Boat building is such an intricate profession that everything has to be precise and specific – from body measurements up to the very materials used to build boat. As such, not many building materials in the market can withstand being submerged, in either fresh or saltwater, without getting corroded or decayed in a span of a few months. Since boats are not cheap, it is important that the materials used to build them should have innate physical and chemical properties to guarantee that the boat is durable.
Copper, one of the most naturally occurring metallic elements on the planet, is well-known for its corrosion-resistant properties. However, pure copper is quite expensive. Furthermore, the longer copper is submerged in water, the higher the chance it’ll start leaching and polluting the marine waters. This is why using a copper alloy, like brass, is more popular as it retains the anticorrosive properties at a reasonable price. Yet, before you start raiding the nearest brass sales, here are some things you need to know.
Not All Brass Is the Same
The biggest mistake any amateur boat builder makes is that he assumes all brass is the same. While it is true the brass has a general composition of copper, zinc, and trace amounts of other metallic elements, the varied concentrations of these three ingredients in each alloy ensure that its properties is remarkably different from one grade to another.
Despite the fact that all brass exhibits impressive resistance to corrosion, durability and workability, some brass is not meant to be used in or to touch water for long periods of time. Erosion of zinc in the brass formula is possible if you left the metal in water for too long. If used as a boat lining, the brass will eventually erode on its own and destroy the integrity of the boat in a short period of time.
Selecting the Right Kind of Brass
For decades, Muntz metal had garnered a solid reputation as an excellent material for boat lining. The alloy has a 60:40 ratio of copper to zinc, which makes it strong enough to withstand quick degradation in water as opposed to other brass.
A metal supplier can easily supply Muntz metal for any boat building or restoration project. A reputable metal supplier can always put your mind at ease that you are indeed purchasing the right material and there won’t be need to repeat or repair the same job after only a few months.
Brass Alloys, chemistry.about.com
Beware the Brass, proboat.com