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Brass AlloysBrass Alloys

Brass is probably the best known of the “yellow metals” and it is produced in a wide variety of forms with many different characteristics and attributes

It is a basic alloy of copper and zinc and is used in 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 corrosive attack.

Saving cost whilst maximising performance

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 heating industry.

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 tin and arsenic give improved corrosion resistance. 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 manufacture.

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