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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Properties and Uses of Brass

Brass is a popular metal often used for decoration. Its soft, ductile, and malleable properties make it inefficient for heavy-duty applications. The metal’s color is close to that of gold, which is the reason why many mistake brass as a precious metal. However, like gold, brass is resistant to tarnishing and may maintain its luster for years.

Brass is formed by mixing copper and zinc. These two metals are known for their ability to cause passivation, the process by which a metal prevents oxidation on its surface. In effect, brass does not rust, and the presence of copper allows it to form a coating that protects its surface from potential corrosion.

Unlike bronze, which can be an alloy of copper and any known metal, brass can be formed only by copper and zinc. However, mixing different amounts of zinc produces different types of brass. This procedure also forms brasses that perform well in various applications where a typical brass may fail. To form stronger and harder brasses, the amount of zinc must be increased.

The most common applications for brass include manufacturing coins, doorknobs, and nameplates. Some strong alloys of brass are formed into tubes that can be used in making marine condensers, pump casting, and hydraulic equipment fittings. Continuous study of the properties of brass allow for the discovery of its various other applications.

Why Should You Use Brass Channel Extensions?

Brass is one of the oldest metal alloys in the world, with its usage dating back to ancient times. Various civilizations had their own versions of brass, but the zinc-copper amalgamation in use today didn’t materialize until after the medieval period. Since then, brass has been used for making musical instruments, sculptures, and various bits in general construction. Its versatility and persistency over the years should give you an idea of why a brass channel is likely to serve you well in your project.
Curious about specifics? Well, brass is the ideal metal for applications that involve plenty of touching and moisture. Unlike other metals, brass has germicidal properties that prevent microbes from sticking to its surface for too long. This is why it is generally safe for you to drink from ancient brass goblets. Brass is also very durable and can withstand extreme pressures and temperatures, making it an essential material in shipbuilding.
Perhaps the biggest reason why you need to use brass is because it is one of the most sustainable materials in the world. Most, if not all, of the brass products you see today are made from recycled brass; some of them likely derived from decades-old brass scraps. Although it is still possible to manufacture brass from raw materials, the amount of work, energy, and resources expended simply make it too uneconomical.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Manufacturing Home Remodeling Products with Copper

Metallic accents have been a recent trend in home remodeling, and copper is one of the forefront materials. The polished, bronzed metal instantly gives a rich and classic edge to the home, which makes it a must-have feature. From utility fixtures to artsy home decors, copper sheets can be a lucrative investment for home remodeling product manufacturers.

Plumbing Fixtures
Kitchens and bathrooms accented with copper fixtures have been frequently featured in magazines and recommended by interior designers globally. Copper faucets, bathtubs, pipes, and other plumbing wares give a hint of opulence and a dose of shabby chic to any room with plumbing.

Kitchen Implements
Copper has traditionally been used on pots, pans, tea kettles, jars, other kitchen tools, and even cooking ranges. Accessories like unique bottle openers, serving bowls, and serving trays can be made with the metal, too. With its famed anti-microbial properties, copper makes a good cooking material.

Furniture
Doors, cabinetry, and other furniture with copper knobs and handles are sought-after in the world of interior design. Copper-finished backsplashes, countertops, and fireplaces are also chosen over more expensive alternatives like marble and granite.

Home Decors
Virtually any home d├ęcor and art piece can be made of the material, including accent chairs, sculptures, and table centerpieces. Sconces, hanging lights, lamps, and other lighting fixtures made of copper can all bring warmth to the home’s interiors.

A Brief Look at Modern Bronze Casting

During the Renaissance, sculptors worked around bronze using the lost-wax method. Basically, it involved pouring smelted bronze into a clay-wax mold with a low melting point. It's called "lost-wax" because the mold is destroyed during the process. Historians believe the practice began in Africa as early as the tenth century.

Today’s technology has given rise to more than one method of casting bronze. The lost-wax art still lives on as investment casting, while sand and centrifugal casting methods have also seen widespread use. Here's a breakdown of the three most common casting methods, which are also used to fabricate machine parts.

Investment Casting

Not much has changed in investment casting from the lost-wax method. One of the differences is the mold used; whereas the early casters used beeswax or latex, investment casters today use a ceramic slurry. The ceramic coating allows the mold to withstand the molten metal but not without preheating the mold to 1,000o C first.

Sand Casting

This casting method yields more intricate figures but suffers from a low production rate since, like the lost-wax method, the mold will be destroyed. One of the most widely-used types of sand for this process is green sand (not to be confused with greensand). This sand contains silica, clay, water, inert sludge, and anthracite.

Centrifugal Casting

Using centrifugal and centripetal forces, this casting method results in bronze pieces that are toughest on the surface. This is thanks to the rotational forces pushing the molten metal outward.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Many Uses of Brass Tubes

Brass has proven itself to be a reliable material when it comes to building almost any product because of its malleability. It’s relatively easy to produce and has a sparkling gold-like appearance that makes it one of the mostly widely used alloys. Its cost efficiency scores an additional point, making it the material of choice for many manufacturers of free cutting objects like nuts and bolts.

The material also boasts of a great acoustic property, which is why there are musical instruments, like the trombone and the tuba, made from brass tubes. Brass has also stamped its mark in the fashion industry as zippers, jewelry, and accessories are fabricated from the material. Architecture and landscaping also have their own share of brass tubing escapades as some buildings and parks make use of brass pieces to create eye-catching and conversation pieces.

However, people will have to agree that the best use for brass tubes is when they are employed to improve tools’ functionality. Marine hardware and pump shafts that use centrifugal force to transport and eject fluids are made from brass tubes. These are also present in the home as they are vital in clocks, faucets, and many common appliances.

Brass tubes have a colossal number of functions and uses. With man’s ingenuity for solving problems and finding solutions, more and more ways of using the material will surely be developed.


Advantages of Using Brass Plumbing Tubes

Plumbing systems today use a wide array of materials for tubes, pipes, and fittings, each one having its own set of advantages and disadvantages based on the intended application. Common materials range from plastic (PVC) to metal and alloy (brass, steel, copper). Out of all the metals though, brass is considered to be one of the most efficient. Here are reasons why:

Durability

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, making it highly durable and resilient. These factors allow it to be an excellent choice for plumbing applications that need long-lasting and non-corrosive materials, like your sewage drains. Brass also doesn’t easily disintegrate nor crack easily in the face of high pressure and extreme temperature.

Malleability

In a home system where a single crack in the pipeline can be disastrous and costly, malleability is an invaluable asset. Brass is much more malleable than iron or steel, and more flexible than most metal materials, making installation, repair, and maintenance pretty easy and inexpensive.

Corrosion Resistance


Even municipal water have varying levels of corrosion per city or locality. Places with highly corrosive water properties can rest easy knowing that with brass fittings and tubing, they won’t have to replace their plumbing fixtures frequently. Brass also doesn’t rust, which explains its high longevity property.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Benefits of Having a Copper Roof

Copper has been a famous roofing material since the early times, when craftsmen and designers utilized it to build visually appealing and sturdy structures. Even famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Renzo Piano and Michael Graves saw something in copper and incorporated it in most of their buildings. So what are the characteristics of copper that make it a sought after roofing material?

Durability
Copper’s high resistance to the harsh elements make it well-liked by builders and homeowners alike.
There are several 18th century homes in Europe with copper roofs that are still intact, only showing how they could last for hundreds of years without breaking down. Copper roofs endure for long because of the protective patina inherent on copper surfaces.

Diverse design options

The color spectrum of copper is wide and assorted, ranging from bright metallic colors to lustrous brown-black and greenish verdigris patina. Other available colors include plum, mahogany and russet, among others. Copper can also be applied in making roofing system components such as flashings, vents, gutters, and downpipes, as well as ornamental details like cornices and sculptures.

Sustainability

Copper and all its alloys are completely recyclable resources, meaning they can be used over and over again without degradation after every recycling sequence. Reconditioning copper only uses only around 20% of the energy required to process new metal. Moreover, its low thermal expansion guards against deterioration, while its resilience results to a long useful life and low maintenance features.


The Flexible Applications and Functions of Bronze

Bronze is an alloy mostly comprised of copper. Throughout history, several cultures worldwide had used this highly adaptable and versatile material in sculptures, cannons, mirrors, musical instruments, and others. With technology, it has become sturdier yet still pliable for a much wider range of applications.

Unlike iron, bronze is less brittle than iron and oxidizes only on the outside layer, making it resistant to corrosion. It is generally about 10 percent heavier than steel, though may be less dense when mixed with aluminum or silicon. Since it’s softer and more malleable than steel, it’s very useful in making components like springs for industrial applications.

Furthermore, it holds well against seawater weathering and metal fatigue, making it a great ship-making material. Bronze also conducts heat and electricity better than most types of steel. The cost of copper-based bronze is generally higher but significantly less than nickel-based alloys like stainless steel.


With its versatile properties, bronze is often applied in equipment components that need high electrical conductivity, low friction, and high-pressure endurance. Bronze alloys like brass are also used to make musical instruments such as tubular bells, cymbals, and piano and guitar strings. Those with machines that need low-friction bearings, cylinders, and pumps can count on bronze materials like bars to be flame-resistant.