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Copper Alloys

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Offering the best in electrical & thermal conductivity

Whether you are looking for copper alloys for specific engineering applications or require an aesthetically attractive material in your building construction projects, Thames offers a wide selection of alloys to choose from.

Our Copper Alloy Range

  Offering excellent electrical and thermal conductivity
Copper has a superior electrical conductivity to all metals other than silver and it has a very high thermal conductivity too.

It can be worked very easily making it the material of choice for many applications. Its ability to form a protective oxide film with an attractive green patina has also made it the material of choice for many constructional applications, particularly roofing. Example of copper roofs can be seen throughout Britain today. In its naturally ‘pure’ state there is always some degree of impurity. The high conductivity pure copper used for the production of bus-bars etc. is, as a rule, 99.9% minimum pure, the impurities being silver and oxygen. These impurities do have their drawbacks. The oxygen content causes an adverse reaction at high temperature, and this makes operations such as welding more difficult, and so phosphorus is often added to de-oxidise the copper, making it more suitable for applications where brazing or welding is involved.

The softness of ‘commercially pure’ copper makes it a difficult metal to machine. Of course, in it’s more highly alloyed state (particularly with the addition of zinc and lead to form free cutting brass, against which almost all other metals are indexed for their machinability) this is not a problem, but to retain the higher conductivity of copper or its aesthetic appearance, the addition of sulphur gives a greatly increased cutting ability, to as high as 80% on the machinability index.

Alloy specifications

During the late 1990s a new series of BS EN standards was brought in for all copper and copper based alloys (i.e. bronze). The new series of standards brought with it a new system for describing products. The system described products in two ways, one using symbols the other using numbers. The symbol system follows the ISO compositional system and a brass made up of a 63/37 ratio of copper and zinc is shown as CuZn37. The numbering system is six-character alpha numeric system with two characters (the first of which will be ‘C’ for copper) followed by three numbers and a letter. Using this system C101 has become CW004.with the W denoting that this is a wrought product.

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