The metal alloy brass is made from zinc and copper. Brass is one of the more popular alloys for a multitude of reasons, one of the most obvious being its aesthetic allure. Brass has a “gold-like” look which is why it is most used in a decorative manner including clocks, watches, statues, tiling, and much more. This noticeable shine has made brass a popular alloy amongst contractors. It’s acoustic and low friction value makes it the perfect candidate for making instruments such as trumpets and horns, but one of the most important uses of brass has very little to do with what meets the eye. Brass is also germicidal, meaning that any microorganism that comes in contact with this alloy is killed immediately.
Along with copper and zinc, brass contains tiny amounts of lead, aluminum, nickel, tin, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and manganese. It becomes highly ductile when zinc content levels rise to 35 percent and increasingly stronger the more zinc levels increase. While high levels of zinc improve strength, high levels of copper allows brass to become increasingly electrically conductive. Sheets from brass suppliers generally tend to have noticeably higher levels of copper than zinc. This is what makes brass such a versatile alloy.
Brass has long been used in a variety of manners as a result of its low melting point, ability to cast easily, and corrosion-resistant properties when aluminum is present. Brass continues to be used in:
Brass is easily malleable making it easy for suppliers to bend and cast it in whatever way that best fits the customer’s needs.
Brass has specific qualities which have been long recognized by the aviation industry. The term “muntz metal” is used whenever copper is at 60 percent and zinc is at 40 percent. This combination makes brass increasingly corrosion-resistant and can be made even stronger through heat treatment. Saltwater, which has the ability to corrode the toughest alloys, has a very minute effect on brass when copper levels are high. Brass is most used as bolts and nuts in the aviation industry and can be also used as casing for electrical components.
Avion Alloys is a NASA approved vendor that is globally recognized as a lead distributor for brass alongside many other alloys. With various locations across the U.S., we offer both domestic and international shipping of all of our alloys that can be casted specifically for your intended use. Give us a call at (800) 408-2329 or contact us via our online form to learn more about our services or request a quote.