Special Characteristics of Brass that Make It a Valuable Metal

in Brass

Brass is a non-ferrous metal known for its various uses—from decorative to antimicrobial. It is an alloy of copper and zinc. Both metals are also popular for their individual properties. Corrosion-resistant and highly conductive, the resulting alloy is expected to offer exponential benefits. Due to brass’s unique characteristics, the production of brass sheet used in making plates for machineries and other brass-based products has become possible. Here is a look at some of the said characteristics.


Surface smoothness. Brass creates a smooth and shiny surface. This is one of the reasons why many musical instruments are made of brass. Depending on the grade of zinc in the alloy, the smoothness of the surface of a brass-based product may vary. This characteristic is important since it allows aerodynamics and flow efficiency. The friction produced when passing air rubs on a brass surface is reduced as copper and zinc meet at a desirable alloying level.


Corrosion resistance. As mentioned, because brass consists of two high corrosion-resistant metals, it is a significantly long-lasting alloy. Rust, which is considered one of the potent enemies of ferrous metals, cannot form on its surface. Oxidation that causes its formation is not strong enough to surpass the passivation effect created by both copper and zinc. This particular characteristic makes brass a good material for making plumbing systems since it also resists bacterial formation.


Response to plating. The ductility of copper and zinc does not change when alloyed. As a result, brass possesses high ductility and malleability—properties that are not found in all metals. Ductility is the ability of a metal to be drawn into wires, while malleability is the ability to be manufactured into plates and sheets. When compressed under a specific temperature, a block of brass can form a brass sheet.


Impervious. Metals can be permeable in some instances, especially when poured with incompatible chemicals. Brass is known for its imperviousness, which has interested manufacturers to use it as a primary material in producing plumbing tools and appliances. However, like any other metal, it should not be exposed to substantial abrasion. Continuous exterior exposure may sometimes cause brass to deteriorate easily and become pervious.


Temperature limits. Copper has a high thermal expansion coefficient, making it a suitable substitute to aluminum in manufacturing wires. Aluminum melts easily when subjected to high voltage, while copper does not. This makes brass a perfect metal for applications involving high temperatures. Even thin sheets distributed by brass sheet suppliers cannot easily melt under extreme heat.

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Lawrence Halter has 15 articles online

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Special Characteristics of Brass that Make It a Valuable Metal

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Special Characteristics of Brass that Make It a Valuable Metal

This article was published on 2011/11/12