Copper is one of the oldest-used elements in the world, as it has been used by mankind for more than 10,000 years now. In modern times, copper is found in nearly every industry from construction, to electronics, to medicine. Copper is mostly sold as ‘alloys’, or amalgams of copper and other elements, which possess their own unique properties and applications.
Brass is a combination of copper and zinc, and is one of the most common types of copper alloys currently in use. Brass is reasonably strong and quite versatile, prompting manufacturers to create other types of brass over the years like ‘gliding metal’ (which contains less than five percent of zinc) and ‘Muntz metal’ (which has 40 percent zinc content).
While it has a wide range of applications, brass is not as durable as bronze, which is an alloy of copper and tin, although some manufacturers also include aluminum, silicon, and manganese to this basic formula. As a metal, bronze is mainly used in home construction and ship building, especially for making pipes and fittings.
Beryllium copper, meanwhile, is the most durable and most expensive copper alloy of them all. Its tensile strength, hardness, and heat resistance make it a great material for mining, petrochemicals, and gas drilling.