Copper and brass share several similarities, including appearance. Because of this, non-experts may find it difficult to distinguish the two from each other. However, there are qualities to look for when identifying copper or brass.
Though copper and brass look a lot alike to the common eye, they differ in color and sheen. Copper sports a brown, slightly rustic finish while brass emits a bright sheen with a lighter finish. Brass looks more like gold. When pursuing copper and brass sales, analyze the color to determine which is which before purchasing.
In terms of components, copper is pure. It doesn’t contain other metals, unlike brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc. Depending on the amount of copper in it, brass comes in different forms and types.
One way to identify brass from copper is to use a heavy-duty magnet. Copper isn’t magnetic at all, so it won’t draw to any kind of magnet. Brass, on the other hand, is slightly magnetic. It would likely stick to a strong enough magnet.
Though both copper and brass are strong, they have different flexibilities. You can more easily bend and stretch copper to alter its shape, without the worry of it cracking or breaking during the process. Brass, meanwhile, isn’t as flexible. While it is strong, it’s less durable than copper.
Taking these differing qualities into consideration will help you differentiate copper from brass, thereby enabling you to make the best purchasing decision for your project.