze, where tin is a significant addition, and brass, using zinc instead. Both these are imprecise terms, both having been commonly referred to as lattens in the past. Today the term copper alloy tends to be substituted, especially by museums.

Copper Alloys Tree

These alloys are grouped into “families”, the names of which have become familiar - coppers, brasses, bronzes, copper-nickels, and nickel-silvers.

  • Coppers are made from copper with trace elements
  • Brasses are made from copper alloyed primarily with zinc
  • Bronzes are made from copper alloyed primarily with tin
  • Copper-Nickels are made from copper alloyed primarily with nickel and manganese
  • Nickel Silvers are made from copper alloyed primarily with nickel and zinc

The similarity in external appearance of the various alloys, along with the different combinations of elements used when making each alloy, can lead to confusion when categorizing the different compositions.

There are as many as 400 different copper and copper-alloy compositions loosely grouped into the categories: copper, high copper alloy, brasses, bronzes, copper nickels, copper–nickel–zinc (nickel silver), leaded copper, and special alloys. The following table lists the principal alloying element for four of the more common types used in modern industry, along with the name for each type. Historical types, such as those that characterize the Bronze Age, are vaguer as the mixtures were generally variable.

Copper application areas cover a wide variety of different disciplines.

  • Architecture, both exterior and interior
  • Automotive, Copper is an essential component of many of the latest design elements in today’s cars.
  • Electrical Copper’s high conductivity makes it the ideal material in a wide variety of electical applications
  • Electrical Energy, Efficiency Power QualityBuilding WireTube, Pipe & FittingsCopper tube is the highest quality material available today for a variety of building applications including plumbing, fire sprinklers.
  • Fuel Gas, Copper tube is an excellent choice for natural gas piping systems.
  • Industrial, Copper serves as an essential material in a vast number of industries including electronics.
  • Seawater Copper’s unique properties make it ideal for many applications in the harsh environments of marine
  • Machined Products, Copper alloy rod and bar products.
  • Telecommunications, Communications are the backbone of today’s fast-paced businesses, and copper wiring is at the core of those systems.

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