Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that can be rosy gold, golden yellow, or silver in color. It is a metal that is durable, malleable, and acoustical.
Brass exhibits low friction against other metals, and it is a great conductor of heat. It is a ferromagnetic metal, meaning that it has electrons that make it magnetic and allow the brass product to be easily separated for recycling.
Similar to other metals, as brass is exposed to natural elements like water and air, it begins to oxidize and create a patina or a change in color. However, this color change creates a unique design and color that is often desirable. The end applications of brass include countertops, architectural details, kitchen and bath fixtures, sideboards, woven metal drapery, decorative wall and ceiling tiles, bolts, and screws. Other end uses outside of architecture and design include jewelry, brooches, armor, musical instruments, clocks, bowls, and lamps.
There are several of varieties of brass. Each variety is different due to their percentages of zinc and copper. Brass is mostly copper with a smaller percentage of zinc, and a few other heavy metals are known to be mixed in occasionally as well. The most common types of brass used for architecture and design include alpha, alpha-beta, and beta brasses. It is possible to tell brass apart bronze, as bronze metals will have rings visible on its surface.
Brass is another metal that can be recycled and reused without losing its original properties. It is also produced in a way that requires less energy than other metals typically do.
- Copper Development Association – Brass Recyclability
- Copper Development Association – Introduction to Brasses
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