Friday, March 17, 2017

Brass: The Alloy of Choice in Every Industry

Historical sources show that brass has been used by the Romans since 500 BC. In fact, archeological findings in Western Asia and around the Mediterranean have detected tools and implements made of brass. This alloy of copper was even mentioned in Biblical writings.

While copper was already a popular ore at that time, metal workers found that combining zinc with it created a bright gold color. Thus, the ancients have used the alloy to add beauty and value to their creations.

Today, brass appears in many forms, as brass tubing, sheets, rods, channels, and more. There are now also many varieties of the alloy that are developed for specific applications.

Common Brass

In the metal industry, alloys are easily distinguished via their unified numbering system (UNS) codes. Common brass is designated with C27200, or sometimes as alloy 272 only. This widely used metal contains around 37% zinc and 63% copper, and possesses excellent cold workability.

When exposed to water and air, common brass exhibits fair to excellent resistance to damage and corrosion. You can commonly find this alloy on lamp fixtures, radiator cores, water tanks, door locks and hinges, and even as accessories for plumbing.

Cartridge Brass

With UNS code C26000, cartridge brass is made of 70% copper and 30% zinc. Fabricators and craftsmen often call this alloy 70/30 brass, and many adore it because of its yellow-gold sheen. Aside from being present in architectural projects like grillwork, C26000 is also used in fasteners like rivets, screws, and pins. Mechanical housings for ammunition require this very ductile and malleable metal, and it also serves a purpose in the electrical and plumbing industries.

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