|Brass is probably the best known of the “yellow
metals” and it is produced in wide variety of forms with many different
characteristics and attributes. It is a basic alloy of copper and zinc
and it finds many engineering applications as well as decorative ones.
Typical applications include component and equipment manufacture in a
variety of industries.
The name brass actually covers a wide range of alloys, but they are
fundamentally a combination of copper and zinc, other elements being
added to increase the strength, malleability, ductility or resistance to
Often known as “yellow metals” the brasses have a
distinctive yellow/gold colour, making them ideal for the manufacture of
decorative objects. However, there are many more applications and many
components formerly made of steel have changed to brass, saving costs of
machining and plating whilst not compromising on strength.
Significant savings in time, machining costs and
protective coatings have been made in many applications such as:
hydraulic hose couplings for aircraft, submersible pump components, hose
connections, pneumatic products, garden equipment, automotive components
and mining equipment.
The use of brass in naval applications is also well
documented and there are further applications in the plumbing and
The range of copper alloys known as brasses cover machining alloys,
bending alloys, riveting alloys, deep drawing alloys and spinning alloys
to name but a few. These descriptions again signify the wide range of
applications for which the metal is used.
The addition of aluminium, iron, manganese and silicon
to the alloy mixture gives added strength or hardness, whilst the
addition of elements such as aluminium, tin and arsenic give improved
The addition of a controlled amount of lead to brass
alloys produces what is known “free machining” brass. Free machining
brass is designed specifically for high speed, efficient component
During the late 1990s a new series of BS EN standards was brought in for
all copper based alloys. The new series of standards brought with it a
new system for describing products.
The system described products in two ways, one using
symbols the other using numbers. The symbol system follows the ISO
compositional system and a brass made up of a 63/37 ratio of copper and
zinc is shown as CuZn37.
The numbering system is a six-character alpha numeric
system with two characters (the first of which will be ‘C’ for copper)
followed by three numbers and a letter. Using this system CZ121 has
This catalogue displays the old and the new numbering