The OnlineMetals Guide to Copper

Copper and its alloys were some of the first metallic elements to be discovered by ancient man. Because the purification of copper requires significant amounts of electricity, however, uses were found for its many alloys and variants. The copper metals category can be roughly segregated into three separate groups - Copper alloys, which this page will discuss, as well as Brass and Bronze. The term copper alloy is generally applied where the material in question is primarily made of copper, as opposed to brass, which is a mixture of copper and zinc, or bronze, where the alloy is copper plus (usually) tin and possibly some other element, like aluminum or manganese.

The copper alloys are generally red or pinkish in color. They are known for their malleability and ductility (ease of working), heat conductivity, and electrical conductivity. Copper does develop an oxide layer, or patina, when exposed to water. The most famous example of this is the Statue of Liberty in New York, which is primarily made from copper, but has patinaed over the years due to its exposure to the weather.

In industrial use, it is typically specified where there is a need for either ductility (plumbing or roofing applications) or electrical conductivity (such as for electromagnets, electrical motors, or wave guides). In home/residential/architectural applications, it is typically used primarily for its color (i.e. a kitchen backsplash or cutting board) or its heat transfer properties (i.e. pots and pans).

Pure copper (alloys 101 - 110) are also often known as Electrolytic Tough Pitch or ETP Copper.

OnlineMetals now stocks C101 Oxygen Free Electronic Copper.
This is a 99.99% pure copper with 0.0005% oxygen content. It achieves a minimum 101% IACS conductivity rating, but is generally valued more for its chemical purity than its electrical conductivity. This copper is finished to a final form in a carefully regulated, oxygen-free environment. Silver (Ag) is considered an impurity in the OFE chemical specification. This is also the most expensive of the three grades listed here.

C145 Tellurium Copper is used when the electrical conductivity properties of copper are desired, but machining must take place on the product. C145 is deoxidized using phosphorus, and tellurium is used to improve the machinability to 85% of free-machining brass rod.

OnlineMetals.com currently stocks five alloys of copper in various shapes and sizes.
C101 Copper (available in Plate, Round, Sheet, Square, Tube)
C110 Copper (available in Foil, Plate, Rectangle, Round, Sheet, Square, TILE)
C122 Copper (available in Tube)
C145 Copper (available in Round)
C147 Copper (available in Round)

C101 Oxygen Free Copper

C101 Oxygen Free Electronic Copper - Half Hard (H02) Temper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 43,500
Yield Strength, psi 36,300
Rockwell Hardness B40
Machinability 20% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)
C101 Oxygen Free Electronic Copper - Full Hard (H04) Temper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Tensile Strength, psi 50,000
Yield Strength, psi 45,000
Rockwell Hardness B50
Machinability 20% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)

C110 (ETP) Copper

C110 Copper O60 (soft / annealed) temper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 31,900
Yield Strength, psi 10,000
Rockwell Hardness F40
Machinability 20% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)
C110 Copper H02 (half hard) temper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Tensile Strength, psi 42,100
Yield Strength, psi 36,300
Rockwell Hardness B40
Machinability 20% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)
C110 Copper H04 (full hard) temper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Tensile Strength, psi 50,000
Yield Strength, psi 45,000
Rockwell Hardness B50
Machinability 20% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)
Chemistry Copper (Cu) 99.9%
Oxygen (O) 0.04% max

C122 Phosphorus Copper

C122 Copper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 32,000
Yield Strength, psi 10,000
Machinability 20% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)
Chemistry Copper (Cu) 99.9%
Phosphorus (P) 0.02% max

C145 Tellurium Copper

C145 Free Machining Tellurium Copper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 47,900
Yield Strength, psi 44,200
Rockwell Hardness B48
Machinability 85% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)

C147 Sulfur Copper

C147 Free Machining Sulfur Copper
Physical and Mechanical Properties Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 43,000
Yield Strength, psi 40,000
Rockwell Hardness C43
Machinability 85% of free-cutting brass rod (C360)

At OnlineMetals, we all failed shop class. Multiple times. As a matter of fact, our employment applications specifically ask to see people's grades for their high school shop classes. If they're too high, they go into the rejected pile. We're also not engineers, and cannot make any specific recommendations about the suitability of a given alloy, temper, or shape for your project or application.

All technical data is for comparison purposes only and is NOT FOR DESIGN. It has been compiled from sources we believe to be accurate but cannot guarantee. This ends the part of the website that our pointy-headed lawyers made us put in.


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