Both copper and brass offer its users unique abilities. There are times when the two metals can be used interchangeably, but usually that is not the case. Making a smart decision about using copper or brass will allow you to save money, have better performance, and increase the life span of your metals.
It is widely known that copper is a better electrical conductor, and that it is strong and easily formable. Copper is also able to fight bacteria, and that is why it is commonly used for home plumbing. This metal is able to withstand soldering and brazing, which means that it can handle welding by arc and gas methods.
Unalloyed copper has varying amounts of impurities contained within. If extra conductivity is needed, copper can be made oxygen-free.
It is important to note that brass is made up of copper and zinc (varying amounts are added to achieve specific characteristics). The more zinc that is added, the stronger and more ductile the metal will be. If the brass has a stronger concentration of copper, it will have higher heat working abilities. This will limit cold working.
Picking the proper metal for your plated wire will ensure the job gets done right and inexpensively.