Of the 118 elements on the periodic table, 91 are metal. Most of these metallic elements can be combined to form even stronger materials. Metals that consist of two or more metallic elements are called alloys. Sometimes, even non-metallic elements, such as carbon, are added to enhance the properties of certain alloys. One of the most widely used alloys in brass. The following are basic facts about brass that might interest you.
Brass was first used as a decorative material in China as early as the 5th century BC. It was said that this metal was discovered purely by accident when metalworkers at the time smelted zinc-rich copper ores. Since then, zinc and copper have been combined intentionally in different proportions to produce materials that are comparable to bronze. Over time, the process of mixing copper and zinc had improved. By the end of the millennium, metallurgists could already create pure brass at 17-30% zinc content.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Sometimes, other elements, such as arsenic, lead, phosphorus, aluminum, manganese, and silicon are added into the mixture in miniscule amounts to enhance the qualities of brass. Different proportions of each metal produce different variants of brass. Each variant can be utilized for certain applications where ordinary brass is inadequate.
There are currently over 60 different types of brass, each of which is made of a different proportion of copper, zinc, and other elements. Most of these types are named according to the elements added to the mixture. Aluminum brass, for instance, is obviously named for brasses that have aluminum in them. Manganese brass, on the other hand, well, you can guess why it’s named that. The unique properties of the added metal is what makes the difference between the resulting types of brasses.
Perhaps the most popular application for brass is as a base material for select types of musical instruments, including trumpet, horn, euphonium, and tuba. In fact, it became the staple material for making these types of musical instruments that an entire family of musical instruments was named after it. Brass instruments have been an important component of any band or orchestra.
Brass is also used as cladding for countertops, railings, and backsplashes not only because of its naturally elegant appearance but also because it has antimicrobial properties. In addition, brass angle and tube products make a perfect decorative element for all kinds of structure. Also, because it doesn’t spark when hit by a hard object at great speed, it is the preferred material for fittings and tools used near flammable or explosive materials.
Knowing that the material you are purchasing is real brass isn’t enough. To ensure the success of your project, you also have to know that the brass supplies you’ll use come from a trusted provider like Rotax Metals. Not only do they have sufficient amount of supplies in store for you, but there’s also a guarantee that the materials they supply are of superior quality.