They have excellent electrical and thermal conductivities, exhibit good strength and formability, have outstanding resistance to corrosion and fatigue, and are generally nonmagnetic. They can be readily soldered and brazed, and many can be welded by various gas, arc and resistance methods. The inherent chemical stability of copper and copper alloys makes them superior for many applications.
Fresh water supply lines and plumbing fixtures, which require resistance to corrosion by various types of water and soil, use a variety of copper alloy products. Marine components, such as fresh water and seawater supply lines, heat exchangers, condensers, shafting, valve stems and other hardware, utilize copper alloys’ resistance to salt water corrosion. Heat exchangers and condensers in steam power plants and chemical process applications use copper alloys, especially where resistance to process stream chemicals is required.