Brass is one of the most commonly used metals. Its application ranges from architectural cladding to lamp sockets to jewelry. You can also see it in marine and industrial equipment. While many choose brass for its flexibility of use, some may overlook the value it gets from its environment-friendliness.
This metal, which comes in forms of bars, rods, and other special shapes, is among the easiest to recycle. In fact, it consists of recycled materials, meaning it doesn’t put any to waste. The most popular type is called Free-Cutting Brass, which is the go-to product of a lot of engineers and machinists. In the United States alone, half of the one million tons of brasses consumed each year are free-cutting types.
The term of “free-cutting” is coined due to the metal’s ability to be turned, cut, or drilled with ease. This makes it easier for users to recycle the metal into whatever form they need. No other metal can do what brass can in this regard since they don’t have the strength to undergo fast and long machining. In fact, brass can be machined five times faster than steel and retain the same cutting tool life.
High machinability is possible due to small amounts of lead in brass. Since lead is scattered in microscopic globules in the alloy, it helps break up machining chips to avoid curling up and other disturbance in high-speed operations. Also, the lead in brass acts as a lubricant to the cutting tool.
While trace amounts of lead is present in brass, this metal remains environment-friendly. There are questions regarding the effects on the environment and health, as well as the amount of discarded objects from it that goes to landfills. However, brass offers an array of benefits for it to be simply trashed.
Even scrap brass has lots of uses. That’s why no one in the industry ever discards it. Each bit of scrap brass can be collected to produce new metal, making its value reach up to three-quarters that of a new metal. Because of such high value, you won’t see brass materials simply lying around and forgotten. This then prevents used metals from going to waste. Instead, new materials and products can be made from already-used metal.
When choosing the materials to use for a project, it’s important to consider the environment. Brass is one of the greenest metal you can ever find. You just have to find quality ones from reliable brass suppliers who understand the importance of eco-friendliness and environment protection.
Free-Cutting Brass: A Closed Environmental Loop, Copper.org
Brass Recyclability: Environmental and Economic Advantages, Copper.org