In general, copper alloys exhibit good to excellent corrosion resistance and high thermal conductivity and very high electrical conductivity. Pure copper’s electrical conductivity is so high that many metals are measured against it in the form of the IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard). Applications include architectural uses, coinage, condenser/heat exchangers, plumbing, radiator cores, musical instruments, locks, fasteners, hinges, ammunition components, and electrical connectors.
Small amounts of alloying elements are often added to it to improve certain characteristics. Alloying can increase or reduce the strength, hardness, electrical and thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance, or change the color. Common primary alloying elements include tin (resulting in bronze) or zinc (resulting in brass).