Copper Glossary

Adnic - 70 Copper, 29 nickel, 1% tin alloy for resistance to corrosion and heat.

Afénide - A French term for nickel silver

Aich's Metal - A hardened brass sheet metal developed for sheathing of ships. Average composition Copper 60-66%, zinc 36.6%, tin 1%, iron 1.75%.

Albata Metal - Nickel silver, possibly Cu60Zn30Ni10)

Alcumite - Copper 90%, aluminium 6%, iron 3%, manganese 1% corrosion resistant alloy for pickling tanks made by Durion Co, Dayton, Ohio.

Aldurba - 76% copper, 22% zinc, 2% aluminium brass made by Charles Clifford & Son., Birmingham under BNFMRA patent..

Alphenide - Nickel silver, generic term (or another source suggests - Cu60%Zn30% Ni10)

Alpakka, Alpacca - Nickel silver, 65% copper, 22% zinc, 13% nickel. Name used in Germany and Scandinavia.

Alumbro - ICI metals name for 76% copper, 22% zinc 2% aluminium brass patented by BNFMRA.

Aluminium bronze - Copper-aluminium alloys with up to 13% of aluminium, usually also with other additions such as iron, manganese, nickel and/or silicon. These alloys are strong, hard and have excellent resistance to marine corrosion. They are therefore commonly used for making propellers, bearings, gears, valves, and pipefittings for seawater use.

Ankh - Ancient Egyptian symbol for life adopted by Greek philosophers as the sign for copper. Also called ‘Key of Life’ and ‘Crux Ansata’.

Annealing - Heating a metal in order to soften it after hardening by cold work or heat treatment. After annealing, quenching is not necessary but may be of advantage in helping to remove scale.

Anode copper - Cast slabs of copper from the fire refining processes used as starters for electrolytic refining.

Antlerite - A copper sulphide ore.

Arsenical copper - Copper with phosphorus and arsenic additions that give good strength and resistance to fire cracking. It is used primarily for the manufacture of boiler fireboxes.

Azurite - A copper carbonate ore.

Batterium Alloy - Batterium Metal Co, Market Harborough term for 90/10 copper/aluminium alloy with 1% nickel.

Beryllium Bronze - see beryllium copper.

Beryllium copper - Heat treatable copper-beryllium alloy of high strength and hardness. Used for making springs and non-sparking tools.

Billet - A cylindrical shape cast in a refinery and intended for subsequent extrusion. (Copper industry definition)

Blue verditer - Basic copper carbonate

Bornite - A brownish-bronze, lustrous copper ore that tarnishes to purple when exposed to the air. Approximately 63% copper

Bremen blue - A basic copper carbonate.

Britannia metal - A type of pewter having the tin hardened with antimony and copper. Sometimes marked EPBM when plated. It is used mainly in sheet form but can be cast.

Britannia Silver - Silver containing 4.16% of copper compared with 7.5% in Sterling Silver.

Bronze Copper - Tin alloy, the term also loosely used for some other copper alloys. Oldest copper alloy, still ideal for statuary. The addition of tin to copper makes it easier to cast, strengthens and hardens the metal.

Brunswick Green - Copper oxychloride.

Burgundy mixture - Solution of copper sulphate and sodium carbonate developed in 1885 for the prevention of mildew and other diseases on grape vines.

Busbars - Copper bar or section used for carrying heavy currents. Busbars are generally rigid when compared to cables.

Cathode copper - Pure copper, the product of electrolytic refining supplied for melting for the manufacture of products.

CDA - Copper Development Association. This title is used by both the British and American organisations. Other countries have similar copper centres under other names.

Chalcocite - A sulphide mineral of copper common in the zone of secondary enrichment. Approximately 80% copper.

Chalcopyrite - A sulphide mineral of copper and iron; the most common ore mineral for copper -- approximately 35% copper

Chinese art metal - Copper-lead-zinc tin alloy containing about 15% lead, 10% zinc and 1% tin.

Chrysokalk - Leaded gilding metal 90.5% copper, 8% zinc, 1.5% lead.

Copper - A metal with a distinctive red colour used from the late stone age onwards. The Greeks and Romans both used the metal and its alloys, known as xaAer and aes. Since, according to Pliny, the Roman supply was chiefly drawn from Cyprus, it came to be termed aes cyprium, which was gradually shortened to cypriurn, and corrupted into cuprum, whence comes the English word copper, the French cuivre, and the German Kupfer. (Symbol - Cu.)

Copperas (blue) - Copper sulphate crystals.

Copper plate - Good quality flat copper used to make printing plates by selective etching or engraving. The term is also applied to the immaculate type of flowing handwriting typical of that used on copper.

Copper plating - Thin layer of copper electroplated on to other metals to improve appearance, corrosion resistance or provide a good bonding substrate for nickel and chromium plating.

Copper bottom - To sheath the bottom of ships with copper to prevent attack by the Toredo worm and prevent the attachment of biofouling including molluscs that slow the ship, first applied to British ships in 1761. Now used as a term of assurance of quality.

C. B & R. - Copper Bronzed and Relieved (C.B & R.) A bright copper finish, usually on brass products, with dark or black shading.

Copper glance - A cuprous Sulphide ore also known as chalcocite.

Copper-nickel - Covers copper alloys with less than 50% of nickel. The most common alloys for industrial use are based on 90/10 or 70/30 compositions. Previously known as cupro-nickels.

Copper plate - A polished plate of rolled copper on which a design is engraved for printing. Also describes plating of copper on to other metals.

Copper wall - Term used in sugar making to describe a double row of copper pans served by a common fire.

Corinthian bronze - Alloy produced at Corinth, much prized for ornaments, said to be of gold, silver, and copper.

Covellite - A copper sulphide ore.

Crotorite - Manganese Bronze and Brass Co Ltd., Ipswich, term for high strength copper alloys.

Cu - The symbol for Copper

Cymbal metal - Brass, 78% Copper, 22% zinc that can be rolled to give a brass of good acoustic resonance.

Davis Metal - Chapman Valve Manufacturing Co. term for a complex 70/30 copper/nickel alloy.

Dawson's Bronze - 85% copper 15% tin bearing alloy.

Delta Metal - As competition to Muntz's metal, this was developed by Alexander Dick for ship hull sheathing in 1883 with Cu55%,Zn43%, Fe1,Pb0.4%,phosphorus1%. He later developed the extrusion press that squeezed out sections directly from hot round billets.

Deoxidised copper - Copper that has had deoxidiser added to reduce oxygen. Phosphorus is commonly added but other elements such as boron or magnesium may be used.

Dragons Blood - A resin compound used by etchers to prevent undercutting of designs on copper plate.

Durana Metal - 65% copper, 30% zinc, 2.2% tin, 1.5% aluminium high tensile brass.

Electro-plate - Term applied to process for coating copper with silver. Not to be confused with Sheffield Plate.

Electrum - In antiquarian times, a pale yellow alloy of gold containing about 15-45% of silver but also used in the mid 19th century to cover a copper-26% nickel-23% zinc (high nickel-silver type) alloy. Electrum is from the Greek word for amber.

Engraving copper - Excellent quality copper sheet with good surface finish suitable for engraving. For printing plates it may contain a little silver.

Ferrule Brass, Bob Brass - From the days when brasses were tailor-made for their applications, this one was easy to cast and kept a good finish. Approx: Cu54%, Zn40%, Pb5%, Al 1%.

Fire-refined copper - Copper refined by melting and processing in an open hearth or rotary furnace.

French Gold - A gilding metal approx: Cu83%, Zn 17%, Sn 0.5%, Fe 0.3% also known as Oreide or Oroide.

French verdigris - Basic copper acetate.

High conductivity copper - Standard form of copper for electrical purposes with a purity giving a conductivity of 100% IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard) or more.

Kuprodur - A copper- 0.75% nickel - 0.5% silicon alloy developed for locomotive firebox construction.

Macht's Red Metal - A gilding metal listed as 82% copper, 18% zinc.

Macht's Yellow Metal - A casting/hot working brass, approx 58% copper, 42% zinc.

Malachite - A copper carbonate ore frequently used as a semi-precious stone for jewellery.

Malloydium - A copper- 23% nickel - 14% zinc - 1% iron alloy, white in colour and with good corrosion resistance.

Manganin - Alloy with 84%copper, 12% manganese and 4% nickel used in wire form for making heating elements.

Medal Metal - A gilding metal used for medal stampings, commonly 86% copper, 14% zinc.

Mirror alloys - A group of copper-tin alloys with high reflectivity when polished. 60-70% copper, 10-30% tin and various additions of other elements such as antimony, arsenic, nickel and zinc.

Monel - A 70/30 nickel-copper alloy, originally produced directly from a copper-nickel ore in Sudbury, Ontario. It is strong and has good resistance to corrosion.

Musiv Gold - Another old term for cold working brass with 66-70% copper and 34-30% zinc.

Neogen - Another copper based metal used for jewellery, typically Cu58%, Zn27%, Ni12%, Sn2%, Al 0.5%.

Nuremberg gold - Copper alloy for jewellery containing 7.5% aluminium and 2.5% gold.

Old Copper Culture - Earliest metalworking period in America using native copper found near Lake Superior as early as 4,000 years BC.

Oreide or Oroide - A gilding metal approx: Cu83%, Zn 17%, Sn 0.5%, Fe 0.3% also known as French Gold.

Ormulu - A variety of copper-tin-zinc alloys with colours ranging from yellow to gold.

Paktong, Packfong, Pai-t’ung. - Also Packfong and Pai-t’ung. Chinese terms for copper-nickel-zinc alloys.

Patina - A protective film that develops on copper on exposure to the atmosphere. In most non-polluted environments it is basic copper carbonate but in industrial and urban areas it is mainly basic copper sulphate.

Parisian Alloy - Also known as Parisian Metal, approx: Cu69%, Ni20%, Zn6%, Cadmium 5%

Paris Bronze - Loose term for a leaded gilding metal containing 88% copper, 10% zinc and 2% lead used to produce trinkets and artistic souvenirs.

Phosphor bronze - A copper-tin phosphorous alloy, hard and strong. With up to 7% tin the alloy can be rolled to make excellent spring strip. Around 10% tin is used for castings.

Potin - An alloy of copper, tin, lead, and zinc, used by the ancient Celts and Gauls to make coins.

Poling - Part of the old fire refining process that involves reducing the oxidised charge by submerging green wood in the liquid copper.

Porphyry Copper - A deposit of disseminated copper minerals in or around a large body of intrusive rock.

Pot Metal - Copper-lead casting alloys, typically Cu88%, Pb 12%.

Rein Kupfer - German term confirming that the item is made from genuine copper.

Sheffield Plate - Used for the manufacture of many attractive items of tableware. Silver is bonded on to one or both sides of a copper sheet before fabrication.

Sterling silver - Silver with 7.5% copper.

Supergene enrichment - A process by which mineralization is enriched by the circulation of groundwater and the weathering process; significant in porphyry-copper and iron oxide-copper-gold deposits, where zones of much higher-grade mineralization may be formed

Tissers Metal - Copper with 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin.

Tobin Bronze - 60% copper 38% zinc 2% tin brass.

Tornay’s Metal - A gilding metal with 82.5% copper and 17.5% zinc.

Tough pitch copper - Obsolete term for copper containing oxygen at about 0.03-0.07% which gave a level surface free of shrinkage cracks to the top of a casting.

Verdigris - A strikingly green corrosion product that forms on copper in some circumstances, a complex basic copper acetate with a composition similar to malachite.

Y Phophor bronze - 70% copper 29% zinc 1% phosphorus brass.

Yellow Metal - Casting and hot working brass with 60-62 % copper, 40-38% zinc.

Yorcalbro - 70% copper, 28% zinc, 2% aluminium brass made by Yorkshire Copper Works Ltd. Leeds.