Alloys easily Copper can be combined with other metals to make alloys. The most well known are brass and bronze. Although copper has excellent electrical and thermal properties, it needs to be hardened and strengthened for many industrial applications. It is therefore mixed with other metals and melted. The liquid metals form a solution which, when they solidify, are called alloys. Some copper alloys are:
brass: copper + zinc
bronze: copper + tin
cupro nickel: copper + nickel
The alloys are harder, stronger and tougher than pure copper. They can be made even harder by hammering them - a process called work hardening.
In ancient times, the first alloys could be made in the temperatures of a camp fire. This led to the Bronze Age.