Brass is the common terms for materials which are formed with a copper-zinc alloy. The composition of these properties determines the following factors of the brass:
- Strength & hardness
- Electrical and thermal conductivity
- Hygiene properties
- Resistance to corrosion
Unlike mild steel, brass does not turn brittle in cold temperatures, making it a great choice for outdoor use. It also offers excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, which make it ideal for use in PCB boards or as a joining part between two points in an application that needs to conduct an electrical current.
Brass is known for it’s traditional and stylish appearance, and depending on the composition of the brass, forms a range of colours from bronze to yellow and silver to brown. For example, a brass which has just 1% manganese will fade to a dark brown hue.
Brass is a very forgiving material to work with and is easy to bend and flex into attractive designs. It’s often the material of choice for designers, who demand brass fasteners to complement their application.
Is brass hygienic?
Copper-alloys offer antimicrobial properties—especially important during the global pandemic – making brass a popular choice for areas with high touchpoints such as door handles, taps and hand railings.
Can brass be recycled?
One of the main economic and ecological benefits of brass is that the material is fully recyclable. Swarf and offcuts are also collected and recycle to create new brass products. Making brass from new copper and zinc would be a waste of resources. The sustainability of brass means that almost 100% of brass manufacturers in the UK utilise brass scrap.
The brass industry throughout the world is well organised and equipped to recycle products at the end of their long lives and process scrap (swarf and offcuts). Making brass from new (virgin) copper and zinc would be uneconomical and wasteful of raw materials so new brass products are made from recycled scrap, illustrating the sustainable nature of this material. In the UK brass manufacturers use almost 100% brass scrap. *