Thursday, October 6, 2016

Brass Extrusion or Forging? Depends on the Purpose

Brass, an alloy of zinc and copper, undergoes three different processes to achieve a desired shape and specification: casting, forging, and extrusion. Casting produces the likes of brass knobs and figurines, so products undergoing this process aren’t hard to distinguish. The differences between forging and extrusion, however, can be blurry.

Extruded Brass Fittings

Extrusion is a machining process that uses a die, which is a piece of steel designed in the shape and size of a specific end product. Softened brass will be put through the die to get the exact design required for the project.

Extruded fittings are achieved by cooling and cutting the extruded brass from its bar form. After being cut, the brass undergoes a refining process to smooth out the rough edges.

Forged Brass Fittings

Forging, on the other hand, involves the pressing, hammering, and compressing of brass metal to achieve a desired form. Rather than being melted, the brass is softened for malleability and ultimate shaping.

The difference between extruded and forged fittings becomes confusing, however, because the forged fittings undergo extrusion as well. After the brass is extruded and straightened, the bars will then be cut into plugs.

When choosing between forged brass and extruded brass fittings, you need to consider your project’s needs. Forged fittings are stronger, so they suit plumbing, electrical, and other industrial projects that require steadfast materials. Extruded fittings, meanwhile, are for products that will deal with low pressure and vibration such as railings and hinges.

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