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This is a plumbing fitting made of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.

This is a plumbing fitting made of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.

Torsten Bätge, Creative Commons License
Question: What Is Brass?
Brass is a common useful metal. Here's a look at what brass is made of and information about its chemistry.
Answer: Brass is an alloy made primarily of copper and zinc. The proportions of the copper and zinc are varied to yield many different kinds of brass. Basic modern brass is 67% copper and 33% zinc.

Lead commonly is added to brass at a concentration of around 2%. The lead addition improves the machinability of brass. However, significant lead leaching often occurs, even in brass that contains a relatively low overall concentration of lead.

Brass Properties

  • bright gold appearance
  • higher malleability than bronze or zinc
  • acoustic properties appropriate for use in musical instruments
  • low friction
  • soft - may be used where low chance of sparking is necessary
  • relatively low melting point
  • easy to cast
  • not ferromagnetic (which makes it easier to separate from other metals for recycling)
List of Brass Alloys

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