To the untrained eye, copper, brass, and bronze probably look like one in the same. But to someone who knows their metals, these three materials are distinct, and each one comes with its own benefits to bring to the table.
Whether you’ve got scrap metal that you need to sort out, or you’re simply interested in the difference between these commonly mistaken three, we’ve unravelled the difference between copper, brass, and bronze below:
Copper is like the red jelly snake in the bag of lollies; everyone wants it, but there never seems to be enough of it. Indeed, copper is the most valuable scrap metal material out there. But what exactly makes it so much more valuable than all the other scrap metal materials? After all, you hear stories about people literally ripping it out of the ground to go and sell to make a quick buck.
Well, for starters, it’s an incredibly versatile material. As an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity, copper is used by a variety of industries for a number of different applications. It’s also the reason why copper recycling is so imperative. Dumping your scrap copper is a waste of a precious resource.
If you’re stuck on where you can find copper, here are some of the most common places:
- Plumbing pipes
- Power lines
- Electronic devices (e.g. mobiles, TV’s, radios)
- Appliances (e.g. microwaves, washing machines, air-conditioning units)
Aside from being an excellent conductor, copper is also a bacteria-resistant material. In fact, research suggests that adding copper surfaces into hospitals may help to ensure a lower risk of infection, by killing bacteria that lands on it through neutralising the microbes.
Think of brass as Copper’s baby; copper is a base metal, whereas brass is an alloy that is composed of copper, zinc, and generally, some other metals as well. Whilst copper will always have a distinctive reddish-brown appearance, you can find brass alloys that are red, orange, or yellow in colour. With that said, you can generally differentiate the two by their colour; if you can find any hint of orange or yellow in the material, then it means that the item is brass, not copper.
Brass is commonly used for decoration since it has a gold-like appearance. But it’s also used for applications that require friction, such as locks, gears, or valves. It’s also used for musical instruments.
Bronze is yet another alloy of copper, only instead of adding zinc, manufacturers may add tin, arsenic, aluminium, phosphorous or silicon. Different elements are added to produce different properties in the material. For instance, adding aluminium produces aluminium bronze, which is excellent for use in marine applications. This is all thanks to the high strength and corrosion-resistant properties produced when the two materials are fused together. Similar to brass, bronze also has low metal on metal friction, making it ideal for a number of industrial applications.
Get Cash for Copper and Brass at Allied Metal Recyclers
Got scrap copper or brass you want taken off your hands? At Allied Metal Recyclers, we provide individuals with an easy, sustainable, and rewarding way to get rid of their unwanted scrap metal materials. Whenever you turn to us for copper or brass recycling, you can expect only the best scrap metal prices thanks to our advanced analysis technology and equipment. Furthermore, we also offer a yard clearance service for those of you who are too busy to round up all your scrap metal yourself. This is a convenient and popular option for many businesses across Perth.
Contact Allied Metal Recyclers today, and we’ll deliver a collection bin within 24 hours!