Materials Range – Brass Bronze and Copper Alloys

All bronze brass and copper alloys supplied is manufactured to Australian, International or customer specification as needed and some alloys in common use are also held in stock and are readily available to our customers.

Copper along with small additions of other elements forms a more specialized group of copper based alloys i.e., Copper Sulphur, Copper Tellurium, Copper Silver. However copper with significant additions of single or several other elements form their own separate groups i.e., Brass, Manganese Bronze, Aluminum Bronze, Silicon Bronze.  A short description of these groups follows below.

Copper

Copper is the base from which most of LCL’s alloys are made. High purity copper is normally referred to as high conductivity or oxygen free copper. Small additions to copper can have a significant effect to achieve a desirable outcome. Such as adding sulphur will assist machinability but reduce electrical conductivity. Adding tellurium will also improve machinability but have minimal effect on electrical and thermal conductivity.

Gunmetal

Another important long established bronze alloy is LG2, which our facilities are well suited to produce, is built around the addition of tin together with other elements such as zinc and lead.

Brass

Copper alloys where zinc is the other major element are well known as brasses, which have an alpha/beta type structure. They have a wide variety of applications for ease of hot or cold working and machinability. Zinc completely dissolves in molten copper and upon solidification forms grain boundaries or structures that change as the amount of zinc present in the alloy increases.

Alpha as well as Alpha-Beta type brasses can corrode in a particular way where only zinc is removed from the solid solution of the alloy, the process commonly known as de-zincification. Arsenic and to a lesser extent phosphorous when added in very small quantities together with specific heat treatment can almost entirely prevent this type of corrosion. Depending on the alloy that requires protection, a maximum of 0.15% is required and results in no change to either physical or mechanical properties.

Alloys with an alpha structure generally have a zinc content of less than 30% and as a result has very good cold working properties. One particular alloy called cartridge brass, must also have very low levels of impurities so that it will have deep drawing qualities.

For alloys with Zinc a content of less than 30% the structure is known as ALPHA. This alloy has very good cold working properties. One particular alloy alloy that contains 30% Zinc, very low levels of impurities  and deep drawing qualities is commonly known as Cartridge Brass.

Nickel

Unlike most other additions Nickel acts similarly to copper and helps increase the formation of the Alpha phase in Alpha-Beta compositions. Additions of 1 to 2% to High Tensile Brass Alloys gives an increase in tensile strength without a reduction in ductility whilst increasing the working temperature of the alloy. Additions of 8% or more produces a whitening in colour and forms a group of alloys commonly known as Nickel Silvers or German Silvers.

Silicon

The addition of Silicon increases the Beta constituent of Alpha-Beta Brass Alloys resulting in an increase in strength and hardness and a reduction in ductility. Small additions of up to 0.5% can reduce fuming in brazing rods and can also produce an attractive polished surface finish. Higher additions usually in combination with Manganese form the basis of the Silicon Bronze group of alloys.

Bismuth

Bismuth like lead does not dissolve in a molten solution of copper and zinc and acts in a similar way to lead. However it is much more expensive and is only used when specified.

Tellurium

Tellurium is sometimes added in very small quantities to pure copper when the machining qualities of copper need to be improved whilst having a relatively small affect on the electrical and thermal conductivity of pure copper.

Arsenic

Alpha as well as Alpha-Beta type brasses can corrode in a particular way where only Zinc is removed from the solid solution of the alloy, a process commonly known as de-zincification. Arsenic and to a lesser extent Phosphorous when added in very small quantities together with specific heat treatment can almost entirely prevent this type of corrosion. Depending on the alloy that requires protection, a maximum of 0.15% is required and results in no change to either physical or mechanical properties.

Nickel Silver

Unlike most other additions nickel acts similarly to copper and helps increase the formation of the alpha phase in Alpha-Beta compositions. An addition of 1 to 2% to high tensile brass alloys gives an increase in tensile strength without a reduction in ductility whilst increasing the working temperature of the alloy. An addition of 8% or more produces a whitening in colour and forms a group of alloys commonly known as Nickel Silvers or German Silvers.

Silicon Bronze

The addition of silicon increases the beta constituent of Alpha-Beta brass alloys resulting in an increase in strength and hardness and a reduction in ductility. Small additions of up to 0.5% can reduce fuming in brazing rods and can also produce an attractive polished surface finish. Higher additions usually in combination with manganese form the basis of the Silicon Bronze group of alloys.

Manganese Bronze

 

 

Aluminum Bronze

 

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