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Properties and Uses of Different Kinds of Brass

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Brasses are metal alloys made from copper and zinc. The percentage of each mineral within the alloy gives brass varying levels of durability and malleability. Each kind of brass is classified according to its zinc and copper content, and each has its own uses.

Coins are identified according to the metal they are made of; there are even different kinds of brass for different currencies. Manganese brass has 1.3 percent of manganese along with roughly 70 percent copper and 29 percent zinc; it is used for American “golden dollar” coins. Nickel brass has 5.5 percent nickel; it is used for pound coins in Britain. Aluminum brass has aluminum which improves its corrosion resistance; also known as Nordic gold, it is used for euro coins.

Aich’s alloy has at least one percent each of tin and iron. Its hardness and resistance to corrosion makes it a perfect material for ships and submarines. Smaller boats use Muntz metal for lining the bottom for extra protection. Aich’s alloy and Muntz metal have a vague gold-like appearance.

High brass has sixty-five percent copper that contributes to its high tensile strength; tensile strength is the measure of how much stress a material can stand from stretching or pulling. This tensile strength allows high brass to be used for screws, springs, and rivets.

Gliding metal, in comparison, has only five percent zinc, making it quite hard; this is used for full metal jackets and artillery shells. Red brass—known as gunmetal in the United States—is used to make guns. Red brass is resistant to steam and saltwater; it is also used to make buttons. There are brass tube suppliers that are associated with military services for making weaponry.

Many brass tube suppliers specialize on the industrial and tool-making department. They have low brass for bellows and metal hoses, for example. Low brass has twenty percent zinc and is quite ductile, making it flexible and easier to bend into hose nozzles.

The jewelry industry normally uses rich low brass, which has only five to fifteen percent zinc. Also known as tombac, it has a rich yellow color resembling gold. Rich low brass can be molded from brass tubing and turned into fancy pots and munition.

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