Types of Copper Alloys and their Uses
Dating back to the prehistoric age, copper has been identified as one of the most commonly used metals. Even today, the role that copper plays in a variety of electrical and thermal products cannot be refuted. It can be understood that copper is so popular in both domestic and industrial usage due to its properties that set the metal apart.
In terms of the ability of a metal to be engineered into various products, copper can prove to be one of the most dynamic and versatile.
When alloyed with other metals, often times, the metal gains much more in terms of strength, durability, corrosion-resistance etc. Pure copper is generally quite soft in texture, much like pure gold. When using copper to manufacture products, it is necessary they mix it with other metals in order to produce brazing alloys for coppers. They also help take care of the issue faced with pure copper, it is more soluble when hot.
Let’s take a look at some of the copper alloys and their uses-
Brass- Brass is formed out of copper mixed with 45% zinc, a little percentage of lead to provide machinability and tin for strength. Where the zinc component is extra, the strength of the alloy increases. There are mainly three types of copper-zinc alloy- copper zinc alloy, Copper-zinc-tin alloy and copper-zinc-lead alloy.
Typical uses of brass are electrical components, fittings, locks, door handles, architecture etc.
Bronze- Bronzes are one brazing alloy of copper made out of amalgamating tin and one of the phosphorous elements- aluminum, nickel, magnesium etc. It is sued for its properties of corrosion resistance, strength etc and generally used for architecture, manufacturing springs, fittings, connectors, terminals etc.
Nickel silvers- This kind of metal has a very misleading appearance, much like silver which leads to its confusing name. They are a mixture of copper with nickel, zinc and sometimes lead.
They are used to fashion coins, jewelry, name plates, keys etc.
Copper nickel- Copper mixed with nickel forms this variant and is generally what is sued for pipes, boat sheathing etc.
The properties of copper alloys which make them more ductile and corrosion resistant make them a much better choice to pure copper. Companies like KPL International are premium manufacturers of copper alloys in India.