List of copper alloys
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Copper alloys are metal
alloys An alloy is a mixture In chemistry, a mixture is a material made up of two or more different chemical substances which are not chemically bonded. A mixture is the physical combination of two or more substances in which the identities are retai ...
that have
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
as their principal component. They have high resistance against
corrosion Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable oxide. It is the gradual deterioration of materials (usually a metal) by chemical or electrochemical reaction with their environment. Corrosio ...
. The best known traditional types are
bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (including aluminium, manganese, nickel, or zinc) and sometimes non-metals, such as phosphorus, or metalloids such ...
, where
tin Tin is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol Sn (from la, :la:Stannum, stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand wit ...
is a significant addition, and
brass Brass is an alloy An alloy is a mixture of chemical elements of which at least one is a metal. Unlike chemical compounds with metallic bases, an alloy will retain all the properties of a metal in the resulting material, such as electrical ...
, using
zinc Zinc is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Zn and atomic number 30. Zinc is a slightly brittle metal at room temperature and has a shiny-greyish appearance when oxidation is removed. It is the first element in group 12 eleme ...
instead. Both of these are imprecise terms, having both been commonly referred to as
latten Historically, the term "latten" referred loosely to the copper alloys such as brass or bronze that appeared in the Middle Ages and through to the late-18th and early-19th centuries. Such alloys were used for monumental brasses, in decorative effect ...
s in the past. Today the term ''copper alloy'' tends to be substituted, especially by museums.British Museum, "Scope Note" for "copper alloy"
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Composition

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 Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
and
copper alloy 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 Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12 ...
compositions loosely grouped into the categories: copper, high copper alloy,
brass Brass is an alloy An alloy is a mixture of chemical elements of which at least one is a metal. Unlike chemical compounds with metallic bases, an alloy will retain all the properties of a metal in the resulting material, such as electrical ...
es,
bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (including aluminium, manganese, nickel, or zinc) and sometimes non-metals, such as phosphorus, or metalloids such ...
s, copper nickels, copper–nickel–zinc (nickel silver),
leaded copper Leaded copper is a metal alloy An alloy is a mixture of chemical elements of which at least one is a metal. Unlike chemical compounds with metallic bases, an alloy will retain all the properties of a metal in the resulting material, such as elect ...
, 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 The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of ...
, are vaguer as the mixtures were generally variable. The following table outlines the chemical composition of various grades of copper alloys.


Brasses

A brass is an alloy of copper with zinc. Brasses are usually yellow in colour. The zinc content can vary between few % to about 40%; as long as it is kept under 15%, it does not markedly decrease corrosion resistance of copper. Brasses can be sensitive to selective leaching corrosion under certain conditions, when zinc is leached from the alloy (''dezincification''), leaving behind a spongy copper structure. * Nordic Gold


Bronzes

A bronze is an alloy of copper and other metals, most often tin, but also aluminium and silicon. * Aluminium bronzes are alloys of copper and aluminium. The content of aluminium ranges mostly between 5% and 11%. Iron, nickel, manganese and silicon are sometimes added. They have higher strength and corrosion resistance than other bronzes, especially in marine environment, and have low reactivity to sulphur compounds. Aluminium forms a thin passivation layer on the surface of the metal. * Bell metal *
Phosphor bronze Phosphor bronze is a member of the family of copper alloy 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 Bronze is an al ...
* Nickel bronzes, e.g. nickel silver and cupronickel *
Speculum metal Speculum metal is a mixture of around two-thirds copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high therm ...
* UNS C69100


Precious metal alloys

Copper is often alloyed with
precious metal Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical elements of high Value (economics), economic value. Chemically, the precious metals tend to be less reactivity (chemistry), reactive than most elements (see noble metal). They ...
s like
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
(Au) and
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
(Ag). † amount unspecified


See also

* Copper-clad steel *
Copper alloys in aquaculture Copper alloys are important netting materials in aquaculture (the farming of aquatic animal, aquatic organisms including fish farming). Various other materials including nylon, polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene, plastic-coated welded wire, r ...
* Antimicrobial copper-alloy touch surfaces * Lubaloy C41100


References


Bibliography

* {{cite book , first1=Erik , last1=Oberg , first2=Franklin D. , last2=Jones , first3=Holbrook L. , last3=Horton , year=1992 , title=Machinery's Handbook , edition=24 , page=501 , publisher=Industrial Press Inc , location=New York , isbn=0-8311-2492-X


External links


Corrosion tests and standards: application and interpretationCopper Development Association
*Copper Binary Phase Diagrams generation code (batch file - http://www.gotrawama.eu/copperNIMS/ramefabio.txt ) using open thermodynamic databases available at NIMS https://cpddb.nims.go.jp/cpddb/periodic.htm and a commercial software, Computherm Pandat, available for free at https://computherm.com/ ( help for use https://computherm.com/docs/pandat_manual.pdf. Images of the 34 binary phase diagrams are available at http://www.gotrawama.eu/copperNIMS/PNG/ Copper alloys, Sculpture materials