Low-alloyed copper alloys

Copper is a material with very high conductivity for heat and electricity, excellent corrosion resistance, medium strength and good formability. In some cases, individual properties of pure copper are not sufficient for the application. These needs have prompted the development of a range of copper-based materials with low concentrations of added elements.

By adding relatively small amounts of other elements, one or more properties of pure copper – e.g. strength, softening temperature and machinability – can be significantly improved, while other characteristic properties such as electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance are largely retained. Elements of this type include beryllium, chromium, iron, cobalt, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, sulphur, silver, silicon, tellurium, titanium, zinc, tin, zirconium, alone or in combinations. Some elements, such as manganese and silicon, reduce conductivity more, but improve heat resistance, weldability and corrosion resistance to certain media. The influence on properties also depends largely on the amount of elements added.

Copper alloys with low contents of the elements mentioned form the group of “low-alloyed copper materials”. In most cases, the concentration of the individual elements remains below 1 to 2 % and in total below 5 %. This group of materials does not include copper alloys such as CuZn5, CuSn2, CuSn4, CuSn5, CuAl5As or CuNi2, because according to DIN CEN/TS 13388 these are usually assigned to copper-zinc, copper-tin, copper-nickel or copper-aluminium alloys.

Brochure: Low-Alloyed Copper Alloys


The low-alloyed copper alloys are on the one hand materials with high/medium conductivity, which are preferably used in electrical engineering (e.g. copper-silver, copper-chromium-zirconium, copper-magnesium, etc.). On the other hand, these include materials without special requirements for electrical conductivity, which are preferably used in apparatus engineering (e.g. copper-silicon-manganese, etc.).

Property map for various types of low-alloyed coppers

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