Design and Manufacture

Very Easy to Work with and Shape into Almost any Form, Copper Offers Cost-effective Products for Industrial Applications

Copper and copper alloys offer an exceptionally wide range of properties to designers and manufacturers.

These include excellent thermal conductivity, the best electrical conductivity of any commercial metal, excellent corrosion resistance in the atmosphere and water, a wide range of colours giving aesthetic appeal and excellent ductility.

Our experts are able to assist designers in choosing the optimum combination of properties for a specific application as well as advising on the most appropriate manufacturing process.

An important consideration for any designer when selecting materials is recyclability; all copper alloys are fully recyclable, without loss of properties.

View the Series of 5 Training Videos on Welding of Copper-nickel

  1. Cleaning and preparation for welding of copper-nickel alloy
  2. TIG welding copper-nickel alloy
  3. Pipe welding copper-nickel alloy
  4. Shielded metal arc welding copper-nickel alloy
  5. Pulsed MIG welding copper-nickel alloy

FAQs

A 3% leaded brass tube, used to make an electrical fitting, cracked on crimping. Why?

Lead reduces the ductility of brass so use a tube with 1% lead.

A drawing refers to a material as B16. What is this?

B16 is an ASTM specification for free cutting brass rod and bar.

A drawing specifies TUNGUM for a pipe. What is TUNGUM?

TUNGUM is a trade name for aluminium-nickel-silicon-brass.  CZ127 (CW700R)

An engineering report suggests that Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) is a problem in brass tubes. What steps may be taken to avoid SCC?

SCC occurs due to the combined effect of stress and corrosion. The stress may be removed by a stress relief anneal at 250 to 300°C for ½ to 1 hour.

Brass is said to be non-magnetic, but a sample reacts to a magnet. Why?

Probably due to the high iron content from recycled scrap. If a non-magnetic copper alloy is required use a nickel-aluminium bronze to Def Stan Specifications (were NES).

I am designing a power lead connector for a large earth moving vehicle. The connector is crimped to copper wires to make electrical contact. I propose to machine this component from brass CW606N (CZ131) bar followed by tin plating. Any advice please?

The brass selected is free machining with good ductility and is an excellent choice for this application. I suggest that the component is annealed in the range 400 to 600oC to give maximum ductility to ensure that the crimping will be successful. There is no need for tin plating; in this environment the brass will darken with time with no loss of properties.

It is important that the lead content (1.6 to 2.5%) of this brass is maintained at the specification level in all of the connectors since higher lead levels may lead to cracking on crimping. With this in mind I suggest that the source of the brass is from the UK or Europe where full certification will be available.

I have been asked for 'Coining Brass'. What is it?

Coining is closed die squeezing (as in making coins) and applies to any of the cold forming brasses: 90/10, 85/15, 80/20, 70/30. Should be OK to use 1/2 hard, but anneal if necessary.

I have been asked to produce 22 valves in gunmetal from a drawing which originates from 1958. The company has been taken over and the patterns and casting drawings lost. Due to the small quantity that will have to be made from bar, what should I use?

Suggest that you use continuously cast CC491K (LG2) bar or a wrought free-machining phosphor bronze.

I have been offered electrical grade copper tube CW004A (C101) instead of CW024A (C106). Is this acceptable?

Yes, the mechanical properties are identical. Take care if you braze the tubes, use an oxidising flame.

I wish to restore a copper canopy on an old building to its original condition. How can I do this?

Stages

  1. Remove surface oxide with dilute (10%) hydrochloric acid
  2. Neutralise with bicarbonate solution (lye)
  3. Seal by chromate conversion
  4. Lacquer
  5. Wax
  6. Clean with detergent annually.