Brass vs Copper vs Bronze

It’s been about 2 and a half years I have been working with the Thatheras at the backend and communicating with the consumer at the front end. I often get asked the difference between these three metals so in this blog I am going to be answering the same.

Let’s talk about the properties and behaviors of all these metals and alloy.

What is an alloy?

A metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion (a Google description of an alloy) which means combination of different metals to change the property of an original metal is called an alloy.

Let’s start with

Copper since it’s a pure metal.

Properties of copper = Tamba =

  • Corrosion-resistant, so all people out there, it’s a common misconception that copper is corroded, but it’s rather tarnished.
  • Easy to alloy
  • Hygienic – Copper is inherently hygienic, meaning it is hostile to bacteria, viruses and fungi that settle on its surface. This property is seeing the installation of surfaces made from copper and copper alloys in hospitals and other areas where hygiene is a key concern, no wonder it’s back to market with the blast
  • #CopperWater=HygienicWater
  • Ductile – able to be deformed without losing toughness.
  • Good thermal conductivity – it means if you heat one end of a piece of copper the other end will quickly come to the same temperature. After silver, it’s the best conductor of heat, hence making is one of the best metals to cook in.
  • Copper can be joined easily By soldering or brazing. This is useful for pipework and for making sealed copper vessels.
  • Recyclable Copper can be recycled without any loss of quality. Around 40% of Europe’s demand is met from recycled copper.

For more information


How do you know that copper is original?

One of the simplest methods to test pure copper is to apply lemon juice over it. Then rinse it with water and it will glow like reddish Colour. This is a sign of pure copper.
Second test, you can find the density of the copper by weighing on electronic weight measurement machine and volume by dimension. If the found density matches with that of pure copper, you can surely tell that the copper you are having is pure.
Third test, you should have spectrometer to test the copper sample. Spectrometer will tell you amount of light with exact wavelength when reflected from sample of copper. If this matches with that of pure copper, sample is 100% copper.
Read more :

Properties of Bronze = Bell metal = Kansa =

Bell Metal has been used since the period of Samhita Kala.
According to the descriptions given in Ayurveda Prakasha, Bell Metal is used for therapeutic applications. The first alloy produced was copper melted with tin to form bronze – a discovery so important that periods in history are called The Bronze Age. Compositions vary, but most modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin.

Bronze usually is a golden, hard & brittle metal.

Bronze is the preferred metal for bells in the form of a high tin bronze alloy known colloquially as bell metal, which is about 23% tin. Bronzes of various metallurgical properties are widely used in musical instruments around the world, notably bells, singing bowls, gongs, cymbals, and other idiophones from Asia. Examples include Tibetan singing bowls, temple bells of many sizes and shapes, gongs, Javanese gamelan, and other bronze musical instruments.

So now you know how to check the originality of bronze the louder it sings, higher is the composition of tin making it great for health.

  • Highly ductile, makes it perfect to be beaten into utensils but constraint of the bronze sheet is, it can be only molded while hot, which makes it one of the most difficult hand-beaten products leading to the high artisan labor.
  • Bronze exhibits low friction against other metals.
  • Many bronze alloys display the unusual property of expanding a small amount when solidifying from a liquid into a solid. For sculpture casting, this is desirable, as it helps to fill a mold.
  • Brittle, but less so than cast iron.
  • Upon exposure to air, bronze oxidizes, but only on its outer layer. This patina consists of copper oxide, which eventually becomes copper carbonate. The oxide layer protects the interior metal from further corrosion. However, if chlorides are present (as from seawater), copper chlorides form, which can cause “bronze disease” — a condition in which corrosion works through the metal and destroys it. That’s exactly why your Kansa plates are black at the bottom.
  • Unlike steel, striking bronze against a hard surface won’t generate sparks. This makes bronze useful for the metal used around flammable or explosive materials.

Benefits of Bell Metal

  • 1) The copper in Bell metal makes the items germicidal depending upon the type and concentration of pathogens and the medium they are in, copper kills these microorganisms within a few minutes to hours of contact.
  • 2) The potential efficacy of copper alloy based components improves indoor air quality.
  • 3) It is suitable for daily use because it is wear and tear-resistant, bright, scratch and wrinkle-resistant for decades.
  • 4) It is heat resistant so you can serve hot and yummy food without a worry.
  • 5) It is equally valuable even after damage as almost 90% of all bell metal alloys are recycled.

How do you know that, that bronze is original?

It gives a sharp sound (Teekshna Shabdam), soft (Mridu), smooth to touch (Snigdha), slightly grayish (Eshat Shyamalam), clear from impurities (Shubhram/Nirmalam) and
turning red on heating (Dahe Raktam).

Properties of Brass = Pital =

  • Brass often has a bright gold appearance.
  • Brass has higher malleability than either bronze or zinc and can be molded when cold.
  • Brass has desirable acoustic properties appropriate for use in musical instruments, but is less than bronze.
  • The metal exhibits low friction.
  • Brass is a soft metal that may be used in cases when a low chance of sparking is necessary.
  • The alloy has a relatively low melting point.
  • It’s a good conductor of heat.
  • Brass resists corrosion, but when it comes in contact with water it tarnishes.
  • Brass is easy to cast.
  • Brass is not ferromagnetic. Among other things, this makes it easier to separate from other metals for recycling.

How do you know that Brass is original?

Lightly strike it with the convex side of a tablespoon’s heel. If it “thunks” more than it rings, it is copper; if it rings, it’s brass.
Brass is not magnetic, although it will slightly repel a very strong magnet. If a magnet sticks to themetal, it’s probably iron with a thin plating of brass or copper.