Brass Wire

Brass wire grades are specified within BS EN 12166 – Copper and copper alloy wire for general purposes. This standard contains a good selection of brass alloys including cold workable alpha brasses (copper content >63%), leaded machining brasses, together with more specialised brasses including those with enhanced corrosion resistance, strength or machinability.

Brass wire has many uses depending on specification and condition but can commonly be found in application areas such as electrical connectors, meshes, springs, jewellery, mechanical fasteners, rivets and scientific components.

There are a number of brass wire grades available within this section that offer a variety of mechanical and physical properties depending on final application, but material selection in smaller sizes can sometimes also depend as much on the chosen condition as the material selection. So whilst the primary selection of brass grade will be dependent on workability, free machining characteristics, high strength or enhanced corrosion resistance, material condition will dictate stiffness, spring quality, hardness and formability.

These table below shows the brasses included in the following EN standards for individual product forms:

  • EN 12166 ‘Copper and copper alloys—Wire for general purposes’

This table also includes brass equivalents previously included in BS 2873 ‘Specification for copper and copper alloys. Wire’ for completeness and continuity. The tables give information on grades detailed in the national standards but there are also a number of proprietary wire grades available for specific applications or where a particular set of properties are required.

Compositions given are the EN materials appropriate to designation number. Composition ranges may be outside those of previous BS specifications, therefore compliance should be checked before assuming suitability for applications. The compositions are shown as either a range or maximum for individual elements. Note that not all elements listed as impurities are shown here.

For more detail, the appropriate standard(s) should be consulted. Visit our page with details of standards and links to the BSI shop.

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Brass Wire—Compositions, Properties and Standards

EN
Number
EN
Symbol
Nearest
Old BS
Equiv.
Cu
%
Al
%
Fe
%
Ni
%
Pb
%
Others
%
Zn
%
Tensile
Strength
(N/mm2)

Elong-
ation
%
Remarks
CW501LCuZn10CZ10189.0-91.00.020.050.30.050.1 SnRem.240-53045-490/10 brass. Electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology, 44% IACS. Used for ornamental purposes, including jewellery, because of colour and ability to be brazed.
CW502LCuZn15CZ10284.0-86.00.020.050.30.050.1 SnRem.260-53038-385/15 brass. Electronic connector wire applications, 37% IACS. Used for ornamental purposes, including jewellery, because of colour and ability to be brazed. In cold worked condition, used for springs. Rectangular wire used for zips. Wire brushes.
CW503LCuZn20CZ10379.0-81.00.020.050.30.050.1 SnRem.260-54045-280/20 brass. Electronic connector wire applications, 33% IACS. Used for springs, locks and wire brushes.
CW505LCuZn30CZ10669.0-71.00.020.050.30.050.1 SnRem.280-55040-370/30 ductile brass suitable for severe cold forming such as heading, to produce rivets, pins and screws, 28% IACS. Electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology. Rectangular wire for zips. Brushes, picture frame wire and ferrules.
CW507LCuZn36CZ10763.5-65.50.020.050.30.050.1 SnRem.290-70045-22/1 brass. Electronic connector wire applications, 27% IACS. Used for cold headed fasteners, springs and screws with rolled threads, picture frame wire, brushes, knitted wire washers and connector pins.
CW508LCuZn37CZ10862.0-64.00.050.10.30.10.1 SnRem.290-70045-2Common brass. May be a more cost effective choice than CW505L for severe cold forming such as heading, 26% IACS. Used for electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology.
CW509LCuZn40CZ10959.0-61.50.050.20.30.20.2 SnRem.360-50020-2Lead free 60/40 brass. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
CW510LCuZn42 57.0-59.00.050.30.30.2 0.3 SnRem.360-50020-2Poor cold working. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
CW600NCu Zn35Pb162.5-64.00.050.10.30.8-1.60.1 SnRem.340-48015-2Leaded brass, machinable good cold working, 25% IACS. Used for rivets.
CW601NCuZn35Pb2CZ131
62.0-63.50.050.10.31.6-2.50.1 SnRem.340-48015-2Used for screws & machine parts.
CW603NCuZn36Pb3CZ12460.0-62.00.050.30.32.5-3.50.2 SnRem.340-48015-2Electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology 22% IACS. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
CW606NCuZn37Pb2CZ11961.0-62.00.050.20.31.6-2.50.2 SnRem.340-48015-2Leaded brass, lead content is added to impart good machining properties but should be low if the brass is to be cold headed.
CW608NCuZn38Pb260.0-61.00.050.20.31.6-2.50.2 SnRem.360-50015-2Leaded brass. Electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology, 24% IACS.
CW610NCuZn39Pb0.5CZ12359.0-60.50.050.20.30.2-0.80.2 SnRem.360-50015-2Machinable with some cold working possible.
CW612NCuZn39Pb2CZ12859.0-60.00.050.30.31.6-2.50.3 SnRem.360-50015-2Electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology, 24% IACS. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
CW614NCuZn39Pb3CZ121-Pb357.0-59.00.050.30.32.5-3.50.3 SnRem.360-50020-2Leaded brass 58% copper, 3% lead. Electronic connector wire applications including high frequency radio technology, 25% IACS. Free machining. Poor cold working properties. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
CW617NCuZn40Pb2CZ12257.0-59.00.050.30.31.6-2.50.3 SnRem.360-50020-2Free machining brass. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
CW712RCuZn36Sn1Pb61.0-63.00.10.20.2-0.61.0-1.5 SnRem.340-40025-10Leaded naval brass, 26% IACS. Used for underwater applications.
CW720RCuZn40Mn1Pb57.0-59.00.20.30.61.0-2.00.5-1.5 Mn
0.3 Sn
Rem.390-44020-8Leaded high tensile complex brass.
CW724R CuZn21Si3P 75.0-77.00.050.30.20.100.02-0.10 P
2.7-3.5 Si
0.3 Sn
Rem.500-75015-2Lead free, free machining. Approved for drinking water contact under 4MS.
Brass wire—
compositions,
properties
and uses
copperalliance.org.uk

Table Notes:
Compositions are given as either a range or a maximum.
1N/mm2 = 1MPa