Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The following information has been developed over time as common questions we are asked regarding our products, services and general copper/brass & bronze questions, please feel free to contact us to discuss matters further or join our mail list for updates from time to time
Common material finishes
Our material is supplied in only a few surface finishes, none of these finishes effects the properties of the material other than appearance
- Bright finish – this is a reflective finish similar to a mirror
- Mill finish – this is a standard finish straight from the rolling mill, feint lines from the rolls can be seen in the material, this is still a high quality finish that is generally slightly darker in appearance as it isn’t as reflective as bright finish
- Brushed finish – this finish is generally applied by hand or machine, generally 240 grit sand paper is used which results in the brushed/linished finish
- Aged finish – this term is extremely broad, a number of chemicals, treatments and processes are applied to base metals and each can result in a completely different effect. To best match your required finishes always feel free to contact us and provide pictures of the sample you have
Can the material be aged and what is Branze?
Yes. All copper based alloys can be aged and all have unique results when processes are applied, things to consider for your project are,
Consistency of finish, repeatability of finish, reproducibility of finish, longevity of finish, quality of finish. These properties are generally best carried out by an aging professional for professional high grade projects. For the domestic/private user it is certainly achievable to complete these processes yourself depend on your or your clients requires
Our Branze product is an in house product completed with no aging chemicals and results in a very consistent and aged appearance, please feel free to check the examples on our website or instagram page
I want/ don't want the green copper patina
The green patina from copper naturally can take 10-20 years to form, if you are after the green colours we recommend some online research as there are plenty of examples of people achieving good quality results in the home. Alternatively please feel free to contact us and we can forward you to industry professionals
Can you clear coat the material?
Copper based alloys certainly can be clear coated, this process is required when customers do not want additional aging of the product after installation. There are a number of products on the market ranging from epoxy to lacquer or even polymer coatings
Can we have the material folded?
Australian Metals have in house folding capabilities to cater for basic projects like shop fit outs, splash backs, covers etc If you have a larger project like cladding or roofing we have industry specialists to put you into contact with.
What is PVC microfilm?
This film is a temporary film applied by our supplier from the factory to keep costs down or also by Australian Metals. The purpose is to temporarily protect the material from light surface damage and scuffing during fabrication, manufacture and installation. After which the coating is removed.
What's the best glue/nails/mounting method?
Each project will have different requirements relating to design, features and client preferences. There is no real correct or incorrect way to use fixes and these all revolve around the specific project
Common fixes are liquid nails, clip locks, nails, screws and contact adhesives to name a few.
Can we work with the material ourselves?
All copper based alloys are quite easy to work with, for mechanical workability we place them between alluminium and steel for a simple reference. Welding copper based alloys is quite specialty work and best left to professionals.
What are your lead times?
Most of Australian Metals clients have extremely limited time constraints, we understand this and aim to supply product to customers as soon as possible and remain as flexible as possible.
Are your transport costs competitive?
Australian Metals are constantly looking for ways to reduce transport costs while also maintaining a good quality service. We are sending our product all over Australia including but not limited to Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide and Perth. Also consider that even though we can be located in a different state we are still very competitive and quite often save our customers money or provide uniquely sized product.
What does soft, 1/2 hard and hard mean?
Copper based alloys are specified in different types of hardnesses, the three most common are soft, 1/2 hard and hard. The standard hardness to reference is 1/2 Hard, in most cases this will be the only type of hardness available but always feel free to ask us and discuss your concerns.
What is the widest material comes in?
Maximum widths for each material is as follows,
- Copper – 1200mm
- Brass – 1200mm
- Bronze – 900mm
The above also depends on the required thickness and application, the maximum width will decrease depending on what type of thickness is required. Please feel free to discuss with us to clarify.
How can we join the material together?
The most common joint methods are welding or folded interlocks.
What is the best thickness?
This will be specific to projects, as a rule of thumb we sell most material between 0.5mm – 1.2mm and this will cover all sheeting/cladding and roofing work. For self-supporting projects we’ll generally supply 2mm-10mm. Feel free to discuss your project with us.
Material cost comparison
For small scale purchases copper and brass are generally comparable in price. Bronze has an additional cost of generally 50%. The pricing changes with quantity and the above is only a very rough guide.
How strong is copper/brass/bronze?
As a comparison these materials fall in between alluminium and steel for strength as a guide, common these materials are only used as coverings over a sub straight so the structural properties aren’t overly important.
How long will all copper based alloys last?
Copper based alloys are extremely durable, it isn’t uncommon to see a copper roof or water boiler last 30-50 years. Even take for example your copper water piping.