Brass: Main Types And Common Uses

Brass is an essential material in today's world with many varied applications. Look around, and you'll see a couple of items made from this material, ranging from vehicle radiators and marine hardware to plumbing fixtures and railings. Most manufacturers prefer or recommend brass because it has numerous admirable qualities, including corrosion resistance, malleability, and optimum conductivity. If your industry exploits this metal or you think products could perform better with it, you'll be glad to know that established suppliers offer various types of brass, some of which are listed below.

1.       Copper-Zinc Brass

Copper-Zinc (Cu-Zn) brasses are alloys that primarily contain, copper and zinc. Generally, typical brass's composition is 34% zinc and 66% copper. These two elements give brass significant strength and make it resistant to corrosion. They also make the alloy pliable and easy to work with. Therefore, Cu-Zn brass is a good choice if you want a material that you can stretch or draw into thin wires without breaking. And the best thing is that this alloy is more flexible than its constituent elements, i.e., copper and zinc. In addition, the elasticity and strength of these brasses increase with higher zinc percentages. However, the average Cu-Zn composition makes it an ideal material for making jewelry. You can also use it to manufacture appliance parts, decorative items like lamp fittings, and standard gears and bearings for mechanical applications.  

2.       Tin Brass

Tin brass has three primary components: zinc, copper, and tin. Several types of tin brasses are available in the market today. These include admiralty and naval brass. Admiralty brass contains 30% zinc and 1% tin. Since this type of tin brass has excellent corrosion resistance, many experts use it to make different types of industrial tubes, including the condenser, distiller, and heat exchanging tubing components. Therefore, if your industry's applications require non-corrosive pipes to transport water (fresh, salt, or brackish) or oil and gas, this material can help. On the other hand, naval brass has 40% zinc and 1% tin. Manufacturers mainly use this alloy to make marine hardware, propeller shafts, decorative fittings, and turnbuckles.

3.       Leaded Brass

As you may have already surmised, leaded brass has one distinct material: lead. This element boosts brass's machinability, corrosion resistance, and overall strength. The lead added to leaded alloys also facilitates pressure tightness by sealing shrinkage pores. Note that leaded brasses contain different lead contents, so you will likely find low, medium, and high-leaded options. These brasses are ideal for manufacturing numerous items, including specialty fasteners, general-purpose machine components, bearings, valves, screws, and architectural hardware. Leaded alloys' hardness, yield strength, and machinability make them suitable for creating bicycle spoke needles, clock parts, and lock segments.