Muntz Metal
Muntz Metal

What is Muntz Metal and Where is It Used in Our Everyday Lives?

Brass Cookware

The use of metals in everyday life is nothing new in human history. In fact, humans have been using metals since 5000 BC. Given this, it’s not surprising many people are familiar with common metals like copper, steel, bronze, and the like–but have you ever heard of Muntz metal?

Although Muntz metal isn’t a term that you come across very often, the use of Muntz metal is common throughout the modern world. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “what is Muntz metal and where is it used? Before we dive into its uses and applications, however, let’s take a quick look at the history and composition of muntz metal.

What is Muntz Metal?

Muntz metal isn’t actually a unique type of metal per se. It is actually a type of brass alloy. If the typical brass you are familiar with is comprised of 67% copper and 33% zinc, Muntz metal is an alloy comprised of 60% copper, 40% zinc, and trace amounts of iron. The process of creating it is also quite unique since Muntz metal is manufactured by melting copper first and then introducing zinc and trace amounts of iron. This mixture is then placed into clay-line pans and then ladled into ingot molds.

George Fredrick Muntz, an English businessman from Birmingham, England, developed the metal in the 1830s, hence the metal’s name. This discovery was revolutionary at the time. Intercontinental travel during the 1800s was mostly done via large wood ships made of oak. Although wood is known to float on water (buoyancy), it was also susceptible to damage from shipworms. These worms had a nasty habit of burrowing into oak underbelly of large ships. From there, shipworms would slowly eat away the wood. As you can imagine, this presented a significant risk for seafarers and ship passengers, especially when travel between some countries could take months.  Muntz metal was seen as a solution to this problem.

Why Muntz Metal?

One of the key properties of Muntz metal was its anti-corrosive nature. Due to the specific mixture of different metals, Muntz metal was highly resistant to corrosion in the high seas. Naturally, the issue of shipworms became non-existent as the pests could not bore past the coat of Muntz metal covering ships. Shipworms weren’t the only pests that Muntz metal deterred. Barnacles are another common pest for seafaring vessels. Barnacles are notorious for clinging on to ships and, if there are a significant number of barnacles present, reducing the speed and efficiency of ships. Muntz metal helped solve these issues thanks to a neat chemical interaction with water. When exposed to water, Muntz metal diffuses a chemical that deters these pests from clinging to a ship.

The second reason why Muntz metal was a revolutionary invention at the time was its cost. You may have noticed that Muntz metal uses less copper than traditional brass. This resulted in a much lower mass manufacturing cost for manufacturers. In fact, Muntz metal carried a price tag that was two-thirds of the price of regular brass. This made it faster, easier, and more profitable to mass produce. The best part about Muntz metal for metalworkers and ship manufacturers was that the metal still retained the incredible durability associated with bronze. This meant ship builders received the same exceptional durability at a fraction of the price. It wasn’t long after its discovery that Muntz metal became commonplace in sea vessels worldwide.

What is Muntz Metal Used For?

Today, Muntz metal is still used for many maritime applications, despite the emergence of other similar metals like naval brass. Many shipbuilders still prefer to use Muntz metal for its cost-effective nature and incredible durability. Although only a few ships use Muntz metal as the protective layer of ships, the metal is still used in other applications on a ship, including fittings, pipes, and the like.

Muntz metal has also grown past its initial maritime use. Thanks to its brilliant gold color and corrosion resistance have attracted some furniture manufacturers to use the metal in their designs. Muntz metal is also sometimes used for residential pipes and plumbing since the chemical Muntz metal exudes when exposed to water has also been proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Many of the bolts used in modern machinery are made of Muntz metal. This is mostly due to the price of the material, as well as the fact that Muntz metal can easily be fashioned into various shapes and sizes, making it ideal for manufacturing machinery parts.

Purchasing Muntz Metal

If you are interested in using Muntz metal for your next project, you’re definitely making a great choice. Durable, cost-efficient, and corrosion-resistant, Muntz metal is the perfect choice for a wide range of applications–but don’t buy Muntz metal from just anywhere. Stick to respected suppliers, like Rotax Metals, with decades of superior customer service. These suppliers are more likely to offer you high-quality Muntz metal, allowing you to enjoy all the advantages the material has to offer and giving you the best value for your money.

What Metals Are Used in Houses?

Metals have been used in construction for centuries, but it’s only in the recent decade where structures made mostly of metals have started emerging. It’s almost as if for the longest time some sort of stigma was attached to the use of metal that many builders where skeptical of its performance. There are a number of reasons for this kind of perception.

metal clips

  1. Metals have low compressive strength, just as concrete have low tensile strength. If you put too much weight on them, they would buckle or fold. That’s why metals and concrete usually go together to form what is known as “reinforced concrete”. Either material cannot subsist both static and dynamic forces at work in any kind of structure.
  2. Metals are known to corrode when exposed to the elements. Like superman, they have their own kryptonite. We’ve learned from school that although metals exhibit unbelievable strength, there’s very little that can be done to prevent them from corroding. Even more annoying is the fact that the most abundant types of metals are commonly the most susceptible to such process of deterioration.
  3. Metals have high thermal conductivity or low thermal capacity. They heat up faster than stone, concrete, ceramic, and other types of main construction materials. And heat conduction is probably the least of a builder’s worries when it comes to metal-based construction. The fact that metals have been constantly depicted as a material that melts like butter when exposed to high temperatures makes them a lesser favorite.

For centuries, we’ve embraced this perception of metals that the idea of building houses, commercial establishments, and even horizontal structures using only metals had never crossed our minds until the late 90s. It’s understandable though as this perception is based on scientific evidence and not merely a presumption, which is why there’s some truth in it.

As technology advances, so do ways to further improve the strength, corrosion resistance, and thermal capacity of metals. There are many properties of metals that we are only beginning to understand. With more methods to explore them, it’s only a matter of time before we can produce metals that can stand alone against the destructive forces involved in construction.

Commonly Used Household Metals

Nonetheless, metals are still an important element in construction. They play a vital role not just in fortifying structures but also in aesthetics. Whether or not they are the main materials used, a structure wouldn’t be complete without them being used as either support within columns and beams or trims and coverings on surfaces. Here are some components and accessories in a building that ought to be metal.

  • Framing Elements

    – Include columns and rafters (called primary framing) and girts, purlins, and eave struts (called secondary).

  • Bracing

    – Made up of rods and cables whose primary function is to add stability to a structure or portions of it.

  • Walls

    – Although not yet common, some buildings now have walls made of metal panels. They are just coated with protection to prevent corrosion.

  • Roofing Systems

    – Not all roofs are made of metals, but modern building now have them either as the main material or simply components. A part of the roofing system that must be metal is the gutter, ridge cap, and base angle.

  • Doors and Window Framing

    – For the door and window panels to fit securely along the edge of the wall opening, a frame must be installed. There’s no better material for this kind of element than metal.

  • Bolts and Fasteners

    – To prevent a building from sliding off or detaching from the foundation and other major structural components, it must be bolted properly. Also, anything that goes with the frame must be fastened using the right types and sizes of fastener. In fact, the frame themselves needs to be fastened to the wall edge.

What Metals Are Used in Houses

There are two types of metal that can be found in your house—structural components, the ones I mentioned above, and decorative elements, the ones that add flair to your home’s architecture and interior design. So here are some of the most common types of metal of which these elements are made.

  • Carbon Steel

    – Although steel is basically iron that contains a little bit of carbon, another term is needed to identify a type of steel that has more carbon content than necessary. The addition of carbon makes steel stronger, harder, and less ductile through heat treatment. The only drawback of such technology is the steel becoming almost impossible to weld.

  • Aluminum

    – The third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, aluminum is also one of the most widely quarried and utilized metals, especially for construction applications. It is prized for its low density and extremely high corrosion resistance. Structural components that require extra resistance to corrosion are usually made of aluminum alloy.

  • Copper

    – Some buildings have roofs that are made purely of copper. However, this is not the only application of copper in construction. Many architectural components are made of copper-based materials, too. Good examples are the knobs and hinges on your doors as well as the railings and trims on your stairways. Copper sheets are even used for covering surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

  • Stainless Steel

    – Also known as “inox”, this metal is a type of steel that has about 10 percent chromium content. The result is an incredibly strong and corrosion-resistant metal that is nothing like its base metal. Sometimes, molybdenum is also added to further increase the metal’s protection against corrosion. Stainless steel is commonly used in cookware, cutlery, surgical instruments, major appliances, and construction.

With the right type and quality of metal, you can build the most stable and longest-lasting structures. It doesn’t matter if those structures are horizontal or vertical, or if the components made of metal are exposed to outdoor elements or concealed inside the structure, as long as it is made by a reputable manufacturer, you can expect great results.

So to make sure that the metals used in homes, which you are looking for, are of superior quality, it would help to find the right supplier first then start your search of materials from there. A trusted supplier like Rotax Metals is likely to have not just high-quality supplies but also a complete selection of products from which you can find the exact type, size, and grade of metal you are looking for.

Use Muntz Metal to Deal with Biofouling and to Increase the Efficiency of Your Structure

muntz metal

Biofouling is a problem faced by many industries, particularly those that deal with water. It is particularly considered a nuisance in the maritime industry where majority of operation takes place at sea. The damage biofouling can cause to ocean vessels and docks can be enormous and expensive, especially if left to spread for years.

Cause of Biofouling

The main cause of biofouling is the formation of microbial films. Natural laws dictate that microorganisms, such as bacteria and algae, can grow rapidly and colonize surfaces when the right conditions are met. They sequester nutrients from water and quickly convert them into new biomass, which is why growth increment can be easily noticeable.

Biofouling often occurs in industrial systems as these places usually have enough space to support the spread of biofilm. Organisms can grow even faster if the industrial process involves the use of biodegradable substances. In the case of ships and docks, their constant exposure to seawater, where all sorts of microorganisms live, is the cause of biofilm development, and eventually biofouling.

Several issues can be associated with biofouling:

Lack of monitoring and warning system. As previously mentioned, biofilms can spread really fast. If not properly monitored, they can exceed the tolerable limit, making them very difficult to eliminate. Biofilm growth can be monitored through ocular inspection or the use infrared devices that show heat register.

Countermeasure is preferred. Most companies prefer to simply deal with the biofilms when they’re already existing. They seem to underestimate the damage biofilms can do to their operation. Apart from having to spend huge sums of money on disinfection, the microorganisms can make their way to the machines and damage them, leading to very costly downtime.

Dealing with the Problem

For years, and even now, a lot of industries immediately resort to countermeasures when dealing with biofouling. Ship builders at present have found a way to reduce, if not completely prevent, the formation of biofilms to address biofouling on ships. Instead of leaving ships constantly moored at ports for cleanup, they decided to simply replace the covering material of ships with something that resists microorganisms. This is an efficient way to handle the problem, as it saves ship owners the time and money needed for constant upkeep of their vessels.

Using Muntz Metal

Also known as Yellow metal, Muntz metal is one of the newest and most preferred materials for making ship plating. It is a type of alpha-beta brass that consists of about 60% copper, 40% zinc, and a trace of iron. Most brasses have less copper and more zinc, making them less resistant to rusting.

Because Muntz metal has more copper, it also has higher antimicrobial property, the quality needed for preventing microorganisms from triggering biofilm formation. The iron in Muntz metal helps increase the metal’s compressive and tensile strength. Since it has less zinc content, it is also less susceptible to dezincification, a type of corrosion that leaches out zinc from brass.

Muntz metal is perfect for maritime applications because it is highly resistant to saltwater corrosion. Saltwater is known for being ten times more effective in corroding materials than water. This means ships made of Muntz metal are tougher, extending the lives of ships for a couple or more decades.

Even in simple construction projects that involve the use of metal, Muntz metal can be utilized. What’s good about this metal is that, even if it is used for exclusive industrial applications, it is accessible from local suppliers. If you’re looking to use this metal for your own projects, make sure to get your materials from a trusted supplier, such as Rotax Metals.


Why Microorganisms Live in Biofilms and the Problem of Biofouling,

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