Copper wires can be defined as a single conductor for electrical signals. These wires are different from copper cables, which have multiple copper wires that are grouped together in a common jacket. All the wires within the jacket share a common function to conduct electricity with minimal resistance. As resistance gets higher, it can cause voltage drops and energy dissipation (in the form of heat). When comparing copper to other metals, no material matches the conductivity of copper. Another bonus of copper wires is that they require less insulation that allows them to be rather stretchy.
To enhance copper’s characteristics and performance properties, other materials are added to copper, which ends up making a copper alloy. Each alloy is different, and so they should not be used interchangeably. No two alloys are the same, although many share many similarities.
To easily identify the type of alloy, all copper alloys are identified with UNS (Unified Numbering Systems). This system categorizes different families of alloys based on the elemental make-up of the alloy. For reference, C10000 – C79999 indicated wrought products. C80000-C99999 is the range for cast products.
Brasses are considered alloys that are made from varying amounts of copper and zinc. These materials add extra strength and ductility. These materials are also ideal for cold working. Brasses that contain between 32-39% zinc have strong hot working capabilities, but as a result, it reduces the ability for cold working.