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, and today the term copper alloy tends to be substituted, especially by museums.

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.

Copper application areas cover a wide variety of different disciplines. Please check the specific areas that you are interested more in-depth information about each discipline.

  • Power generation and transmission
  • Architecture
  • Electrical
  • Tube, Pipe & Fittings
  • Fuel Gas
  • Industrial
  • Machined Products
  • Telecommunications
  • Aviation
  • Corrosion-Resistant Assemblies
  • Automotive applications
  • Marine applications
  • Coins
  • Resistance wire
  • Thermocouples
  • Cooling circuits
  • Ammunition
  • Condenser Tubes

Classification of copper and its alloys




Main Alloying element


UNS numbers

Copper alloys, brass Zinc (Zn) C1xxxx–C4xxxx, C66400–C69800
Phosphor bronze Tin (Sn) C5xxxx
Aluminum bronzes Aluminum (Al) C60600–C64200
Silicon bronzes Silicon (Si) C64700–C66100
Copper nickel,nickel silvers Nickel (Ni) C7xxxx


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