Copper Alloy (Cu) is a metal which you can see in your daily day to day life, used especially in electric wires as it is a good conductor of electricity. Because of its colour and properties, it is also used in décor. There are different copper alloys in some place or the other. Without these metals and their alloys, our life would have been such a mess. Hence, scientists researched and developed copper to make it feasible to use in different physical and chemical conditions. During this process they came up with the numbering system to remember the percentage of different metals mixed, and what are their properties. The Copper Development Association was the first one to establish the numbering system based on the composition. Later, SAE and ASTM adopted it and added 2 additional digits to the code to identify various copper alloys.
Some copper grade series are listed below, along with its characteristics to make you understand it better.
- C100 Series: The copper alloy 100 series coppers contain a minimum of 99.3% copper. But the alloys between 96% and 99.3% also come under 100 series due to its conductivity. Since these alloys contain the maximum amount of copper they are considered as pure. They possess high electrical conductivity. The various metals used to make these alloys are beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, nickel or iron. These metals increase its strength without affecting its electrical conductivity.
- C200 Series: The copper alloy 200 series contain Copper-Zinc alloys. They have great strength and can be drawn or formed as required without affecting its strength. They possess fair electricity conducting properties.
- C300 Series: These copper alloy 300 series alloys contain Copper, Zinc (brass) and 1% to 3% Lead by its weight, which helps in ease of machining, milling, sawing and shearing.
- C400 Series: The copper alloy 400 Series contains Copper, Zinc and 1% to 2% of Tin. Adding Tin to brass reduces corrosion and provides strength to it. They are mostly used in electrical appliances including connectors and terminals.
- C500 Series: This alloy C500 Series contains leaded phosphor bronze. They are developed to get better performance when used under load conditions. They have greater resistance to alternating or cycling stress. These are very common in spring and bellow applications.
- C600 Series: 600 series of copper alloy includes aluminium and bronze. Mostly it contains 2% to 3% of aluminium by weight. This increases strength and maintains formability. These alloys are commonly used in bearings, hydraulic valve parts and wear plates.
- C700 Series: The copper alloy 700 series contains alloys of copper, nickel and lead. They possess high strength, increased corrosion resistance and greater formability.