Brass and Its Important Properties

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Copper is alloyed with zinc to form brass, an extensively used metal known for its some unique properties. Both copper and zinc are passive metals, meaning, they create a surface that does not react actively with oxygen when moisture forms. When alloyed, the resulting material retains that property, which is extremely important in various applications, especially in those that require metal to be exposed to oxygen-containing and corrosive liquids.


Brass is a soft metal widely used in making musical instruments for its excellent acoustic properties. This is often interchanged or mistaken with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, although sometimes, both alloys display similar characteristics. Brass is a general term used to identify some copper alloys, including bronze. However, this specifically pertains to the mixed copper and zinc.


Considered substitutional alloy, brass comprise most ornaments in classic buildings and edifices. Materials made of this metal are used for decoration for its gold-like appearance. Unlike hard and tear-resistant metals, such as aluminum and stainless steel, brass is only used for low-friction applications. Most locks, gears, bearings, valves and ammunition are made of this metal. In fact, manufacturers of plumbing components prefer this material for its beneficial properties over other metals.


Either galvanized internally or manufactured purely, brass is made into sheets that are formed cases to containers of explosive gases. Its role in keeping the gas through its soft and flexible property compared with other metals is important in the manufacture of equipment and tools for nuclear applications. Many sheet brass suppliers take advantage of the unique property of this alloy to create other useful products.


Generally, brass is malleable and easy to cast. It has higher malleability than zinc and bronze, although this property can be controlled by the amount of zinc alloyed with copper. The melting point of brass is around 900 to 940 degrees Celsius, enough to make it easy to cast. Sheet brass suppliers highly recommend brass for applications involving high temperature.


Sheet brass suppliers also prefer brass for its ferromagnetic property. This allows materials made of brass to be recycled over time. By simply attracting ferrous materials through strong magnet, pure brass remains and is immediately reprocessed to form new products. The collected brass scrap is called billets, which are transported to a furnace where it is melted and extruded to desired forms.

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Lawrence Halter has 1 articles online

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Brass and Its Important Properties

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This article was published on 2011/07/21