Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of man is discovering that raw metals can be combined to form better-performing alloys. Among the most popular types of alloy that have been produced for millennia is brass. It is composed of copper and zinc, two commonly used metals that are known for their many beneficial properties. When combined to form brass, their properties are boosted, allowing the resulting alloy to be used for greater applications.
Applications of Brass
Unlike other alloys, brass is so easy to produce. It’s no wonder there’s a vast array of products used by multiple industries that are made of brass. These include jets, taps, injectors, and terminals. Even most nuts, bolts, and threaded parts are made of brass. This metal is also ideal for making musical instruments, particularly woodwinds like trombone, trumpet, and horn.
Not all brass products, however, have similar characteristics. Some are tougher or more durable than others, considering that each alloy consists of a different amounts of copper and zinc. The variation allows manufacturers to produce materials of varying qualities, especially if they are trying to customize brass for specific purposes.
Beneficial Properties of Brass
There are many reasons why designers, builders, and artisans prefer brass to other alloys. Here are some of the beneficial properties that make brass an ideal metal for various projects.
Workable. Like most alloys of copper, brass can be worked to produce a plethora of items, mainly because it’s ductile and malleable. The workability of brass, however, depends on its zinc content. Brasses that contain more than 45 percent zinc lose their workability along with their industrial importance. Fortunately, most brass products, including plumbing fixtures and fittings, have less than 45 percent zinc.
Hard. A metal’s hardness refers to its ability to resist plastic deformation when applied with pressure. Despite being malleable and ductile, finished brass becomes particularly hard. Its hardness can be increased through cold work, such as rolling, swaging, or bending.
Corrosion-Resistant. Both copper and zinc are non-ferrous (non-iron containing) metals. Iron reacting with oxygen forms rust. Since both metals and their alloys don’t have iron, they won’t produce rust. This makes brass perfect for applications that involve exposure to moisture, such as plumbing and irrigation systems.
Withstands High Temperatures. Brass alloys have a thermal expansion coefficient ranging from 9 to 12. This means it doesn’t easily expand or elongate when exposed to high temperatures. With such property, brass is the perfect material for hot water distribution systems and other structures that deal with extreme heat.
Versatile. Since brass can be worked easily, it can be made into products of varying sizes, shapes, and finishes. Plumbing systems, for instance, may have big, small, and irregular-shaped fittings, which allow for the installation of complex networks, particularly those that require unique specifications. Each product can be chrome plated, antique or nickel finish, lacquered, or polished brass depending on its purpose.
Whether you are a builder looking for the best materials for your project or a supplier in need of new, in-demand products, brass can be your best bet. Turn to reputable brass suppliers like Rotax Metals to make sure that you will get only the highest quality brass products. A long-standing company like Rotax Metals surely uses the most advanced methods when producing brass alloys, so they can definitely meet all your needs.
About Rotax Metals
Rotax Metals is one of biggest suppliers of brass, bronze, and copper in North America. We serve professionals and businesses from various industries, including craftsmen, fabricators, building contractors, and plumbers. We’ve been providing high-quality metal supplies and custom-make machines since 1948. If you want the right metals for your project, get in touch with us and we’ll find what you need from our huge inventory.
The Uses and Properties of Bronze, TheBalance.com
Use of Copper and Brass - Way to Good Health, GlobalVarnasramaMission.Blogspot.com
Hardness of Brass: Effects of Rolling and Annealing, MaterialsEducation.org
5 Benefits of Brass Plumbing Fittings, DoItYourself.com