Why Is Silicon Commonly Used in Aluminum and Copper Alloys?

Aluminum and copper are some of the most widely used metals in modern alloys, thanks to their abundance and many possible uses. You typically find copper in electronics or electrical wiring for its high conductivity, while aluminum tends to be leveraged for structural items such as cans, airplane parts, and metal sheets for siding or rooftops. Alone, these elements would have limited use, but adding silicon to the recipe can increase their viability in multiple industries while still remaining affordable.

In copper alloys, silicon adds extra fluidity to the metal, allowing it to flow better into casting molds. Copper alloys with silicon are more workable and have increased heat resistance and durability. This is especially useful for artwork and sculptures created with brass because the addition of silicon helps preserve the piece and protect it against heat, corrosion, and impact.