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copper and brass sales

Copper and Brass Sales—A Glimpse to the Wonders of Brass

Copper was discovered and first used for basic applications some 10,000 years ago. About 9,000 years later, early metallurgists found a way to alloy it with tin, giving birth to one of the most popular metals of all—bronze. That also marked the beginning of the Bronze Age. Before the last myrietes ended, another copper-based alloy had been discovered—brass—and it quickly became a sought-after material due to its incredible properties, which many claimed to be far better than those of bronze.

Some Facts Every Consumer Needs to Know about Copper and Brass Sales
You may ask, if brass was revered just as much as bronze, then why wasn’t there a “brass age”? It’s true that brass came out with many useful properties, but producing it was very difficult, unlike bronze that doesn’t require special metalworking conditions. In fact, it was even believed that the discovery of brass was a complete accident, i.e. when a zinc ore-rich material was unintentionally cast with copper.

Manufacturing brass is almost impossible because copper and zinc have different melting points. Zinc melts at 787ºF and boils at about 1665ºF, which is much lower than what’s needed to melt copper and combine with zinc. The zinc vapor needed is created before copper turns into a state where it can be permeated by it. Thanks to advances in metalworking technology, creating brass has been achievable since the last millennia.

Early Production

Brass was first produced through a process called cementation, which involves melting copper with zinc-containing ground smithsonite or calamine. At a certain temperature, the zinc in calamine permeates with copper and forms brass as it cools down. Unfortunately, because the zinc involved in the process comes from another material, there’s no way to accurately measure or control its amount when introduced into the process. Normally, brass produced through cementation would consist of about 15 to 30 percent zinc.

As the use of brass spread across Asia, another production technique called speltering emerged. Unlike cementation that requires the introduction of calamine, speltering enables metallurgists to directly alloy metallic zinc with copper. Without the impurities in calamine, which are difficult to measure and segregate, they now have better control over the zinc content of brass. This means they can produce any type of brass they want to suit very specific applications.

Types of Brass

Over 60 different types of brass have been discovered so far, of which very few are commercially available as copper and brass sales. Some types of brass are especially manufactured for certain applications, while others fit virtually any known brass-based work. While each type of brass possesses distinct features, there are certain properties that they share, which is why brasses can be categorized based on similar properties.

  • Alpha Brasses.

    These are brasses that contain less than 37% zinc. Reducing zinc and increasing copper content enhances brass’s corrosion resistance, electrical and heat conductivity, and appearance. Alpha brasses are also known for having a homogenous crystal structure, giving them distinct softness and ductility, which in turn allows for easy cold working, welding, rolling, drawing, and even brazing.

  • Alpha-Beta Brasses.

    Brasses that contain between 37% and 45% zinc are classified as alpha-beta or duplex brasses. Having more zinc in them than alpha brasses, duplex brasses are harder to work, requiring hot working to obtain desired shape and structure. This also makes them susceptible to dezincification, a type of corrosion that leaches out zinc from brass and leaving a porous structure of pure copper. These brasses, however, are stronger and tougher than alpha brasses.

  • Beta Brasses.

    As you may have guessed, beta brasses are brasses with more zinc content than the first two brass types discussed. Specifically, they contain more than 45% zinc. They are stronger and harder than alpha and duplex brasses but are also more difficult to work and more susceptible to dezincification. The only way to manufacture beta brasses is through hot working or casting.

Applications

Brass is prized for its many different valuable properties, some of which not found in other metals. This is why it is utilized for a vast array of applications. It can be manufactured into sheets, plates, tubes, and bars of any size. It can even be customized to meet highly intricate manufacturing specifications. Here are some of its major applications.

  1. Small Machine Parts and Accessories.

    Brass has an incredible machinability, which makes it perfect for machine parts and accessories, such as nuts, bolts, and treaded parts. Thanks to its high corrosion resistance, it is also the preferred material for clock parts, builder’s hardware, plugs, lamp fittings, and gear meters. Most machine terminals, jets, injectors, and valve bodies are also made of brass. No other metal performs better in these applications than brass, so is copper or brass more expensive than their counterparts? The answer is a whopping yes but it’s definitely worth it.

  2. Structural and Architecture.

    Ever wondered why your doorknobs and their hinges or some of the trims and railings in your home look nothing like the steel bars you see in construction sites? That’s because these structural and architectural elements are made of copper-based materials, mostly brass. In fact, since brass is corrosion resistant, it can also be used to make fascia that complements the most elaborate architectural designs.

  3. Large Machine Parts and Vehicles.

    Brass has also been the material of choice for many equipment and vehicle manufactures for some parts of their designs. It is used in marine engines, hydraulic equipment fittings, locomotive axle boxes, pump casting, heavy rolling mill housing nuts, and heavy load wheels. The main reason brass is the best material for these applications is that it has considerably low friction and thermal coefficient as well as high resistance to saltwater corrosion.

  4. Plumbing.

    Copper-based materials are well-known for having antimicrobial properties, too. They literally kill bacteria that attempt to cling on to their surface. As such, they are perfect for plumbing applications, such as pipes for waterways and sewers.

When choosing brass supplies, take quality and appropriate grade into account as not all brasses are the same. You can tell which ones are of superior quality by comparing copper and brass prices. The expensive ones are usually of higher grade. However, to be absolutely sure you are purchasing the perfect brass for your project, go to a reputable supplier like Rotax Metals. Not only do they offer a vast selection of brass supplies, but they are also highly skilled in picking the right product for specific purposes.

Tips for Contractors Who Are Looking for Suppliers of Copper and Brass Sales

copper and brass sales

Having a successful construction business takes more than employing the most highly skilled professionals. You must have a vast network of the best material suppliers within a hundred mile radius from your business place. These suppliers must be able to provide you with superior materials for all of your projects, big and small alike.

One supplier that you should carefully choose is a metal supplier, particularly one that offers supplies for finishing, including hinges, doorknobs, trims, and all sorts of fixture. This is, most of the time, different from the one that supplies you with construction metals, such as reinforcing steel bars. When looking for such supplier, there are several important factors you need to look at.

Specialization

The best trims and fixtures for buildings are those that are made of copper alloys, such as bronze and brass. Whether it’s the towel bars in your bathroom or the splashing in your kitchen, copper alloys outmatch other metals in terms of appearance and durability. Therefore, it would be best to find a supplier that specializes in copper alloys. At least with a company that offers copper and brass sales you can be sure to find even the rarest grades. Top suppliers like Rotax Metals even provide custom solutions.

Reputation

It goes without saying that a supplier with a clean and impressive track record is also the most trustworthy. Find a supplier who’s been in operation for a long time and has served the biggest names in the construction business. This way you can be sure that your company will also receive the same level of customer service and quality of products those companies vouch for.

Inventory and Supply

You want a supplier that can provide you with all the materials you need for each project anytime and in any situation, regardless of whether the economy is good or bad. They must have a huge inventory with a vast selection of items and grades to choose from. The last thing you want is to be in a situation where emergency supply is needed only to find out your supplier can’t deliver. This is why it is imperative to opt for a supplier that has a good supplier of their own or better still one that manufactures their own products.

Customization and Extra Services

Of course, it’s understandable that even the biggest suppliers don’t have a solution available for all kinds of project. Some projects may have highly specific needs that no standard commercially available products can suffice. This is where customization comes in. Not very many metal suppliers are capable of customizing. Only companies like Rotax Metals that have their own foundries and manufacturing sites may be able to deliver. It also helps to find a company that offers extra special services, such as metal fabrication, metal shearing, polishing, and water jet cutting.

Having a trusted metal supplier as a partner can make a huge difference in your construction business. Not only will it shorten delivery time but your customer satisfaction will improve as well. To further expedite your process, find a company that allows you to buy copper online. This company would normally have a professional-looking and user-friendly website.

The Copper in Your Car—Where to Buy Copper Sheets, Wires, and Other Supplies

copper

It takes more than a single type of metal to build a car. Major components, such as the body and chassis, are usually made of steel and aluminum, but mechanical and electronic parts require more specialized alloys. Parts of the radiator and most of the wires, for instance, are made of copper.

The average car contains about 55 lbs. of copper. Most of this metal go to wires connecting the chief components of the engine and air conditioning system. Of all the metals, copper is the material chosen for this task for obvious reasons. Here are some of the properties of copper and their applications in the car’s functionality.

Electrical Conductivity

While a car’s primary function is mechanical, it needs electrical energy to support its other features. In fact, for the engine to start, electricity must be fed to the starter. It is, therefore, critical for the car design and structure to have a highly conductive and efficient electrical system. To achieve that, all wires have to be made of copper and brass sales.

Copper wires are responsible for carrying current from the battery to basic features of the car, such as lights, central locking, on-board computers, in-car entertainment systems, and satellite navigation. Safety features, such as airbags and ABS braking systems, also need electricity to set off.

Thermal Conductivity

A car’s engine consists of different metal parts that rub against each other at high speed when the car is running. Friction produces heat, which is why the engine tends to become very hot after a long drive. This heat has to be released instantaneously to prevent the car from overheating. To achieve this, coolant has to pass through the radiator to cool it down, and the best material for transferring heat through that fluid is copper due to its high thermal conductivity.

Corrosion Resistance

Driving your car on various terrains exposes it to all kinds of elements, which can have a corrosive effect on its metal components. This is why manufacturers make sure that the car parts are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant materials. Tubes that convey oils and fuels are made of copper or brass because these metals do not easily break, thus avoiding leaks. Most of these parts are collected for recycling at the end of the car’s life.

Bearing Capacity

Copper alloys also don’t wear easily since they do not stick when rubbing on the surface of other metals. This makes them an excellent bearing material, which is very common in most engines, not just in vehicles. Brass and bronze, in particular, perform better than other metals as a bearing.

Various applications other than car engines require the use of copper and its alloys. These metals may also prove useful when doing simple home renovations, such as backsplash installation or countertop covering. If you have projects that require copper supplies, you shouldn’t be confused about where to buy copper sheets. It would be best to turn to a trusted supplier like Rotax Metals.

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