This site has very good descriptions of the different copper based
alloys and their uses:
A good site to bookmark
All copper alloys can be considered bronzes with the possible
exception of the combinations with nickel which have their own
naming convention. Brass is a subset of bronze where the alloy is a
copper- zinc mixture. These alloys can carry different common names
some geographic, some by industry. Low brass is an alloy high in
copper low in zinc. Generally 95% copper and 90% copper 85%copper-
balance zinc. These are also called commercial bronze or gilding
metal or red brass, jewelers bronze etc etc. Alloys with more zinc
are called high brass or yellow brass. 70% copper 30% zinc is used
for cartridge cases (and other things ) and is called cartridge
Other alloys with silicon, manganese , aluminum, phosphorus,
beryllium, lead, antimony etc all have their own properties and
special best uses .
There is a lot of confusion and misconceptions of what these
materials are and what they are good for. The site listed above is
a very worthwhile one for on the common alloys.
Here is a little from a metals dictionary:
A good site to bookmark as well.
Copper base alloys, with 3.5 to 10% of tin, to which has been added
in the molten state phosphorous in varying amounts of less than 1%
for deoxidizing and strengthening purposes. Because of excellent
toughness, strength, fine grain, resistance to fatigue and wear,
and chemical resistance, these alloys find general use as springs
and in making fittings. It has corrosion resisting properties
comparable to copper.
PHOSPHOR BRONZE STRIP
A copper-based alloy containing up to 10% tin, which has been
deoxidized with phosphorous in varying amounts of less than 1 %
(see Phosphor Bronze). Temper is imparted by cold rolling,
resulting in greater tensile strength and hardness than in most
copper-base alloys or either of its alloying elements copper or tin.
The various tempers from “One Number Hard” to “Ten Numbers Hard” are
classified in hardness by the number of B & S Gages reduction in
dimension from the previous soft or as annealed state (See Brown &
Sharpe Gages). Phosphor Bronze is not heat treatable for purposes
of hardness development. It does not withstand elevated temperatures
very well and should not be used in service above 225=B0F. even
after stress relieving treatment at 325 to 350=B0F. It has
excellent electrical properties, corrosion resistant comparable to
copper; great toughness and resistance to fatigue. Rated good for
soft soldering, silver alloy brazing, oxyacetylene, carbon arc and
I am not sure that you don’t want to just use one of the “brasses”.
These are reddish in color above 90% copper - yellowish or gold