Adrian Cruce

Brass vs Copper: What Are the Differences?

brass pipes, copper pipes

Are you struggling to tell the difference between Brass and Copper?

Believe it or not, this confusion is a common one. After all, both metals have much in common! For starters, they can be both reddish and malleable, meaning they can be shaped easily, often without the need for a forge.

Let us take you through the defining differences between Brass and Copper to help you get them the suitable metal.

Read on to find out what Brass vs Copper is, how they differ and when to use either.

What Is Brass?

Brass is an alloy made up of Copper and Zinc. It is a yellow-colored metal that is highly malleable and corrosion-resistant. Brass has been used for musical instruments for long, tools, artwork, and jewelry.

It is easy to cast into shapes and is vital for its weight, making it an excellent choice for many applications. In addition, Brass does not rust easily, which makes it a perfect choice for fixtures and outdoor applications. You may also check out these metallic laminates to see the differences and decide which one is right for you.

Brass also has natural antimicrobial properties, making it a popular choice for door handles and surfaces. Its bright finish makes it desirable for decorative items and architectural details in various settings.

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What Is Copper?

Copper is an excellent electrical conductor, making it one of the most used conductors in the world. As one of the few metals occurring naturally in its pure form, it is often found in nature as nuggets or grains in rocks, soil, water, or ore bodies.

Copper is also used as an electroplating material, alloying agent in alloys, and in other forms used to manufacture all sorts of products, from electrical wiring and plumbing components to coins, jewelry, cookware, and architectural materials.

Differences in Durability

Brass is more durable than Copper when comparing the two for durability. This is due to Brass’s alloying element, which gives it additional properties, including strength, toughness, and resistance to corrosion.

Copper is soft and malleable and is highly resistant to corrosion, which makes it a very durable metal when exposed to air and moisture. However, it will rust and may require periodic maintenance and cleaning.

Brass has superior corrosion resistance and can last for decades even with little maintenance, making it the metal of choice for outdoor use and long-term durability.

Differences in Magnetism

The difference in their magnetic properties is due to the composition of the alloy. Brass is a non-magnetic alloy that contains zinc, while Copper is a magnetic alloy that contains iron particles. Brass does not contain any metallic iron and therefore has no magnetic properties.

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Copper contains iron particles and is, therefore, magnetic. If Brass contact with magnetic it won’t affect due to its lack of magnetism, whereas magnetism will impact Copper.

Copper will attract to the magnet, whereas Brass won’t. This is why Copper is often used for electric motors and transformers in auto parts and machinery and brass for decorative furniture and fixtures that won’t become magnetized.

A Guide to the Differences Between Brass vs Copper

The differences between Brass and Copper are evident, as each alloy has unique properties. Brass is an alloy of Copper and zinc and is more malleable and fragile. Copper is an alloy of Copper and other metals that is harder to work with and has a higher electrical conductivity.

To decide which metal is best for your project, this Brass vs Copper guide can help you!

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