Copper Wire Supplier Australia

Austral Wright Metals is Australia’s leading supplier of the copper and brass products, carrying a huge range of items nationwide.

Whilst copper wire is not stocked by Austral Wright Metals, we have excellent overseas supplier to consider your enquiry.

The superior qualities of copper in particular makes it the ideal product in a vast range of commercial, industrial and domestic applications electric wire applications. So lets delve into what copper wire is.

What are the benefits of using copper wire?

Copper wire, with its exceptional conductivity and malleability, has long been the gold standard in electrical applications. Its low electrical resistance ensures efficient energy transmission, making it indispensable in a wide array of industries. From telecommunications to renewable energy systems, it plays a pivotal role in powering the world’s technological advancements.

Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, making it ideal for transmitting electrical signals with minimal loss. It can be easily drawn into thin wire without breaking, allowing for flexibility in its application.

Copper has natural corrosion resistance, making it suitable for use in outdoor and high-moisture environments without significant degradation over time.

Copper also has high thermal conductivity, allowing it to efficiently dissipate heat. This property is valuable in applications where heat dissipation is crucial, such as in electrical wiring and electronic devices.

Copper is a durable material that can withstand mechanical stress and environmental factors, leading to long-term reliability in various applications.

Copper is highly recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Recycled copper retains its quality and properties, reducing the need for virgin copper production and minimizing environmental impact.

Copper is non-toxic and poses no health risks to humans or the environment. appliances.

Types of copper wire

Bare wire

This type of wire is made solely of copper without any insulation or coating. It is primarily used in electrical conductor grounding systems and as a conductor in overhead power transmission lines.

Insulated wire

Insulated copper wire is coated with an insulating material such as PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or Teflon to protect the copper conductor from damage and to prevent electrical leakage. It is widely used in electrical systems for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

Stranded Wire

Stranded copper wire consists of multiple small strands of copper wire twisted or braided together. This design enhances flexibility and durability, making it suitable for applications where the wire may be subject to bending or vibration, such as in appliances, automotive wiring, and electronic devices.

stranded wire

Solid wire

Solid copper wire is composed of a single, solid strand of copper. It is commonly used in permanent electrical installations where flexibility is not a requirement, such as in outlets, switches, connectors and junction boxes.

Tinned wire

Tinned copper wire is plated with a thin layer of tin, which provides additional protection against corrosion and oxidation. It is often used in marine environments, automotive applications, and soldering projects where solderability is required.

Magnet wire / enameled wire

Magnet wire is insulated with a thin layer of enamel, allowing it to be tightly wound into coils without risk of short circuits. It is commonly used in the construction of electrical motors, transformers, and inductors.

magnet wire

Twisted pair wire

Twisted pair copper wire consists of two insulated copper wires twisted together in a helical pattern. This configuration helps reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk, making it ideal for telecommunications and networking applications, such as Ethernet cables.

These are just a few examples of the many types of copper wire available, each designed to meet specific requirements for conductivity, flexibility, insulation, and environmental conditions.

Our range at Austral Wright Metals

This is a non-stocked product, however we welcome your enquiry. Click here to send us your requirements and obtain further details on what we can provide.

Why choose Austral Wright Metals

Austral Wright Metals is a well-regarded supplier of stainless steel, copper, and other high-performance metals. Choosing Austral Wright Metals can offer several advantages.

Austral Wright Metals is known for providing high-quality materials that meet industry standards and specifications. Their products undergo rigorous quality control processes to ensure consistency and reliability.

The company employs knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can provide technical support and assistance to customers. Whether it’s selecting the right material for a particular application or providing guidance on fabrication techniques, their expertise can be invaluable. 

We are committed to delivering excellent customer service. They strive to understand their customers’ needs and provide prompt and personalized assistance throughout the purchasing process, from inquiries to delivery.

Copper splashback

Using Copper Splashbacks

Copper Splashback

Copper can be a good choice for a splashback installed on your kitchen walls in certain situations. Whether in domestic surroundings or commercial business such as cafes. Copper is known for its attractive appearance, and it can add a warm and stylish touch to your kitchen or bathroom. It has a distinctive, reddish-brown colour that can develop a natural weathering over time, giving it a unique and aged look.

However, it’s important to note that copper can patina or tarnish over time, and some people may like the aged appearance while others prefer the shiny look of polished copper. If you choose to install copper, you may need to periodically clean and maintain it to preserve its appearance.

The advantages of a copper splashback

Copper splash backs offer several advantages, making them a popular choice for kitchen design. Here are some of the advantages of using copper for your splashback:

Aesthetic Appeal:

Copper has a warm and timeless aesthetic that adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen. Its unique color and sheen can complement a variety of styles, from modern to traditional. It can also be a perfect contrast to the kitchen painted wall.


Copper is a durable material that can withstand daily wear and tear in the kitchen.

Antimicrobial Properties:

Copper has natural antimicrobial properties, meaning it can inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. This can contribute to a more hygienic kitchen environment.

Patina Development:

Over time, copper develops a unique weathering texture, which is a thin layer that forms on the surface due to oxidation. Many people appreciate the evolving appearance of copper as it ages, adding character to the kitchen. With sufficient weathering the copper will turn a green colour.

Environmentally Friendly:

Copper is a recyclable material, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Choosing recycled copper for your splashback can further reduce its environmental impact.

It’s important to note that while copper splash backs have these advantages, they also require proper care to maintain their appearance. Regular cleaning and, if desired, applying protective coatings can help preserve the aesthetic qualities of copper over time.


copper in a kitchen setting

How do you maintain copper splashbacks?

Maintaining copper splash backs involves a combination of regular cleaning, protective measures, and occasional maintenance to ensure that they retain their aesthetic appeal. Here are some tips for maintaining your splashback:

  1. Regular Cleaning:
    • Whilst copper surfaces are relatively low maintenance, a care and clean regime is required.
    • Wipe the surface regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust, dirt, and any splatters.
    • Avoid abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can scratch or damage the copper finish.
    • For more thorough cleaning, mix a solution of mild dish soap and warm water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the surface, and then rinse with clean water.
  2. Polishing:
    • Copper tends to develop a natural weathering over time, which some people appreciate for its unique look. However, if you prefer to maintain the original shine, periodic polishing is necessary.
    • Use a copper cleaner. Apply the paste to the surface, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff with a soft cloth to restore the shine.
  3. Protective Coatings:
    • Consider applying a protective coating or sealant to the copper surface. This can help prevent tarnishing and make cleaning easier.
    • Be sure to choose a coating that is suitable for copper and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:
    • Steer clear of abrasive or acidic cleaning agents, as they can damage the copper finish. This includes substances like lemon juice, vinegar, and harsh chemical cleaners.
    • If a spill occurs, clean it up promptly to prevent any potential damage to the copper.

cleaning copper

Our range of copper at Austral Wright Metals

Austral Wright Metals is an Australian company that specialises in the supply of copper, brass, and other non-ferrous metals. They provide a wide range of products for various industries, including manufacturing, construction, and engineering. Common copper products offered by Austral Wright Metals include:

  Copper Sheet & Plate

  Copper Coil

  Copper Tube

 Copper Bar

  Copper Alloy

  Copper Nickel

Aluminium Tube

Aluminium Tube Supplier

About Aluminium Round Tubes

Aluminium tube are versatile cylindrical containers made from aluminium metal. They have a wide range of applications across various industries due to their lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and malleable properties.

What are the uses of aluminium tubes?

Here are some common uses of aluminum tubes:

Packaging: Aluminium round tube are often used for packaging various products, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, adhesives, and food products. They provide a barrier against air and moisture, helping to preserve the contents.

Construction: Aluminium tube are used in construction for applications like scaffolding, handrails, and structural support due to their lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties. They are also used for curtain rods and frames.

Automotive: Aluminium round tube are used in the automotive industry for parts like radiators, air conditioning systems, and exhaust systems.

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning): Aluminium tube are used in HVAC systems for the construction of air ducts and pipes. They are resistant to corrosion and provide efficient heat transfer.

Electrical: Aluminium tube are used for electrical conduits because they are non-corrosive and provide a protective casing for electrical wires.

Medical Devices: In the medical field, aluminium tubes are used for applications like the construction of orthopedic braces and dental equipment.

Transportation: Aluminium tube find use in various transportation systems, including boats and trains, for structural components, frames, and railings.

DIY and Home Improvement: Aluminium tube are commonly used by DIY enthusiasts and in home improvement projects for tasks like making furniture, installing curtain rods, and creating custom frames.

Manufacturing: Aluminium tube are used in various manufacturing processes, including the production of heat exchangers, pressure vessels, and pneumatic systems.

Food and Beverage Industry: Aluminium tube are used in the food and beverage industry for applications such as the production of aluminium cans and containers.

The specific application of aluminium tube can vary depending on the alloy used, the dimensions of the tube, and the requirements of the particular industry or project. Aluminiums lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties make it a popular choice for many different applications across various sectors.

Formed tubing

Aluminium vs Steel Tubes

Aluminium and steel are two popular materials used in various applications, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some reasons why aluminum might be considered better than steel in certain situations:

  1. Lightweight: Aluminium is significantly lighter than steel. This makes it an ideal choice when weight reduction is crucial, such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. Lighter materials can lead to improved fuel efficiency and performance.
  2. Corrosion Resistance: Aluminium has a natural oxide layer that provides good corrosion resistance, especially in environments with high moisture levels. Steel can rust and corrode more easily unless it’s coated or treated with anti-corrosion measures like galvanization.
  3. Conductivity: Aluminium is an excellent conductor of electricity, making it suitable for electrical and electronic applications. It’s often used in power transmission lines and electrical wiring.
  4. Malleability and Formability: Aluminium is highly malleable and can be easily formed into various shapes. This makes it suitable for complex and intricate designs. Steel, while formable, may require more effort and energy to shape.
  5. Non-Magnetic: Aluminium is non-magnetic, which can be advantageous in applications where magnetic interference is a concern, such as in some medical equipment and electronics.
  6. Resistant to Extreme Temperatures: Aluminium retains its strength and performance in both high and low-temperature environments. It does not become brittle at low temperatures, unlike some types of steel.
  7. Recyclability: Aluminium is highly recyclable, and recycling it requires significantly less energy compared to producing new aluminium from raw materials. This makes it an environmentally friendly choice.
  8. Appearance: Aluminium can have an attractive, shiny appearance, which can be desirable for architectural and decorative purposes. It can also be easily anodized or painted to enhance its appearance.
  9. Lower Maintenance: Due to its corrosion resistance, aluminium often requires less maintenance compared to steel, which may need regular rust prevention measures.

However, it’s important to note that aluminium also has limitations and may not be superior to steel in all situations. Steel has its own advantages, including greater tensile strength, hardness, and durability, which can make it a better choice for applications where strength is paramount, such as in structural construction and heavy machinery.

Ultimately, the choice between aluminium and steel depends on the specific requirements of the project, including factors like load-bearing capacity, cost, environmental considerations, and more. Many applications also use a combination of both materials to leverage their respective strengths and benefits.

Why choose Austral Wright Metals

AWM Sydney Service Centre

Austral Wright Metals specialises in the supply of high-quality metals and related products. If you’re considering why a customer might choose Austral Wright Metals, here are reasons:

Austral Wright Metals is a stockist and re seller that offers a diverse range of items, including stainless steel, copper, brass, bronze, aluminum, titanium, and specialty alloys. This variety allows customers to find the specific material that suits their needs.

Our emphasis on commitment to quality assurance. This includes adhering to industry standards and providing materials that meet or exceed customer expectations. Together with our ISO9001 accreditation.

Austral Wright Metals has a team of experts with in-depth knowledge and details of metals and their applications. Customers can benefit from our advice and assistance in selecting the right materials for their projects. So contact us no matter the subject and we will help you sort it out. Click on our enquiry link.

Our customised order services, customers may choose it for the ability to have materials cut, shaped, or fabricated to their exact specifications in partnership with our overseas suppliers.

Austral Wright Metals consistently delivers on time and in the quantities required.

Providing technical support, including data sheets, material specifications, and technical guidance, can help customers make informed decisions about their metal requirements.

Competitive pricing or flexible pricing structures.

Demonstrating a commitment to excellent customer service, clear communication, and responsive support.

Austral Wright Metals has a broad distribution network across Australia.

Brass Supplier

Brass Supplier Sydney

Discover Australia’s leading brass and metal supplier today! From sheets and coils to bars and tubes, Austral Wright Metals has an unbeatable range.

Sydney’s Expert Brass Supplier

Welcome to our world of excellence in brass supply! We pride ourselves on being a specialty metal merchants for all your brass, copper alloy, other specialty metals and non ferrous metals needs. As the leading brass supplier, we are dedicated to providing exceptional quality, highest grade metals, unrivaled variety, small or large enquiries and unparalleled service to our valued customers. In todays world of unique fashions and market trends, brass and copper are ideally suited.


With over 80 years of industry experience and a deep understanding of brass alloys, we have curated a comprehensive range of top-grade brass that cater to diverse requirements. Whether you’re a manufacturer, modern machinery user, a craftsman, or an individual enthusiast, we have the perfect brass solutions to fulfill your project demands and customers ensuring competitive prices.


Our commitment to quality is unwavering. We source our brass quality products from trusted and reputable mills, ensuring that each product meets stringent standards of durability, strength, and consistency. Our extensive inventory includes brass sheets, rods, tubes, fittings, special alloys rods, and custom components, available in various sizes, shapes, and finishes.


At Austral Wright Metals, we recognise that every customer is unique, and their needs vary. Therefore, we go the extra mile to provide personalized attention and expert guidance. Our knowledgeable team of professionals is always ready to assist you in selecting the right brass material for your specific application, offering valuable insights and technical support.


Customer satisfaction is at the core of our business philosophy. We strive to establish long-term partnerships based on trust, reliability, and integrity. Our streamlined logistics and efficient distribution network ensure prompt delivery of your orders, minimizing downtime and maximizing your productivity. We aim to provide complete customer flexibility and the serving small jobs.

Wide Range of High-Quality Brass Products

Austral Wright Metals takes pride in offering an extensive and diverse range of brass quality products for the manufacturing industry. We understand that different projects require different brass materials, and that’s why we have curated a comprehensive inventory that encompasses a wide spectrum of options.

Whether you’re looking for brass sheets, brass rods or brass tubes we have you covered.

Furthermore, our expertise in customization allows us to fulfill specific requirements for unique brass components tailored to your precise specifications.

With our vast selection of brass, you can find the perfect match for your project, whether it’s for manufacturing, construction, engineering, design, or artistic endeavors. We ensure that all our brass materials meet the highest quality standards, providing exceptional durability, aesthetic appeal, and performance.

Partner with us as your trusted brass supplier, and gain access to an extensive range of brass that offer versatility, reliability, and uncompromising quality. Whatever your brass needs may be, we are confident that our diverse inventory will exceed your expectations.

Brass sheets, coils & plates

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Our brass sheets come in various thicknesses and sizes, providing versatility for architectural, decorative, and industrial applications.

The applications for sheetmetal products rolled is endless.


Brass bars & tubes

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Our brass rods and tubes are available in different diameters and lengths, offering excellent strength and corrosion resistance for machining, construction, and plumbing needs.

Rod and wires rods

brass supplier sydney

Contact us for your special alloys rods needs, wires rolled and wires rods.

Service and Delivery Performance

As your preferred partner for brass and non ferrous metals supplies Sydney, Austral Wright Metals can be relied upon for prompt service. Austral Wright Metals Sydney prides itself on fast and reliable service, from order enquiry response to delivery to your door. With Austral Wright Sydney you will have confidence that your products will be ordered and supplied to the correct specifications, packed correctly, and be delivered on time.

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Get a competitive and accurate pricing now and check for immediate distribution:

Uses of aluminium

Common Industrial Uses of Aluminium

What is aluminium used for?

Aluminium is a versatile, widely used and abundant metal with a range of applications across various industries. We will not discuss the use of aluminium oxide, which is a compound of aluminium and oxygen found in minerals such as bauxite found in the earth’s crust and used in producing aluminium. Some of the most common uses of aluminium include:



Aluminium is used in the production of cars, trucks, trains, boats, and airplanes because of its strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance.

Aluminium has a low density, making it significantly lighter than steel. Using aluminium in transportation vehicles helps reduce overall weight, leading to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. It is commonly used in car bodies, aircraft, and bicycles.

Aluminium naturally forms a protective oxide layer that helps resist corrosion. This makes it suitable for outdoor applications, especially in marine environments where exposure to moisture and saltwater is common.

Aluminium is highly malleable and can be easily formed into complex shapes, allowing for innovative designs and streamlined structures in vehicles. This flexibility in shaping is particularly beneficial in the aerospace industry.

Although aluminum is not as strong as steel, it offers a favorable strength-to-weight ratio. This means that aluminium structures can provide sufficient strength while keeping weight low. It contributes to improved performance and efficiency in transportation vehicles.

Aluminium is highly recyclable, and the recycling process consumes significantly less energy compared to primary production. This makes aluminium a sustainable choice for transportation, aligning with environmental goals.

In transportation, aluminium production is used in various components such as body panels, engine blocks, wheels, suspension systems, and aerospace structures. The use of aluminium helps manufacturers meet stringent regulations for fuel economy and emissions, while also enhancing vehicle performance and durability.

Uses of aluminium in transportation


Aluminium is used extensively in the packaging industry because it is lightweight, easy to shape, and provides an effective barrier against moisture, air, and light.

Aluminium is commonly used in packaging for beverages, including cans for carbonated drinks and beer. It is also used for pharmaceutical packaging, cosmetics, food containers, and flexible packaging such as blister packs and aluminium foil wraps. The use of aluminium in packaging helps preserve product integrity, enhance shelf appeal, and contribute to sustainable packaging solutions.



Aluminium is used in construction because it is lightweight, strong, and durable. It is commonly used in window frames, roofing, siding, and gutters.

Aluminium is used in various construction applications, including window frames, curtain walls, roofing, cladding, structural elements, and interior components. It offers a combination of durability, aesthetic appeal, and sustainability, making it a popular choice for modern construction projects.

Electrical and Electronics:

Aluminium is used in electrical transmission lines, electronic devices, and heat sinks because it is a good conductor of electricity and dissipates heat quickly.

Aluminium is used in various electrical applications, including power transmission lines, electrical cables, bus bars, switchgear, transformers, motors, and generators. While copper is still commonly used for many electrical applications, aluminium offers advantages in terms of weight, cost, and corrosion resistance, making it a viable alternative in certain scenarios. Proper design considerations and installation techniques are essential when using aluminium to ensure its effective and safe use in electrical systems.


Consumer Goods:

Aluminium is used in a wide range of consumer goods, including kitchen utensils, beverage cans, and foil.

Aluminum is used in a wide range of consumer goods, including electronic devices, kitchenware, furniture, sporting goods, packaging, automotive components, and personal accessories. Its combination of lightweight, durability, aesthetic appeal, and recyclability makes aluminum a popular choice for manufacturers aiming to create high-quality and sustainable consumer products.


Uses of aluminium in consumer goods

Overall, aluminium’s unique combination of properties makes it a valuable material for a variety of applications across numerous industries.


Uses of aluminium in industry

What are the properties of aluminium?

Aluminium has several unique properties that make it useful for a variety of applications. Here are some of the key properties of aluminium:

  1. LightweightAluminium has a low density, making it lightweight and easy to handle. It is about one-third the weight of steel, which makes it ideal for applications where weight is a critical factor.
  2. Corrosion resistanceAluminium forms a natural oxide layer on its surface, which protects it from corrosion. This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor applications and in corrosive environments.
  3. DuctilityAluminium is highly ductile, which means it can be easily formed into different shapes without cracking or breaking.
  4. ConductivityAluminium is a good conductor of heat and electricity, which makes it ideal for use in electrical and electronic applications.
  5. StrengthAlthough aluminium is lightweight, it is also strong and durable. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it suitable for applications where both strength and weight are important.
  6. ReflectivityAluminium is highly reflective, making it useful in applications where reflective surfaces are required, such as in mirrors or reflectors.

Overall, the unique combination of properties of aluminium makes it a valuable material for a wide range of applications across various industries.


Properties of aluminium

Disadvantages of Aluminium

Whilst aluminium has many advantages over other material, it is important to understand some of its limitations:

  1. SoftnessAluminum is a relatively soft metal compared to some others, which can make it susceptible to dents, scratches, and general wear and tear.
  2. CorrosionAlthough aluminum has a natural oxide layer that provides some protection against corrosion, it is still susceptible to corrosion, especially in certain environments such as highly acidic or alkaline conditions.
  3. Higher costAluminum production requires significant energy inputs, making it more expensive than some other materials. This higher cost can impact the affordability of aluminum-based products.
  4. Lower strength compared to some metalsWhile aluminum has good strength-to-weight ratio, it is not as strong as some other metals such as steel. In applications where high strength is crucial, aluminum may not be the ideal choice.
  5. Limited heat resistanceAluminum has a relatively low melting point compared to other metals, which limits its use in high-temperature applications. It can start to lose its structural integrity at elevated temperatures.
  6. Electrical conductivityWhile aluminum is a good conductor of electricity, it is not as efficient as copper. In applications where high electrical conductivity is crucial, such as in some electrical wiring applications, copper may be preferred.

It’s important to note that many of these disadvantages can be mitigated or managed through proper design, surface treatments, alloying, and other techniques. Aluminum continues to be widely used in various industries due to its favorable properties and versatility.


What happens when aluminium is in contact with other metals?

When aluminium comes into contact with other metals, a process called galvanic corrosion can occur.

Galvanic corrosion happens when two dissimilar metals come into contact in the presence of an electrolyte, such as saltwater or acidic solution.

In this process, the aluminium acts as an anode, which means it will corrode faster than the other metal, which acts as a cathode. This is because the electrons will flow from the aluminium to the cathode metal, leading to the breakdown of the aluminium.

The severity of galvanic corrosion depends on several factors, including the type of metal, the amount of surface area in contact, and the type of electrolyte present.

In some cases, the corrosion can be relatively mild and have little effect on the structural integrity of the aluminium. In other cases, the corrosion can be severe and lead to the failure of the aluminium component.

To prevent galvanic corrosion, it is important to use appropriate materials and coatings to separate the dissimilar metals or to avoid exposing the aluminium to electrolytes that can cause corrosion.


Aluminium reaction with other metals

What are the most common grades of aluminium?

Aluminium is available in various grades, each with different properties and suitable for different applications. Some of the most common grades of aluminium are:

  1. 1000 series: This is a soft, low-strength aluminium alloy that is often used for chemical processing equipment, light reflectors, and heat exchangers.
  2. 2000 series: This grade contains copper and is known for its high strength, toughness, and excellent fatigue resistance. It is often used in aircraft and aerospace applications.
  3. 3000 series: This grade contains manganese and is often used for applications that require good formability, such as kitchen utensils, food and beverage packaging, and automotive parts.
  4. 5000 series: This grade contains magnesium and has excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for marine and architectural applications.
  5. 6000 series: This is the most commonly used aluminium alloy for structural applications, such as in construction and transportation. It has good formability, strength, and corrosion resistance.
  6. 7000 series: This grade contains zinc and has the highest strength of all aluminium alloys. It is commonly used in aircraft and aerospace applications, as well as high-stress structural components.

These are just a few examples of the most common grades of aluminium. The choice of the right grade depends on the specific application requirements, such as strength, corrosion resistance, formability, and cost.

Copper roofing

Copper Roofing Sheet and Coil

Types of copper roofs

There is no doubt that copper is the premium roofing material, along with zinc cladding, as the best cladding products. It’s distinctive look attracts immediate attention meet most design requirements. There are several types of copper roofs, each with their own unique characteristics and benefits. Here are a few examples:

  1. Standing seam copper roof cladding: The standing seam is is the most common type of copper cladding and is known for its durability and resistance to weathering. It consists of copper panels that are joined together with standing seams, which are raised seams that connect the panels and help to prevent water from seeping through.
  2. Copper shingle roof cladding: This type of roof is made up of individual copper shingles that are installed in an overlapping pattern. It has a distinctive appearance and can be used to create intricate designs and patterns.
  3. Copper tile roof cladding: This type of copper cladding is made up of individual copper tiles that are installed in a similar way to traditional ceramic or clay tiles. Copper tiles are lightweight and durable, making them an excellent choice for roofing.
  4. Copper flat seam roof cladding: This type of roof is made up of copper panels that are soldered together along their flat edges. It is commonly used on flat or low-pitch roofs and is known for its sleek appearance.

Each of these types of copper roofs has unique benefits and can be customized to fit the specific needs of the building or structure. Copper roofs are known for their longevity, durability, and resistance to corrosion, making them a popular choice for high-end residential and commercial properties.


What grade of copper roofing sheet is used?

The most commonly used grade for copper cladding and roofing in Australia is C12200, Phosphorus Deoxidized (DHP) copper, which is a high-quality, commercial-grade copper that is specifically designed for architectural applications. C12200 copper is a pure copper that contains at least 99.9% copper and has a small amount of other trace elements, namely phosphorus. The phosphorus dioxides(removes) the oxygen, making this grade of copper roofing suitable for welding and brazing. It is also not subject to hydrogen embrittlement. The phosphorus also raises the softening point of work hardened tempers and promotes fine grain size.

C12200 copper is known for its excellent corrosion resistance, thermal conductivity, and ductility. It is also highly malleable, which makes it easy to form into complex shapes and details.

When choosing a grade of copper cladding for roofing, it is important to consider factors such as the environment, the design and style of the roof, and the budget. It is also important to work with a qualified roofing contractor who has experience working with copper roofing to ensure that the installation is done properly and to the highest standards.


Grades of copper roofing


Copper roofing coil and sheets

Austral Wright Metals stocks a range of copper for roofing applications.

Most common sizes for copper roofing sheet are:

0.55 x 1000 coil

0.55 x 1200 coil

0.70 x 1000 coil

0.70 x 1200 coil

0.7 x 1200 coil

A full range of sizes can be found at here.


Copper roofing coil and sheets



What are the advantages of copper roofing sheet?

Copper roofs and cladding offer a number of advantages over other roofing materials. Here are some of the key advantages of a copper roof:

  1. Longevity: Copper roofs are incredibly durable and can last for centuries with proper maintenance. Unlike other roofing materials that may need to be replaced every few decades, a copper roof can last for generations if installed correctly. Examples of standing seam copper roofing can be seem all around the world.
  2. Low maintenance: Copper roofs require very little maintenance, which makes them a popular choice for homeowners and property owners. They do not need to be painted or sealed and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
  3. Sustainability: Copper is a highly sustainable material that can be recycled indefinitely without losing its properties. This means that a copper roof can be recycled at the end of its useful life and turned into new products.
  4. Resistance to corrosion: Copper is highly resistant to corrosion and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and wind. It is also resistant to fire and does not burn or emit toxic gases.
  5. Aesthetic appeal: Copper roofs have a distinctive appearance and can add a unique and elegant touch to any building or property. They can be customized to fit a wide range of architectural styles and designs, and can even develop a natural patina over time that adds to their beauty. The standing seam gives lines that enhance any building.

Overall, copper roofs are a highly durable, low-maintenance, sustainable, and visually appealing choice for any building or property.


How energy efficient are copper roofs?

Copper roofs are known to be energy efficient due to their ability to reflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption. When compared to other roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or clay tiles, copper roofs have a higher solar reflectance and lower heat absorption, which helps to keep the building cooler and reduce the amount of energy needed to cool it.

Copper roofs also have a high thermal conductivity, which means that they can transfer heat effectively. This can help to reduce heat loss during the winter months, which can result in lower heating costs and improved energy efficiency.

In addition to their energy-saving properties, copper roofs are also a sustainable roofing option. Copper is a highly durable material that can last for centuries with proper maintenance, which means that a copper roof can reduce the need for frequent roof replacements and conserve natural resources over the long term.

Overall, copper roofs are an energy-efficient and sustainable roofing option that can help to improve the energy performance of a building while also providing a beautiful and durable roofing solution.


How long do copper roofs last?

Copper roofs are known for their longevity and durability, and can last for centuries with proper maintenance. The lifespan of a copper roof depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of the installation, the design and construction of the roof, and the local climate and weather conditions. Examples of standing seam copper roofing dates back for centuries.

In general, a well-installed copper roof can be expected to last for 50 to 100 years or more. Over time, the copper will develop a natural patina that can protect it from corrosion and give it a distinctive greenish-gray color.

With proper maintenance, a copper roof can last even longer. Regular cleaning and inspection can help to prevent damage and ensure that the roof is in good condition. It is also important to address any issues such as leaks or damage promptly to prevent further damage to the roof.

In summary, a copper roof is a long-lasting and durable roofing solution that can provide reliable protection for a building for many decades or even centuries.


How do you choose the right copper roof?

Choosing the right copper roof involves considering a number of factors, including the design and style of the building, the local climate and weather conditions, and your budget. Here are some tips to help you choose the right copper roof:

  1. Determine the appropriate thickness: Copper roofs come in different thicknesses, or gauges, which can impact their durability and longevity. Thicker copper is generally more durable and longer-lasting, but it is also more expensive. The appropriate thickness for your copper roof will depend on the design and style of your roof, as well as your budget.
  2. Choose the appropriate profile: Copper roofs come in a variety of profiles, including standing seam, flat seam, and shingle. The profile you choose will depend on the style and design of your roof, as well as your personal preferences.
  3. Consider the local climate: The local climate and weather conditions can impact the performance and longevity of your copper roof. In areas with heavy rainfall, for example, it may be beneficial to choose a copper roof with a steeper slope to help facilitate water runoff.
  4. Determine the appropriate finish: Copper roofs can be finished with a variety of coatings and finishes, including natural, pre-weathered, and painted finishes. The appropriate finish will depend on your aesthetic preferences and the design of your building.
  5. Choose a qualified roofing contractor: Installing a copper roof requires specialized knowledge and expertise. It is important to choose a qualified roofing contractor with experience working with copper to ensure that the installation is done properly and to the highest standards.

In summary, choosing the right copper roof involves considering a number of factors and working with a qualified roofing contractor to ensure that the installation is done properly and to your satisfaction.

Does Stainless Steel Rust? Myths About Stainless Steel

“Stainless Steel Doesn’t Rust”

Does stainless steel rust? Strictly speaking, stainless steel doesn’t rust. Some industry publications even say it can’t. But like all materials, there are some environments that are just too corrosive and stainless steel will be attacked – after all, even gold will dissolve in aqua regia, a potent mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids. And sometimes, when stainless steel is attacked, the corrosion product looks just like the rust you get on carbon steel.

Stainless steel resists corrosion better than most other metals because of a very thin, colourless passive layer that forms spontaneously on the surface. When the passive layer is breached, it usually forms again spontaneously. In aggressive environments, such as very close to the beach, where there is a lot salt in the air, the passive layer may not be able to form, and some corrosion may take place. Although the stainless steel may look ‘rusty’, which leads people to think that stainless steel rust can occur, but actually, it will corrode so much more slowly than most other metals that it will still be serviceable long after any other common engineering metal.

The graph below shows the results of a 20-year corrosion study from a very corrosive environment near a beach in South Africa: an even more severe environment than the most aggressive in Australia, such as Newcastle Beach.

Stainless steel grade 316 gave about 9,000 times the life of carbon steel. Grade 304 would be similar, although not quite as much. And this in an environment where each millimetre of carbon steel would corrode away completely in about four years.

Of course, the passive layer that stainless steel relies on for protection has to be allowed to form. Blue and black visible oxides formed during heat treating, welding and heavy grinding interfere with the formation of the passive layer. They must be removed to get the full corrosion resistance of each grade of stainless steel.

Often, when stainless steel appears to be rusting, it has actually been contaminated with carbon steel – which rusts, of course! And the stainless steel gets the blame. The secret is to fabricate the stainless steel in a dedicated area and make sure there is no contamination with carbon steel from tools, equipment and storage fixtures. And if there is carbon steel contamination, treat the stainless with a passivating acid to remove it.

Stainless Steel Myths

“All Stainless Steel is the same”

Actually, stainless steels are a family of alloys, which can have a great range of properties, depending on what they are to be used for. Stainless steels are often used for their appearance or corrosion resistance, but they are also used for heat resistance, strength or toughness, and for their magnetic properties. The best grade of stainless steel is chosen to suit the application. The grades fit into branches of the family, called austenitic, ferritic, duplex, martensitic or precipitation hardening, depending on their crystal structure.

“Stainless Steel is not Magnetic”

Some types of stainless steel, including the most common ones, the austenitics, aren’t magnetic. But most types – the ferritics, martensitics, duplexes and most of the precipitation hardening grades – are magnetic. The corrosion resistance is not affected in any way by whether the grade of stainless steel is magnetic or not – corrosion resistance depends on how much of the key alloying elements you have, especially chromium and molybdenum.

Even the austenitics can become somewhat magnetic when they are deformed. Try putting a magnet in the corner of a stainless steel sink – some magnetism can usually be detected. The amazing ability of austenitic stainless steel to deform without breaking is used to deep draw sinks in one piece – without heating!

“Stainless Steel is Expensive”

Stainless steel do cost more than carbon steels, in dollars per tonne. With the extra alloys, they are bound to. But the extra performance of stainless steels more than pays for the difference, and stainless steel often works out as the cheapest way to do the job. Carbon steels usually need to be painted for corrosion protection, and even if their first installed cost is lowest, their advantage disappears on the day they have to be repainted. The cost of stainless in dollars per day for the life of the job will be much lower.

“18/10 Stainless Steel is better than 18/8 Stainless Steel”

Actually they are both the same. The common austenitic grades contain about 18 to 20% of chromium, and 8 to 10% of nickel. Europeans often refer to them as 18/10 stainless, while the English speaking world – Australia, USA, UK – call them 18/8 stainless steel. There are minor differences between the standard stainless steel compositions in different parts of the world, but the performance of the grades are effectively the same wherever in the world they are made.

“All Stainless Steels have the same Corrosion Resistance”

The corrosion resistance of stainless steels mostly depends on their content of the alloying elements chromium and molybdenum, plus a few other factors, depending on the specific application. The surface finish and fabrication practice can have a major effect.

Stainless Steel Myths - Corrosion


The technical advice and recommendations made in this Product Data Sheet should not be relied or acted upon without conducting your own further investigations, including corrosion exposure tests where needed. Please consult current editions of standards for design properties. Austral Wright Metals assumes no liability in connection with the information in this Product Data Sheet. Austral Wright Metals supplies a comprehensive range of stainless steels, copper alloys, nickel alloys and other high performance metals for challenging service conditions. Our engineers and metallurgists will be pleased to provide further data and applications advice.


Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels

AWM 404GP® and 445M2

AWM 404GP® is a general purpose grade stainless steel, with corrosion resistance as least as good as general purpose 304.

445M2 is a marine grade stainless steel, with corrosion resistance as least as good as marine grade 316 – usually better.

AWM 404GP® & 445M2 get you ahead of the competition. It’s easy to produce a neater, better looking job than with 304 or 316 – with better corrosion resistance. At less cost too – both to buy the steel, and in the workshop. They can save you money in ways you might not have thought of.

AWM 404GP® & 445M2 are available from stock as sheet and coil, 1219mm wide, thicknesses 0.55, 0.7, 0.9, 1.2, 1.5 & 2.0mm. 2.5 & 3.0mm are also available for 445M2 only, and 914mm wide is available in limited thicknesses for AWM 404GP® only. Use 2B finish for best corrosion resistance – the 2B finish is brighter than with the older 304 and 316 grades. No.4 finish is also available from stock. For architectural applications, 445M2 in a lower gloss 2DR finish is stocked in 0.55 x 940mm only. Bright annealed (BA) finish is not available in either grade.

Fabrication is a breeze: AWM 404GP® & 445M2 behave like carbon steel (with excellent corrosion resistance!), without the strong work hardening and springback of austenitic grades like 304 and 316. That’s because they have a ferritic microstructure – which is also why they are magnetic. But the high chromium (and molybdenum in 445M2) contents still give excellent corrosion resistance – which has nothing to do with magnetism. AWM 404GP® & 445M2 are new generation ferritic stainless steels, with much better corrosion resistance and weldability than older grades like 430.

Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless SteelsDesign with AWM 404GP® & 445M2 is the same as with all stainless steels, plus a few restrictions. They are usable only from 0°C to 400°C, and are not qualified for structural or pressure applications. Otherwise, the rules are the same – ensure free drainage, avoid ponding and dirt traps, etc. Dissimilar metals / galvanic corrosion behaviour is the same as with the common grades 304 & 316 – avoid contact in water with more active metals such as aluminium, carbon steel and galvanised steel, all of which corrode more rapidly when coupled to stainless steel. Contact of AWM 404GP® & 445M2 with other stainless steels will not cause problems, even in water. Nor will contact with brass or copper, unless absolutely no corrosion of the brass or copper can be tolerated.
Storage of all stainless grades is the same – keep it clean, dry, flat, and away from carbon steel contamination.

Cutting – sawing, machining, shearing / guillotining – are easier with AWM 404GP® & 445M2 than with 304 & 316, because of their lower work hardening. AWM 404GP® & 445M2 behave like carbon steel, and give a cleaner cut with less distortion, better tool life, and a neater looking job. Clearances are similar to carbon steel, which are less than for austenitic grades, typically about 5% of metal thickness for steel 1.5mm thick and heavier, and 3% for steel below 1.5mm thick. Blades MUST BE SHARP. Dull blades increase the roll over, burr height and distortion (clamp, twist, and bow). Lubricants are not needed when shearing stainless steel, but swabbing the tools occasionally with soap or kerosene will reduce metal pickup on the cutting edges when the shear is in constant use.

The recommendations of blade or knife manufacturers for steels for shear knives should be followed. Tool steels often used for knives are: D2 at 60 Rc hardness for long runs on light gauge material; A2 at 60 Rc for intermediate runs and intermediate gauges and S1 at 57 Rc for heavy duty shearing. AWM 404GP® & 445M2 are much easier on tooling than 304 & 316, giving much longer life before needing to be sharpened. Three to four times tool life is common. (Rc means hardness on the Rockwell C scale).

Fabricating With New Generation Ferritic Stainless SteelsBlanking, punching, and piercing can be carried out without lubrication, but lubricant reduces the power required and improves the tool life. Lubricants used include emulsifiable chlorinated waxes/oils, wax based pastes, soluble oils, and soap plus borax. Even kerosene will improve tool life & product quality. Clearance between the punch and the die is important. For the thinnest material a starting clearance of 0.025mm per side is suggested, 5-10% of material thickness for thicker sheet. Clearances are best determined by experience with carbon steel – not stainless steel – and by examination of the sheared edges – look for shear / burnishing on about ½ of the edge. Reduce the clearance if it is more.

Adjust clearance to get about 30 – 50% shear.
Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless SteelsFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels

Tooling should be clean and free of any surface imperfections which otherwise tend to pick up material, scoring the punch and dies, and possibly causing jamming and breaking of the punches. Like all stainless steels, AWM 404GP® & 445M2 tend to pick up on tools more than carbon steels do (because of the chromium – but without the chromium you don’t get the corrosion resistance). It helps to superfinish tools and use heavier lubricants – synthetic lubricants are often used.

Stainless steels are often lubricated in blanking or piercing with solutions and emulsions containing sulphur and/or chlorine (EP types). For best corrosion resistance, especially if the parts are to be welded, they should be degreased.

Minimum Bend Radii for Press Brake Forming

Stainless and low-carbon steels: ½ to 1½ times metal thickness

Bending is the same as 304 & 316, except that springback is less, so less overbending is needed. The setup used for carbon steel should work first time. Folding is similar – AWM 404GP® & 445M2 behave like a carbon steel. The mechanical properties are nearly the same as G300 Colorbond®, used for items such as rainwater goods etc.Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Bending

Typical Strength & Ductility

GradeYield StrengthTensile StrengthElongationHardness
AWM 404GP®30548530175
Zincalume® G30035040025175
Zincalume® G5506006704215

445M2 is about as close to 0.55 mm Colorbond®rainwater goods as you’ll get in a stainless steel.

Roll forming is much easier with AWM 404GP® & 445M2 than with 304 & 316 – you can use the same tools, though you might need to adjust a few settings. Ease of roll forming was why 445M2 was chosen for its first big job in Australia, the Fujitsu building in Brisbane. Clad with roll formed panels of 445M2, it has been in a dirty, salty, semi-industrial area near the Brisbane River since 2002 with no problems.Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Roll FormingFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Roll FormingFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Roll Forming
Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Roll FormingFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Roll FormingFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Roll Forming
AWM 404GP® & 445M2 are usually supplied with a plastic film on the surface, to protect during fabrication. This is strongly recommended – to prevent surface damage and contamination – for best corrosion resistance. Plastic film also acts as a very efficient lubricant in roll forming, so liquid lubricants can be much lighter, or dispensed with altogether. Friction is actually lower with plastic film than with a liquid lubricant. But be careful not to leave the plastic film in the sun for more than a month or so (if the underside of the film is black – a few hours if it isn’t). The UV in sunlight breaks the glue down & makes it hard to get off the surface of the stainless steel. Wipe the surface down after stripping the plastic for assurance that there isn’t residual glue on the surface, which will tend to collect unsightly dirt, and may cause corrosion stains.
MEK is one solvent that usually works, but you can experiment with others – it’s hard to predict what the glue breaks down to, so it’s hard to predict which solvent will work.
Perforating and expanding stainless steel can be extremely hard on the tools – and it’s hard to get the product flat. 445M2 solves the problem, as the many tonnes used to make expanded metal since 2000 show. Used in screens, grids – a myriad of applications. The much better life and product quality available from AWM 404GP® & 445M2 is available to anybody doing punching, piercing and blanking.Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Perforating

Contamination of stainless steel surfaces with particles of carbon steel or galvanised steel can cause unexpected staining when the carbon steel rusts. The problem is usually swarf from tools previously used on carbon steel – or galvanised, including Zincalume. The solution is to use tools only on stainless steel, or clean them thoroughly to remove swarf particles before working on stainless steel. This is actually hard to achieve, and it’s good to back up by using plastic films over the tools after cleaning them. The best option of all is to passivate the whole job with nitric acid or phosphoric acid after fabrication – this will dissolve all the carbon steel particles.

Passivating AWM 404GP® & 445M2

25% nitric acid (HNO3) in water, 25 minutes at room temperature. The treatment does not change the appearance of the surface, and much longer times including overnight can be beneficial.

Or a passivation paste can be used – follow the suppliers directions.

Thorough washing with clean water must always follow passivation.

Note “passivation” increases corrosion resistance by removing surface contaminants. See later for advice on pickling.

Cutting & Joining

(ask for the data sheet “New ferritics – Welding” for more details)

Plasma and laser cutting AWM 404GP® & 445M2 are the same as for 304 & 316, with the added benefit of less distortion – thermal expansion is lower, and heat conduction is higher.

AWM 404GP® & 445M2 can be welded by the common methods (TIG, MIG, spot, seam), without preheat, post heat or post weld heat treatment. The ‘welding window’ of current and travel speed combinations for an acceptable weld is not as wide as it is for 304 & 316, but it’s plenty wide enough for easy welding. Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMAW or stick welding) is not recommended – both AWM 404GP® & 445M2 are used in light gauges, not easy to stick weld.

TIG can be done without adding filler metal, or 316L or 316LSi filler are recommended for 445M2. For AWM 404GP®, 308LSi, 309LSi or 316LSi can be used. Same for MIG. You can use cut strips of parent sheet for TIG, but not for very corrosive situations – the corrosion resistance of the weld metal will be reduced. And make sure the cut strips are always handled with clean gloves, or are degreased. Shielding gas is argon, with small additions of oxygen or carbon dioxide (CO2) for arc stability – if needed. CO2 should not be more than 3% to prevent carbon pickup in the weld, which reduces corrosion resistance. No hydrogen or nitrogen should be used in the shielding gas – if better penetration is needed, use argon with helium added.

Avoid adding carbon to the weld in AWM 404GP® & 445M2 to retain the corrosion resistance. Cleanliness is vital. There must be no grease or oil on surfaces welded. Wipe the weld prep down with a solvent before you weld – just as with aluminium. Handle filler metals only with clean gloves, or degrease. Cleaning the parent sheet is obviously not required if there is no possibility of grease contamination (i.e. the metal has not been handled with bare hands).

AWM 404GP® & 445M2 can be welded to other grades of stainless steel without risk of galvanic corrosion. When welding to other grades the filler metal must match or better the highest alloy to ensure the corrosion resistance of the weld metal is as least as good as the leaner grade of stainless steel. Filler metals are formulated with higher alloy content than sheet metals, so, for example, the corrosion resistance of 316L weld metal is at least as good as 316 sheet metal.

Welding Summary

“L” grade filler metals must be used – low carbon is essential.

Keep heat input low to restrict grain growth in the HAZ for best toughness. Small beads with minimum reinforcement are best. Pulsed MIG/MAG has lower heat input and allows more control.

Weld heat input needs to be higher (10-20%) for AWM 404GP® & 445M2 than for 304 & 316 as they conduct heat away from the weld pool much better. Starting conditions in developing a welding procedure for TIG welding 0.9 mm AWM 404GP® or 445M2 are 40-60 amps with a travel speed of 300 mm/min.

Shielding Gas
Without Filler Metal
With Filler Metal
Resistance (Spot & Seam)< = 2 mm
TIG< = 1.5 mm> 0.5 mmArgon
Argon + Helium
Plasma< = 1.5 mm> 0.5 mmArgon
Argon + Helium
MIG> 0.8 mmArgon + 2% CO2
Argon + 2% O2
Argon + 2% CO2 + Helium
Laser< = 5 mm

Weld clean up to restore the corrosion resistance by removing the welding oxide and low chromium layer is exactly the same as for 304 & 316 – and every bit as important. Mechanical polishing to remove visible oxide, followed by a pickling paste on the polished area, is the best combination. The pickling paste step can be left out for where corrosion conditions aren’t too severe. Brushing can be used instead of polishing, but it’s wise always to follow brushing with pickling paste – brushing doesn’t remove the (invisible) low chromium layer under the (visible) welding oxide.

All grinding and polishing media and brushes must be appropriate for stainless steel, and only used on stainless steel.

Avoid mistakes like this!Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Grinding

Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - JoiningMechanical joining (gluing, screwing, bolting, riveting) is the same for AWM 404GP® & 445M2 as for the austenitic grades. The lower thermal expansion of AWM 404GP® & 445M2 makes it easier to get glued panels flat. In corrosive situations (eg marine), screws, bolts (and washers !) and rivets should be at least as corrosion resistant as 445M2 – use 316, or Monel.

New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels AWM 404GP® & 445M2 in a nutshell

Corrosion resistant – AWM 404GP® at least as good as 304, 445M2 at least as good as 316, usually better, especially for tea staining
Fabricate like carbon steel = less tool wear than with 304 or 316, same setups as carbon steel, clean & neat fabrications. Filing cabinets – no problem!
Weldable – similar to carbon steel – less distortion, tack welding and total welding time than 304 or 316
Same thermal expansion and similar heat transfer to carbon steel = flat panels with the same design of support as Colorbond, which is lighter than with stainless grades 304 and 316 or copper.
Lower density = 3.5% more area to the kilogram than 304 and 316
Magnetic – easy to tell apart from 304 and 316

AWM 404GP® and 445M2 Examples

Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - BBQ CabinetsFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Food TrollyFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - BraketsFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Air Conditioning
Barbecue Cabinets
Hospital Food Trolley
Pergola Brackets
Air Conditioning Ducts
Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - BalustradeFabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Food Processing Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Defuser Fabricating New Generation Ferritic Stainless Steels - Mesh
Balustrade Cover Plates
Food Processing Plant Roof & Walls
Punched Diffuser Sheet
Expanded Metal Mesh
The technical advice and recommendations made in this Product Data Sheet should not be relied or acted upon without conducting your own further investigations, including corrosion exposure tests where needed. Please consult current editions of standards for design properties. Austral Wright Metals assumes no liability in connection with the information in this Product Data Sheet. Austral Wright Metals supplies a comprehensive range of stainless steels, copper alloys, nickel alloys and other high performance metals for challenging service conditions. Our engineers and metallurgists will be pleased to provide further data and applications advice.
Stainless Steel Australia

How To Clean Stainless Steel

I would like to buy a stainless steel appliance for my kitchen. But isn’t its beautiful surface difficult to clean?

No, stainless steels are easy to clean. For this reason, they are the normal choice of material in catering and food manufacturing industries. The smooth and non-porous surface makes it difficult for bacteria and other micro-organisms to adhere and survive.

Of course, no material is totally maintenance-free, and stainless steel is no exception to this rule. Stainless steel can be cleaned easily, leaving sanitised surfaces with a high standard of hygiene.

The excellent corrosion resistance of stainless steels used in the kitchen means that they resist attack or staining from foods like tomatoes, beetroot and capsicums, which can affect the surfaces of other materials.

How can I remove fingerprints from stainless steel?

In a large majority of cases, a soft cloth or sponge soaked in soapy water will produce perfect results when cleaning fingerprints from stainless steel appliances and stainless steel surfaces. e.g. from cabinet trim and other decorative surfaces?

Another easy way of removing fingerprints from stainless steel is with a slightly damp microfibre cloth.

Stainless Steel Cleaning - fingerprintsStainless Steel Cleaning

Slightly damp microfibre cloth is efficient in removing finger marks from decorative finishes mirror-polished stainless steel surfaces, chloride-free glass cleaners may perform well.

On mirror-like stainless steel surfaces, glass cleaners perform well.

Avoid abrasive products as they will leave scratches. On brushed and polished stainless steel surfaces, wipe along the polish and not across it. This will produce the best results when you clean your stainless steel appliances.

Finger marking on the surfaces of stainless steel is more of a problem on new appliances. After only a few weeks in the kitchen, fingerprints do not show up as much as when the surface was “brand new”.

How can I handle more tenacious deposits, e.g. on my kitchen sink?

For more stubborn dirt, e.g. grease or tea stains, a normal cream cleanser (e.g. Jif) will generally do the job.

Stainless Steel Cleaning - cream cleaners

Cream cleansers are particularly suitable for stainless steel kitchen sinks. Especially in areas with hard water, wipe the surfaces dry and remove the wet cloth or sponge to avoid water marks and limescale.

Is there any way I can remove limescale from stainless steel?

If cream cleanser is not enough, treat scale with a 25% vinegar solution (acetic acid) and give it some time to dissolve. Then clean, rinse and wipe dry as usual.

What can I do about burnt-on food in pots and pans?

You can reduce the cleaning effort substantially by soaking the burnt-on deposits on stainless steel pots and pans. Simply fill the pot with hot water and a drop of dishwashing liquid and leave it for 15 minutes. After this, the deposit can generally be removed with a sponge or a nylon scouring pad without particular effort.

Never use non-stainless steel wool scouring pads. Ordinary steel wool pads can leave rusty stains after cleaning, which may permanently damage the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel.

scouring padssteel wool
For pots and pans, special stainless steel scouring pads are available.Never use “ordinary” steel wool!

If stainless steel wool scouring pads are used, where the deposits are very difficult to remove, then the scratches left will not damage the corrosion resistance of the surface. The scratches left however, cannot be removed by further cleaning and so this form of “aggressive” cleaning is not suitable for delicate, decorative surfaces.

Tea stains can be difficult to remove. Is there any particular recommendation?

Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is very efficient in removing tea (tannin) stains from stainless steels. Tea pots can be immersed completely in a hot washing soda solution, on larger surfaces it can be applied with a cloth or sponge. Then rinse with clear water and dry as usual.

tea stainsTea stains can be removed with a solution of washing soda

Does the same procedure apply to coffee deposits?

Coffee deposits are oily, and they only occur if coffee urns are not cleaned regularly. In such a case, baking powder (sodium bicarbonate) is the answer. Mix a solution of boiling water and baking powder, allow the solution to work for 15 minutes, and then rinse and dry the stainless steel as usual.

Are there any cleaning practises that should be avoided when cleaning stainless steel

Disinfectants containing bleach (sodium hypochlorite) can damage stainless steel if concentrated or allowed to be in contact with surfaces for too long. Salt or other cleaners shown as containing chlorides can also cause damage. Look on the side of the packaging for the ingredients. Always dilute these “sanitising” products, if used, keeping the contact times to a minimum and ensuring that the surfaces are thoroughly rinsed with clean water afterwards.

Hard abrasive scouring powders (e.g. Bon Ami) will leave scratch marks.

Wire wool pads made of “ordinary” steel (e.g. Bly’s, Brillo pads) are totally unsuitable for stainless steel as they will impair the self-healing capability of the stainless steel surfaces. Fragments of steel wool breaking off the pad will rust on the stainless steel, staining the surface.

Silver dip cleaners may contain chlorides and strong acids and are not suitable for stainless steel.

There are special protective sprays and pastes for metals. What are they for?

Most spray cleansers for metallic surfaces (e.g. by 3M, Henkel) contain silicone oil. These products, often made specifically for stainless steel, can make cleaning a lot easier. However, although removing old finger marks, these sprays will not prevent new finger marks from being visible. The effect of the spray generally lasts between a few days in heavily exposed areas to several weeks. The silicone oil can be removed again completely with soapy water.

Polishing pastes produce a microscopic, but very resistant wax layer that make metallic surfaces particularly easy to clean. Being resistant to detergents, these layers may last several months. They can be removed with alcohol.

Both these treatments are used for decorative parts, not for food contact articles.

I have seen ‘stainless steel cleaner’ for pots and pans at the local hardware store

How does it work?

There are white powder stainless steel cleaners, which are applied with a clean damp cloth or sponge. They are very effective cleaners to remove contamination and will brighten the stainless steel surface slightly. They can be used with most stainless steel articles except knives – follow the instructions on the package.

Be sure to rinse the stainless steel surface thoroughly after use.


The technical advice and recommendations made in this Product Data Sheet should not be relied or acted upon without conducting your own further investigations, including corrosion exposure tests where needed. Please consult current editions of standards for design properties. Austral Wright Metals assumes no liability in connection with the information in this Product Data Sheet. Austral Wright Metals supplies a comprehensive range of stainless steels, copper alloys, nickel alloys and other high performance metals for challenging service conditions. Our engineers and metallurgists will be pleased to provide further data and applications advice.


patina copper

Copper Coating Clear Organic Finishes

Introduction to Copper Coatings

The distinctive colours of copper and copper alloys make them prized for architectural and consumer items and objects of art. Their natural metallic tones range from reddish to silvery. A number of other colours can be obtained by chemical or electrochemical processing.

Copper and its alloys are extremely resistant to corrosion, but a superficial discolouring tarnish eventually forms with exposure to the atmosphere or handling. The appearance of these metals can be preserved by applying thin clear protective coatings to their surfaces. These layer coatings are organic chemicals that harden at room temperature or with baking and are usually applied in a solvent.

There are hundreds of useful clear copper coating products on the market, formulated from numerous polymers, solvents, and additives. The user selects from these a coating based upon economics, intended life, desired transparency, and the expected service conditions. The effectiveness of a finish also depends on the procedures used when coating.


Coatings are available which can protect copper-base metals for many years under ideal conditions. However, handling, humidity, air pollution, sunlight, and abrasion all work to reduce the life of a coating. For example, copper coating life is usually short in exterior applications in cities with severe air pollution.

In selecting a copper coating it must be realised that maximising resistance to one type of service condition may reduce resistance to others. Also, if the life of the article is expected to be longer than any reasonably attainable coating life, a coating that can be stripped off with a solvent must be selected so that the article may be restored when the coating and appearance have degraded to an unacceptable level.

Some examples of coating performance on copper metal indicate the range of serviceability of organic finishes and their alloys:

  • Air-drying acrylic lacquers with a tarnish inhibitor (benzotriazole) have protected bronze nameplates outdoors for years. The same coating indoors on metal handrails and other objects subjected to wear could fail in less than one year.
  • A combination of a silicone primer and an acrylic top coat displayed an excellent appearance after more than six years of service in interior applications with moderate or no abrasion. The same system darkened significantly in one year of open exterior exposure but indicated good performance for more than three years in sheltered doors of office buildings and churches.
  • Silicone thermoset coatings for copper retained good protective qualities after 62 days at 93ºC.
  • Antiqued brass automotive interior trim has been protected with a thermosetting epoxy clear coating.
  • The copper roof of the Sports Palace in Mexico City is covered with an air drying acrylic lacquer formulated with an inhibitor and organic ultraviolet absorbers.
  • Bathroom fixtures of brass have been satisfactorily protected for more than five years with a baked epoxy coating.

Basic Clear Coating Systems


Nitrocellulose coatings are the least expensive and most common air-drying coatings for interior service. They are modified with alkyd or acrylic resins. Nitrocellulose coatings are used in exterior applications; however, they are usually stripped and replaced at intervals of less than one year. They do not have high resistance to chemicals, but they are fast drying and easy to use.


Available as air drying or thermosetting, these are relatively high-cost materials. The air drying modifications are popular for exterior applications, while the thermosetting types are useful for interior applications requiring high resistance to heat and abrasion. Since the thermosetting coatings are not conveniently stripped, they are unsuitable for major architectural applications.

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy coatings have excellent resistance to wear and chemicals. They are relatively expensive and are only available in thermosetting or two-part (catalyst activated) compositions with relatively short pot lives. They are good for severe indoor applications, but they degrade rapidly and darken in a few months of exterior service.

Silicone Coatings

Silicones provide the best potential for coatings which must operate at elevated temperatures. When the films of these high-cost coatings are used, protection by a second coat of a more durable abrasion resistant lacquer may be necessary. Ultraviolet absorbing compounds are added to prevent darkening of the silicone during exterior exposures.

Alkyd Coatings

Slow drying or baking is required when applying the alkyd coatings. Modifications with melamine resins, these coatings are low cost and durable enough for exterior applications. Resistance to chemicals is usually good.

Urethane Coatings

Colour degradation on exterior exposure has been a problem with urethane coatings. Resistance to chemicals and abrasion are good even for the air drying coatings.

Cellulose Acetate Butyrate

Usually used for interior applications, cellulose acetate butyrate coatings are air drying and have moderate cost and properties. They have a tendency to darken in exterior applications.


Vinyls are usually soft and flexible and require stabilization against ultraviolet degradation.


Among the common coating additives for copper are the following types:-

Ultraviolet Absorbers

Ultraviolet absorbers are organic compounds which are sometimes added to coatings for exterior applications in order to prevent darkening and degradation of the coating. In some cases they may also interact with the substrate and prevent tarnishing.

Levelling Agents

Levelling improve the flow properties of coatings and thereby provide better surface appearance. In addition, the likelihood of pinholing or other defects is reduced.

Chelating Agents

Benzotriazole and other chelating agents interact with copper and its alloys to prevent tarnishing. Chelating agents are preferentially absorbed on the surface of the metals and act as an invisible barrier to elements or compounds which might cause corrosion. In this way they protect the metal… against oxidants permeating through the coating and continue to protect even after a minor defect has been formed in the coating. Chelating agents may be included in the coating formulation or applied as part of a pre-treatment procedure.


No coating can perform to expectations if applied to a poorly prepared copper surface. The metal surface must be free of contaminants such as dirt, oil, dust, old finishes and fingerprints. Coating should be done with a minimum of delay after cleaning the metal surface and precautions should be taken to prevent recontamination. Precautions include working in a low dust environment, handling with white gloves, and apply tarnish inhibitors (chelating agents) to the surface.

Ordinary steel wool should not be used in cleaning as the pads may contain chemicals that stain copper metals. Suitable abrasives are silicon carbide (Scotch-brite) pads or wheels, stainless steel pads, and powdered pumice stone. The pumice powder is slurried in a 5% oxalic acid solution and rubbed on with a cloth. All residues must be removed and the surface wiped dry with a clean cloth. Abrasives should not be used in polishing prior to coating, parts should be degreased or otherwise cleaned to remove any residue.

Degreasing is normally done with solvents such as butyl cellosolve and trichloroethylene. To prevent streaking and staining, it may be necessary to wipe-dry large areas with lint-free wipers. Freshly plated parts must be thoroughly neutralized and rinsed in hot water prior to coatings.

The spraying area should be free of dust and dirt and at moderate temperature (between 10 and 33ºC), at low humidity (certainly less than 80% when organic vehicles are used), and well ventilated.

Usually enough coats are applied to achieve a total dry layer thickness of 13 to 40 micrometres. Greater thicknesses tend to become obvious and the metal takes on a varnished appearance. However, the coating manufacturer may recommend thinner coatings for certain application.


A system called Incralac developed as a result of research by the International Copper Research Association has given good performance since its release.

Intended primarily for use on outdoor architectural metal work, it preserves the natural colours of copper and its alloys for long periods. It can also be used on copper and its alloys indoors.

Incralac contains an acrylic ester resin dissolved in a solvent such as toluene. Benzotriazole is added as a corrosion inhibitor, and epoxidized soya bean oil as a levelling agent. Incralac-coated test panels exposed in many cities and towns in Australia have remained untarnished for several years.

The inhibitor effectively combats tarnishing beneath lacquer films. This mode of failure is due primarily to peroxides formed during the early stages of degradation of the lacquer film and residual solvent under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. Greatly increased protection is afforded by the incorporation of suitable ultraviolet absorbers, anti-oxidants and copper complexing agents.

Careful cleaning and spraying are essential. Wiping with an inhibitor-cleaner (40 grams benzotriazole in a 4.5 litres of water) is recommended as the last cleaning step before the coating is applied.

Incralac is available in 500 ml cans and 300g aerosol spray packs from stockists of Wattyl products, or contact Wattyl Australia Pty Ltd at 48 Walker St, Canada Bay, NSW 2046. Phone (02) 9621 9208, or visit

Additional Considerations

A lustrous metallic surface acts as an excellent backdrop to view coating defects and tarnished spots. Therefore the tolerance for defects is low and clear coatings must have a high degree of effectiveness in order to perform satisfactorily.

This is less of a problem on antiques or coloured metals.

Of concern on copper alloys is that darkening of the substance can occur even under a coating that is intact due to interaction of the copper with residual solvents. This is a special problem during outdoor exposures when ultraviolet radiation can stimulate the breakdown of solvents.

By proper choice of solvents and additives this problem can be minimized. Ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol cause considerable tarnishing. Benzene, toluene, xylene, butyl acetate, and ethyl acetate are much better.

Discolouration of copper and its alloys also may occur at the curing temperatures normally recommended for thermoset coatings. It is wise to use low curing temperatures and short curing schedules to avoid such in-process discolouration. Catalytic activity of copper sometimes allows lower temperatures or shorter curing schedules to be used.

This Product Data Sheet is based on information provided by the Copper Development Association. Further information is available from Austral Wright Metals.


Finishes – Natural Weathering

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The technical advice and recommendations made in this Product Data Sheet should not be relied or acted upon without conducting your own further investigations, including corrosion exposure tests where needed. Please consult current editions of standards for design properties. Austral Wright Metals assumes no liability in connection with the information in this Product Data Sheet. Austral Wright Metals supplies a comprehensive range of stainless steels, copper alloys, nickel alloys and other high performance metals for challenging service conditions. Our engineers and metallurgists will be pleased to provide further data and applications advice.