• Ferrous alloys are consumed in exceedingly large
quantities be cause they have such a wide range of
mechanical properties, can be fabricated with relative ease
and are economical to produce.
• However, they possess some distinct limitations, chiefly
(1) a relatively high density; therefore heavier in weight,
(2) a comparatively low electrical conductivity, and
(3) an inherent susceptibility (defenselessness) to corrosion
in some common environments.
• The more common non-ferrous materials are the following
metallic elements and their alloys:
1. Copper 2.Aluminium 3.Magnesium
4. Lead 5.Nickel 6.Tin
7. Zinc 8.Cobalt etc.
(i) The main grades of raw copper used for cast copper
base alloys are:
(a) High conductivity copper (electrolytic) having not less
than 99.9% Cu.
0.40%, Pb Fe less than 0.005% each.
Ag 0.002% Bi less than 0.001%.
Electrolytic copper is used for electrical purposes.
(b) Deoxidized copper having not less than 99.85% Cu,
less than 0.05% As, 0.03% Fe, 0.003% Bi.
– other elements may
– 0.05% P, 0.01% Pb, 0.10% Ni,
– 0.003% Ag 0.005% Sb
(c) Arsenical deoxidized copper having ‘As, 0.04% P and
remaining copper. It is used for welded vessels and
(d) Arsenical touch pitch copper containing 0.4% As,
0.065% oxygen, 0.02% Pb, 0.15% Ni, 0.006% Ag,
0.01% Sb and less than 0.005% Bi, less than 0.020%
Fe and remaining copper.
(e) Oxygen free copper contains 0.005% Pb, 0.001% Ni,
0.001% Ag and less than 0.0005% and 0.001% Fe and
Bi respectively. It is melted and cast in non-oxidising
Copper possesses following properties:
(a) Excellent resistance to corrosion.
(b) Non-magnetic properties.
(c) Easy to work, it is ductile and malleable.
(d) Moderate to high hardness and strength.
(e) High thermal and electrical conductivity.
(f) It can be easily polished, plated and possesses a
(g) Resistance to fatigue, abrasion and corrosion.
(h) It can be soldered, brazed or welded.
(i) Very good machinability.
(j) Ease of forming alloys with other elements like Zn,
Sn, Al, Pb, Si, Ni, etc.
Copper is used for the following:
(i) Electrical parts,
(ii) Heat exchangers,
(iii) Screw machine products,
(iv) For making various copper alloys, such as brass and
(v) Household utensils, etc.
• Copper alloys normally possess excellent corrosion
• electrical and thermal conductivities and formability.
• Some copper alloys combine high strength and corrosion
resistance, a combination desirable for marine
• Some copper alloys because of their wearing properties,
high hardness or corrosion resistance are used as surfacing
• Some copper alloys are selected for decorative
applications because of appearance.
• Elements such as aluminum, zinc, tin, beryllium, nickel,
silicon, lead etc., form alloys with copper.
Copper alloys may be classified as
(a) High copper alloys
• High copper alloys contain 96.0 to 99.3% copper.
• They possess enhanced mechanical properties due to the
addition of small amounts of alloying elements such as
chromium, zirconium, beryllium and cadmium.
• A few typical high copper alloys are:
(1) Cu, 1% Cd
(ii) Cu, 0.8% Cr
(iii) Cu, 0.12—0.30% Zr
(iv) Cu, 1.5—2.0% Be
• Such alloys are used for electrical and electronic
components, as resistance welding electrodes, wire
conductors, diaphragms and pump parts.
• — Brasses contain zinc as the principle alloying element.
• — Brasses are subdivided into three groups;
(i) Cu—Zn alloys,
(ii) Cu—Pb_Zn alloys or leaded brasses, and
(iii) Cu—Zn--Sn alloys or tin brasses.
• — Brass has high resistance to corrosion and is easily
machinable. It also acts as good bearing material.
• — Zinc in the brass increases ductility along with strength.
• — Brass possesses greater strength than copper, however,
it has a lower thermal and electrical conductivity.
• — Various types of brasses are discussed below:
• Leaded 60:40 brass is the chief material fed to automatic
lathes and similar machines, usually in the form of
• — Lead is added to Cu-Zn alloy to promote machinability.
The lead content ranges from about 0.5% to as much as
• Where machinability is the chief consideration, the lead
content is high, but alloys relatively low in lead are
preferred for hot forging operations.
• Lead has no marked effect on the tensile strength, which is
approximately the same as that of straight 60: 40 brass,
though lead tends to the weldability, ductility and impact
Leaded brass is used for:
• Keys Lock-parts
• Gears Clock parts
• Valve parts Pipe unions.
• Items for automatic water heaters.
• Naval brass contains Cu 60%, Zn 39.25% and Sn 0.75%.
The purpose of tin is to improve the resistance to
• — Naval brass is used for structural applications and for
forgings, especially in cases where contact with sea water
is likely to induce corrosion.
• — Naval brass is obtainable as hot-rolled plate particularly
for marine condenser plates, and in the form of extruded
rod for the production of machined or hot forged
• Both sand and die castings are also available.
• Other applications of naval brass are:
• Propeller shafts, Pump impellers etc.
• Admiralty brass contains 71% Cu, 28% Zn, and 1% Sn.
• It is used for decorative and architectural applications,
screw machine products, heat exchanger components,
pump impellers etc.
• Bronze is a broad term defining an alloy of copper and
elements other than nickel or zinc.
• Bronze is basically an alloy of copper and tin.
• Bronze possesses superior mechanical properties and
corrosion resistance than brass.
• Bronze is comparatively hard and it resists surface wear.
• Bronze can be shaped or rolled into wire, rod and sheets.
• Different types of bronzes are: —
• In general phosphor bronze
• (a) has high strength and toughness
• (b) is resistant to corrosion
• (c) has good load bearing capacity, and
• (d) has low coefficient of friction.
• (I) Phosphor Bronze
Different types of bronzes are: —
• The most important copper-tin alloys are those which have
been deoxidized with phosphorus during the refining
process and hence are known as phosphor bronze.
• The amount of residual phosphorus may range from a trace
to about 0.35% or even higher in some special grades.
• The excess phosphorus, which exists in solid solution,
materially increases the hardness and strength of the alloy,
but it does so at the expense of ductility.
• Standard Phosphor bronze for bearing applications
• 90% Cu, 10% Sn (mlii), and 0.5% P (mlii). In sand cast
• It has a tensile strength of 220—280 N/mm and %
elongation 3 to 8%.
• Phosphor bronze for gears contains 88% Cu, 12% Sn,
0.3% (max) Zn, 0.50% (max) Pb and 0.15% (mm) P. In
sand cast condition, it has a tensile strength of 220—310
N/mm and 5—15% elongation.
• This alloy is also utilized for general bearings, where its
rigidity is of advantage.
• Leaded phosphor bronze contains 87% Cu, 7.5% Sn, 2.0%
(max) Zn, 3.5% Pb, 0.3% (mm) P and 1.0% (max) Ni.
• In sand cast condition, it has a tensile strength of 190—250
N/mm and % elongation is 3—12. This material is
satisfactory for many bearing applications.
• Phosphor bronze is used for
– (a) bearing applications
– (b) making pump parts, linings, springs, diaphragms,
gears, clutch discs, bellows etc.