Brass metal is used to make water fittings, screws, radiators, musical instruments and cartridge casings for firearms. Brass is a fairly strong metal but relatively malleable, so it is easily mauled into a number of different applications such as pipes, musical instruments and lamps. Brass is used for water in commercial plumbing, but also used in oil, gas and steam applications. It is also used as copper tubing and fittings. So, there is a huge demand for maintenance and repair purposes.
Copper is the main component of brass metal. Depending upon the types and use of brass, copper varies between 55% to 95% by weight. Brasses that contains a high percentage of copper are made from electrically refined copper but are more commonly made from less-expensive recycled copper alloy scrap.
The second component of brass is zinc. Depending on the brass the amount of zinc varies between 5% and 40% by weight. Brass metal with a higher percentage of zinc is stronger and harder but also more difficult to form because it has less corrosion resistance. Zinc is used to make brass is a commercial grade sometimes known as shelter.
Brass metal also contains small percentages of other materials such as lead 3.8% by weight to improve machine ability. The addition of tin also improves the corrosion resistance. Iron makes the brass harder and makes the internal grain structure smaller to make proper shape of brass. Arsenic and Antimony are sometimes added to brasses that contain more than 20% zinc to inhibit corrosion. Other materials like manganese, silicon and phosphorus in a very small amount.
Manufacturing process of brass involved combining the appropriate raw materials into a molten metal, which is allowed to solidify. After this process solidified metal are then changed through a series of operations to produce the desired brass stock. Actual manufacturing process depends on the desired shape and properties of the brass stock as well as on the machines and practices used in different brass plants. A very typical manufacture process used to produce brass sheet and strip.
Brasses can be classified in a variety of ways including mechanical properties, crystal structure etc. The most essential distinction is made by their crystal structure. Three different types of crystal structure are as follows: