Copper Alloys

Copper and copper alloys have been used for many years to handle water and seawater.  The addition of nickel to copper improves the strength, wear resistance, erosion resistance and corrosion resistance.  Copper-nickel alloys with 10% and 30% nickel are used widely for seawater pipework and heat exchangers.  They also retain the resistance to marine fouling which is displayed by copper.  More information on both properties and applications can be found at .  A related alloy is nickel- 35% copper which has a precipitation hardenable variant.  They are used for seawater handling and in chemical plants.

  • 1265  CA-706 Copper-Nickel Alloy Hulls: The Copper Mariner's Experience and Economics
  • 12003  Guidelines for the Use of Copper Alloys in Seawater
  • 12007  Copper-Nickel Alloys - Properties and Applications
  • 12014  Copper-Nickel Fabrication

The Copper Development Association has developed a series of five video presentations covering the welding of copper-nickel alloys:

Copper-nickel alloys are also widely used for coinage because of their combination of wear and corrosion resistance, physical properties and ability to be coined.

Nickel aluminium bronze is used for ships’ propellers where a combination of mechanical strength, corrosion resistance and erosion resistance is needed.