Copper alloys

An introduction to copper alloys

Copper is one of the oldest metallic materials, in common use. With a density from 8.90 to 8.96 g/cm³ it is relatively heavy metal with very good thermal and electrical conductivity properties. Although its weight and low strength characteristics deny it wide application in aerospace products it nonetheless is an important element in the design of electrical systems, transformer and heat exchanger applications.

Although its use is limited there are a number of different copper alloys which have been developed for aerospace use. These can be categorised into three groups: bronze (copper with tin), brass (copper with zinc) and cupronickel (copper with zinc and nickel).

As a flexible metal, copper can be deformed easily and has a very good ductility. It also demonstrates a good resistance to corrosion.

Copper alloys standards and specifications

Alloy Temper UK USA Germany France Europe Manufacturers Specifications Company
C17200 (Copper Beryllium)
Strip
  AT (TF 00)   AMS 4530 WL2.1247 NF L-14709     Airbus
  1/2 H   AMS 4532          
Rod
  AT (TF 00)   AMS 4533   NF L-14709      
      ASTM B196       ASNA 3417 Airbus
      QQ-C-530       BMS 7-353 Boeing
  HT (TH 04)   AMS 4534       ASNA 3400 Airbus
      ASTM B196          
      QQ-C-530          
      MIL-H-7199          
  Overaged           BMS 7-353 Boeing
  A (TB 00)   AMS 4650          
      ASTM B-196          
      QQ-C-530          
  H (TD 04)   AMS 4651          
      ASTM B-196          
      QQ-C-530          
Bar
              ASNA 3384 Airbus
Tube
  AT (TF 00)   AMS 4535       ASNA 6110 Airbus
      ASTM B-643       BMS 7-353 Boeing
      MIL-H-7199       DMS 1904 Boeing
              DMS 2088 Boeing
                 
C72900 (Cu-15Ni-8Sn)
Rod
  AT 90           BMS 7-373 Boeing
  AT 110   AMS 4596       ABS 5849 Airbus
              BMS 7-373 Boeing
              MTL 4112 Messier Dowty
  TS 160 U   AMS 4597       BMS 7-373 Boeing
Tube
  AT 110   AMS 4596       ABS 5152 Airbus
              BMS 7-373 Boeing