11 Facts About Brass


Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, in proportions which can be varied to achieve varying mechanical, electrical, and chemical properties.

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Brass is similar to bronze, another alloy containing copper that uses tin instead of zinc.

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Brass has long been a popular material for decoration due to its bright, gold-like appearance; being used for drawer pulls and doorknobs.

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Brass is still commonly used in applications where corrosion resistance and low friction are required, such as locks, hinges, gears, bearings, ammunition casings, zippers, plumbing, hose couplings, valves, and electrical plugs and sockets.

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Brass is not suitable for such items as boat propellers because the zinc reacts with minerals in salt water, leaving porous copper behind.

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Brass is often used in situations in which it is important that sparks not be struck, such as in fittings and tools used near flammable or explosive materials.

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Brass scrap is collected and transported to the foundry, where it is melted and recast into billets.

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Brass is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking, especially from ammonia or substances containing or releasing ammonia.

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Brass has sometimes historically been referred to as "yellow copper".

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Brass was produced by the cementation process where copper and zinc ore are heated together until zinc vapor is produced which reacts with the copper.

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Brass objects are still collectively known as dinanderie in French.

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