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Brass is an alloy[edit]

Brass is an alloy consisting mainly if not exclusively of copper and zinc. The brasses may be conveniently divided into two groups according to their malleability, the dividing line being approximately the composition of 55 percent copper and 45 percent zinc.

Deep Recycling Industries (

Thank you


It will be good idea if some one add something related to mechanical properties of brass like compressive and tensile yield stresses.

Thank you

Sarvesh S.S.

Good article. I'd like to see a section addressing the most common and/or most important uses of brass in industry today. Also, a section breaking down the most important centers of brass production (assuming there are any). Just a suggestion. Thanks.

Brass vs. Bronze[edit]

This article seems to imply that, while some brasses are called "bronze", this is incorrect:

Some types of brass are called bronzes, despite their high zinc content.

On the other hand, the bronze article indicates that "bronze" is a general term for copper alloys, and therefore includes brass: brass, a subset of the bronze alloys in which zinc is the principal additive I am not qualified to judge which of these is correct, but they seem to contradict each other.

Similar comment posted on Talk:Bronze.

Nowhither 00:19, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Note: This issue has been resolved - the bronze article has been reworded (a subset of copper alloys) to resolve this. Spenny 08:22, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Lead- With all the RoHS initiatives underway in the electronics industry, the question came up- is there ever lead in brass, or bronze? No indication in the article. Thanks- Doug

Brass VS Bronze cost[edit]

Dear editor,

Is there an appreciable difference in cost for Brass as compared to Bronze? What would be the basic difference? Is there a "rule of thumb" when it comes to pricing one verse the other e.g. a standard ratio?



Brass Monkey most brass is cheaper in price — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:21, 9 March 2015 (UTC)


Aside from decorative uses such as doorknobs, why is brass used? For example, it seems to me that brass bushings and valves are common. —BenFrantzDale 20:43, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Probably a lot has to do with that it looks like gold (not exactly, but close) and is a hell of a lot cheaper.--CB319 04:21, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Some companies preach the benefits of brass for use in car aerials. Does anybody know if there is any real reason or benefit offered by this material. reduced resistance for example.

Most house keys are brass coated in nickel, I guess its because its corrosion resistant, shiny and brass is easy to machine (customise)

It seems rather odd that such eclectic uses as cryogenics are mentioned, but not the near-universal use of brass in cartridge casing. (talk) 04:33, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


It also might be mentioned friction for a brass on brass contact is low as metal-to-metal contacts go.

  • Agreed, brass is commonly used for its "self lubricating" properties. Kinema 09:55, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Brass appears to have been used on battleships for surfaces that handled black powder charges, supposedly because brass-to-brass contact does not create sparks (like other metals do) that could set off the powder. I can't seem to find much about that property of brass, nor see it as a use, but it might be something of interest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


I was hoping to find much more about history here... I have read that, while brass-like alloys were in use for specialized purposes, brass didn't come into common use until after 1600. I suspect, if true, that has something to do with the availability of zinc, but that's just a guess at this point. Some references to bell-metal and (the original meaning of) gunmetal might be helpful. Rtimwest 13:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Could someone who knows Wikipedia formatting please add reference 47 as a needed source in the history section concerning confusion of brass and bronze. The confusion in later European literature of brass and bronze is clearly stated in the abstract.
If more substantial references are needed please refer to <> under "name and origin" as motivation to look into the way that the Hebrew word for copper/copper alloys translates. Upon researching it you will find that when the old testament was written, there was only one word for copper and all of its alloys. This is likely the reason for the later confusion of brass and bronze in English translations of the bible. (talk) 02:04, 16 July 2013 (UTC)


Is brass a homogeneous or a heterogeneous mixture? It's an alloy. But somewhere it said not all alloys are homogeneous mixtures. What makes the difference?

don't relaly know where to post this but i have alink to the brass phase diagram. might be useful to put on page but i dont know how.

i asked, they said we have permission to use this picture. thanks. 00:40, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Kris King

The above link appears to be dead. Has it been removed or relocated somewhere else? Plantsurfer (talk) 17:51, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Saltwater effects on Brass[edit]

How does saltwater effect brass?

Thank you! Ckelley4 13:22, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Random question, yet interesting. Brass is used in brass instruments; when these instruments are played, saliva will enter the instrument. So, since saliva is mostly water, and salt wouldn't be expected to react with brass, I don't think saltwater would affect brass. - (talk) 07:03, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

hey i have a random question too, does ammonia corrode Aluminium brass?

thanks! Wesleytong322 (talk) 16:17, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

COPPER in BRASS as a Disinfectant[edit]

On UK radio (Radio 2) today (14th March 2007) they have just announced that one hospital is testing the effectiveness of using a small piece of copper on door handles to act as a disinfectant that kills the super bug MRSA amongst others. Does anyone know if the copper content in brass is equally effective at killing germs and viruses? If so replacing all door handles with brass would seem an obvious solution to the spread of germs from touching door handles!

Adrian Hepworth 12:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Brass is slower, but still effective and advisable, according to this copper industry brochure Femto 13:32, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed project[edit]

There is evidently no extant WikiProject which deals with articles concerning alloys and other chemical compounds. This could be a problem, as many of these articles deal with what are considered to be generally important topics. To correct this situation, I have proposed a project to deal with these articles at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Chemical compounds and mixtures. Anyone interested in contributing to such a project should indicate as much there. Thank you for your attention. John Carter 20:34, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

How brass is made[edit]

Only one paragraph on how brass is made? And nothing on where in the world it is now primarily made. - Jmabel | Talk 00:19, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

brass compention is a defintion —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I also came here for information on brass/ bronze production. There is a fair amount of material on the *history* of production but not on current methods, which seems odd. Other metals (e.g. iron) covers this to a much greater extent. Can someone add this material? I am too ignorant of the subject to do so. Thanks, Hu Gadarn (talk) 17:36, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Akkadian brass[edit]

Saw this. Not sure if there is a reference to support it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ploversegg (talkcontribs) 23:07, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

various brass[edit]

Admiralty brass contains 30% zinc and 1% tin which inhibits dezincification in most environments. Alpha brasses (Prince's metal), with less than 35% zinc, are malleable, can be worked cold, and are used in pressing, forging, or similar applications. They contain only one phase, with face-centered cubic crystal structure. Alpha-beta brass (Muntz metal), also called duplex brass, is 35-45% zinc and is suited for hot working. It contains both α and β' phase; the β'-phase is body-centered cubic and is harder and stronger than α. Alpha-beta brasses are usually worked hot. Aluminium brass contains aluminium, which improves its corrosion resistance. Used in Euro coins (Nordic gold). Arsenical brass contains an addition of arsenic and frequently aluminium and is used for boiler fireboxes. Beta brasses, with 45-50% zinc content, can only be worked hot, and are harder, stronger, and suitable for casting. Cartridge brass is a 30% zinc brass with good cold working properties. Common brass, or rivet brass, is a 37% zinc brass, cheap and standard for cold working. DZR brass is Dezincification resistant Brass with a small percentage of Arsenic. Gilding metal is the softest type of brass commonly available. An alloy of 95% copper and 5% zinc, gilding metal is typically used for ammunition components. High brass, contains 65% copper and 35% zinc, has a high tensile strength and is used for springs, screws, rivets. Leaded brass is an alpha-beta brass with an addition of lead. It has excellent machinability. Low brass is a copper-zinc alloy containing 20% zinc with a light golden color, excellent ductility and is used for flexible metal hoses and metal bellows. Naval brass, similar to admiralty brass, is a 40% zinc brass and 1% tin. Red brass, while not technically brass, is an American term for CuZnSn alloy known as gunmetal. Rich low brass contains 85% copper 15% zinc often used in jewelry applications . White brass contains more than 50% zinc and is too brittle for general use. Yellow brass is an American term for 33% zinc brass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

History of Brass - Africa, Americas and East Asia[edit]

Hi all, I recently added content to this page under the history section. My coverage beyond Europe and the middle east isn't that extensive I'm afraid. I wondered if any one could take a look at adding some content for America and expanding the content for the old world.

(Michael D L Marshall (talk) 15:33, 25 February 2010 (UTC))



This image is captioned "Microstructure of cast brass at magnification 400×". However, it appears that the original uploader was mistaken and that it is in fact annealed. As evidence, please see the links below to microscopic images of cast and annealed brass - the two are very different:

cast vs. rolled & annealed[edit]

The previous section (SDC10257.JPG) explains a lot, but the rules of kindness suggest responding when asked. So, here we go: Cast alloys usu. have a dendritic type microstructure, or at least somewhat directional shape of grains (single crystals). In sdc10257.jpg, there are no dendrites, and the grains show no special orientation (meaning elongation). If one looks at sdc10257.jpg, sees rather unoriented grain shape, with random orientation of crystallographic axes (brightness of each grain), there are twins typical of deformed and annealed alloys with fcc structure (annealing twins, produced by recrystallisation).

In March 2009, I made the comment to the description of the image (see File_talk:SDC10257.JPG), but there was no further discussion. Apparently, it's easier to discuss on the referring page than on the original file's talk page. It's also easy to undo a change without deep investigation into the issue. Thanks to the author of the previous section for his/her work.

--JPFen (talk) 22:57, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate the response. Thanks! Wizard191 (talk) 00:34, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Physical properties[edit]

Please add a table of physical properties of various brasses, including density and electrical/thermal conductivity.- (talk) 19:26, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Two History Sections[edit]

This article currently has two distinct "History" sections. They should be merged. --SarahLawrence Scott (talk) 01:34, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Please elaborate where the "other" history section is, because I'm not seeing it. Wizard191 (talk) 17:55, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
There were two, a short one on top and a longer, with several subsections. While tidying refs, I've mechanically merged them, making the short History a kind of introduction to the long one, but this needs a proper rephrasing. Materialscientist (talk) 00:20, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

CR Brass[edit]

The web has many references to "CR Brass" (corrosion resistant brass). I believe this is another way of referring to DZR Brass. Perhaps the DZR Brass reference could be updated in the article to refer to CR Brass as well? Jabba the Hot (talk) 21:29, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

CR brass has also had an exact temperature annealing done to it, and there are a number of types. Most exacting standards are applied to cast valves. Unfortunately, normal sliver soldering and excessive soft solder heating destroys the CR properties. Arsenic brass is used during manufacture of plumbing stock, then the annealing is performed. Waste brass fittings do not need to be CR/DN. CR brass items are usually stamped with DR, DRZ, CER, or W. If the item lacks the stamp, then it is unlikely to be CR. Items that do not directly contact water are usually not CR. (talk) 05:20, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Bass alloys table[edit]

I wondered if the list of alloys could be listed by %age copper rather than by name ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:31, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

A table would be better, having columns for Copper, Zinc, Tin, Lead, and one for other ingredients, with the % value in each column (need to use a consistent and stated measure of %, eg by mass). Other columns could include Alloy Name, Typical Uses, Reactivity (resistance to corrosion), Antibacterial effectiveness, etc. FreeFlow99 (talk) 08:00, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Confusion between orchestral Brass Section and Instruments Containing Brass[edit]

The opening paragraph of the properties section (as of 5 Jan 2014) implies that the Brass Section of an orchestra contains instruments made out of brass. It continues by noting that other instruments belong to other orchestral sections despite being made out of brass. The implication is that an instrument made out of brass belongs in the brass section. This is misleading and incorrect.

In truth, the orchestral brass section is so named because, historically, those instruments were made from brass. Those instruments also use pursed lips on the mouthpiece to create the sound. The brass section could easily have been named the embouchure section, but it didn't happen that way.

Instruments in other orchestral sections may also use brass, but that is done for its tonal qualities. There is no reason that other instruments using brass (woodwinds, percussion, or otherwise) should be called brass instruments and no justification is needed for their exclusion from the orchestral brass section.

I can edit the properties section to remove this confusion, but I would like input from other editors and comments from readers before doing so. Please add your comments immediately following. Thank you. --OhioFred (talk) 15:45, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Substitutional alloy[edit]

I removed the sentence "Brass is a substitutional alloy" from the start of the third para of the introduction.

Firstly, it's not relevant to the rest of the paragraph. Secondly, I imagine that very few readers will know what it means - I'm pretty well-informed technically but I didn't know. So I think it's inappropriate for the introductory paragraph.

If someone could contribute a section about the structure of brass, it might fit in there.

Macboff (talk) 13:29, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Brass vs bronze[edit]

Why, per these repeated edits, is it so vital to remove mention of bronze? Brass is a bronze. Distinguishing brass from other bronzes is a key goal for this article. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:14, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, since the terms overlap and are often used interchangably or to overlap in discussing historical work, it is important to cover both. I have added on this. Johnbod (talk) 13:16, 26 May 2014 (UTC)