What is the difference between bronze, brass and copper?


Quick Answer

Copper is a pure elemental metal with the atomic number 29, while both bronze and brass are alloys of copper and other metals. Bronze is always an alloy of copper and tin. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes with other metals added to give the brass specific qualities.

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What is the difference between bronze, brass and copper?
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Full Answer

Copper is one of the oldest metals known to civilization, and it is the only elemental metal other than gold to have a "gold-like" color. It is used by mankind for thousands of different purposes. Today, much of the copper in use is contained in alloys such as brass and bronze.

Bronze has a brownish metallic color, and it is made by combining copper with up to 11-percent tin. Bronze alloys are always water resistant, and they are used to make statues, medals and coins.

Brass is defined as any metal alloy that consists primarily of copper in combination with zinc. There are many different kinds of brass. Admiralty brass consists of 30 percent zinc and one percent tin, while Aich's alloy consists of exactly 60.66 percent copper, 36.58 percent zinc, 1.02 percent tin and 1.74 percent iron. High brass is a type of brass with a very high tensile strength, and it is made with 65 percent copper and 35 percent zinc.

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