Brass Vs Copper, What is Difference and Their Use?

There are many different types of metal alloy, and it cannot be very clear to try and understand their differences. This blog post will discuss brass and copper, their differences, and how to use them in your projects. Stay tuned!

What is Brass?

brass clubs

Brass is synthetic copper doped with other metals and will be doped with many other metals to achieve the user’s purposes. The simplest and most common brass is made by mixing zinc, which is called common brass. It is called special brass when there are more than two metallic elements.

Therefore, It base copper material, we can also call brass a copper alloy.

The zinc content of brass alloy helps increase the flexibility and strength of brass-based copper materials. The higher the zinc content of brass, the more elastic the brass alloys. In addition, the color can vary from red to even yellow depending on how much zinc is added.

What is Copper?

copper clubs

Copper is a pure metal that is reddish. It is also known as red copper because of its color red and named. Humans used red copper thousands of years ago to make tools, weapons, and ornaments. Red copper can be used directly or mixed with other metals to form alloy copper.

Copper has good electrical and thermal conductivity, excellent plasticity, and is relatively soft. It is easy for hot and cold pressure processing, widely used in manufacturing wire, cable, brush, electric spark, electrocuting copper, and other requirements of good electrical conductivity products.

What are the Differences Between Brass and Copper?

Brass Vs Copper #1: Chemical Element

Copper is pure metal. It does not contain any other metals.

Brass is an copper alloys made of copper and zinc. There are many types of brass, such as H90, H80, H68, and H62. Their zinc content varies from 5 percent to 40 percent, while the rest comprises copper. The addition of zinc to brass increases its flexibility and strength.

The common elemental components of brass include the main components copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), but depending on the alloy form, it may have the following components:

  • Manganese,

  • Nickel,

  • Lead,

  • Tin,

  • Iron,

  • Silicon.

Brass Vs Copper #2: Color

Bronze vs. Copper

Copper is reddish. The resulting alloy can be a different color when mixed with other metals.

The brass is yellowish. However, depending on the amount of zinc added to brass, the color can range from red to yellow.

Brass Vs Copper #3: Density

Copper has a density of 8.96 g/cm3.

The density of brass varies depending on the amount of zinc added, but it is typically around 8.4 g/cm3 to 8.73 g/cm3.

Brass Vs Copper #4: Tensile Strength

Copper Materials 01

The tensile strength of copper is around 40,000 psi.

The tensile strength of brass ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 psi, depending on the amount of zinc added.

Brass Vs Copper #5: Melting Point

The melting point of copper is 1083 ℃.

The melting point of brass depends on the amount of zinc in it,

  • The melting point of H90, H62, and H68 is 1084℃.

  • The melting point of H80 is 1040~1045℃.

Brass Vs Copper #6: Corrosion Resistance

Copper rusts easily, and red copper will form a patina after a period of oxidation. The patina can prevent further corrosion of the red copper surface. Brass is more resistant to corrosion and less prone to rust.

Brass Vs Copper #7: Electrical Conductivity

Copper has excellent electrical conductivity and is used as a measurement standard of electrical conductivity; that is, the electrical conductivity of red copper is defined as 100% to measure the electrical conductivity of other metals. By this standard, brass has a conductivity of 28%.

Brass Vs Copper #8: Heat-conducting Property

Copper has good heat conductivity. The thermal conductivity of red copper is 401W/(m·K). The thermal conductivity of brass depends on the amount of zinc in it. Generally speaking, the more zinc there is, the lower the thermal conductivity.

While the thermal conductivity of pure metals does not change with increasing temperature, the thermal conductivity of alloys increases, therefore, the thermal conductivity of red copper does not change, and the thermal conductivity of brass does.

Brass Vs Copper #9: Plasticity

Copper has good plasticity at room temperature, and can be processed into a variety of products. Brass also has good plasticity but decreases as the zinc content increases.

Brass Vs Copper #10: Hardness

brass machining supplier

The hardness of a material refers to its ability to resist local deformation. In terms of hardness index, brass has a hardness of 3-4, and red copper has a hardness of 2.5-3, so the brass is harder and the higher the zinc content, the greater the hardness and toughness of the brass.

Brass Vs Copper #11: Durability

Copper is a relatively soft metal, and it is easy to deform. Brass is harder than copper and has better durability.

The durability of a material is the ability of a material to maintain its function without excessive repair or maintenance in the face of normal operational challenges during its half-life. The durability of red copper and brass is the same.

Brass Vs Copper #12: Machinability

The machinability of a material means that the material can be cut to obtain an acceptable surface finish. This includes cutting, machining, and die casting. Machinability can also be considered in terms of the manufacturing method of the material. In contrast, brass is more machinable than red brass.

Brass Vs Copper #13: Weldability

Weldability is the ability of a material to be joined by welding. It is influenced by the composition of the material, its microstructure, and the method of manufacture.

Copper is easier to solder than brass, but brass with more than 20% zinc has good solderability. Finally, cast brass metal is almost indestructible.

Brass Vs Copper #14: Workability

The workability of a material means that it can be deformed plastically without cracking, and the deformation can be reversed after removing the external force. The material’s plasticity and ductility determine workability.

The workability of brass is better than that of copper. Copper is easy to crack when cold working, while brass has good workability and can be processed into various products.

Brass Vs Copper #15: Cost

The cost of a material is the amount of money that must be spent to obtain the material. The cost of brass is lower than that of copper. Brass is made of copper and zinc, and the market price is 6$US/kg. Copper is pure copper; the market price is 9$US/kg.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, while red copper is a pure metal. Therefore, the cost of brass is lower than that of red copper. In addition, brass has better machinability than copper, so the processing cost is lower.

Brass Vs Copper #16: Application

Copper is widely used in electrical, light industry, machinery, manufacturing, construction, and other industries.

The main application fields of red copper are: 

  • Waveguide industry,

  • Industrial applications

  • Computer industry;

  • electrically conductive,

  • Generators, 

  • Busbars, 

  • Cables, 

  • Switching devices, 

  • Transformers 

  • Other electrical equipment.

Brass is mainly used in the fields of ships, automobiles, petroleum, chemicals, electric power, and other industries that require resistance to corrosion or high temperatures.

The main application fields of brass are: 

  • Plumbing fittings,

  • Water tank,

  • Cartridge brass,

  • Musical instruments,

  • Conductive and thermal components, 

  • high corrosion resistance structural components, 

  • elastic components, 

  • daily hardware and decorative materials.

  • Shell casings and all kinds of complex-shaped punch products,

  • Small hardware pieces,

  • Various parts of machinery and electrical appliances,

  • Stamping parts, etc. 

How To Distinguish Brass And Copper?

  • Color: The color of brass is golden yellow, while the color of copper is reddish orange.
  • Taste: The taste of brass is astringent, while copper is bitter.
  • Hardness: Brass is harder than copper.
  • Density: The density of brass is 8.4 g/cm3, and

The main difference between brass and copper is that brass is an alloy made by combining copper and zinc, while copper is a pure metals. In addition, brass is harder than copper and has better durability. Moreover, brass’s machinability is better than copper’s, while copper’s weldability is better than brass’s. Furthermore, the cost of brass is lower than that of copper.

In conclusion, the main difference between brass and copper is their composition, properties, and applications.

Brass & Copper Precision Machining Parts With Aria Manufacturing

Aria Manufacturing is a leading provider of precision machining services for brass and copper components. We offer a wide range of capabilities to meet the most demanding requirements, including CNC turning, milling, EDM, surface grinding, and more. Our experienced team is ready to work with you to create the perfect solution for your application.

Our company specializes in the production of CNC machined parts. We use automatic lathes to process a variety of materials including brass, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and other metals. All products can be customized according to customer requirements. If you have any needs, please feel free to contact us!

FAQs

Q: What are the types of copper?

A: There are 4 types of copper, pure copper (also known as red copper), brass, bronze, and cupronickel.

Q: What is Bronze Alloys?

A: Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. It has a lower melting point than brass and is more corrosion-resistant. Bronze is used in the manufacturing of bearings, gears, and valves.

Q: What is the Difference Between Copper Brass and Bronze?

A: The main difference between copper, brass and bronze is that copper is a pure metals, brass is an alloy made by combining copper and zinc while bronze is an alloy made by combining copper and tin. Moreover, the color of brass is golden yellow while the color of bronze is reddish brown.

Q: What are the Properties of Copper?

A: The properties of copper are its high electrical and thermal conductivity, high ductility, and malleability. Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, which makes it ideal for electrical wiring. It is also very malleable and can be drawn into thin wires. Finally, copper is very malleable and can be hammered or pressed into various shapes without breaking.

Author

Gavin Leo is a technical writer at Aria with 8 years of experience in Engineering, He proficient in machining characteristics and surface finish process of various materials. and participated in the development of more than 100complex injection molding and CNC machining projects. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.

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