Facts about Brass that You Need to Know before Using a Brass Square Tube for Your Project

Of all the alloys of copper, brass is arguably the most appealing. Not only does it have an elegant color and sheen but it also has so many useful properties. If you’re looking for the perfect metal to use in your projects, you will surely benefit from using brass. Before you go purchasing a brass square tube, plate, or sheet, however, it helps to first learn more about brass. This way you can better understand its properties and discover the safest and most effective ways to handle products made from it.


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Brass Tube, Sheet, and Bar Products—How They Are Manufactured

In this era of industrialization, people have easy access to all kinds of brass products. Whether you need brass tube, sheet, or bar supplies, there will always be a supplier nearby that may have them in store. But have you ever wondered where those supplies get their supplies from? Here’s a glimpse of how brass supplies are manufactured and a quick guide to getting the highest quality ones for your project.


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Brass Tubing Applications: Finding the Right Tubes for Your Project

Tubes are among the most common yet hardly noticed materials around. They can be found in your home, in your workplace, and even in your car, but you don’t notice them because either they are inconspicuous or you are just not that interested in knowing their value. In truth, tubes play a very important role in everyday life. Here are some of their most notable uses.


Heat Exchangers

Most of today’s machines that use heat to generate energy or create heat as a byproduct have heat exchangers. These are devices that transfer heat from one fluid to another without the two fluids coming into contact with each other. Often this heat is excess heat produced during energy generation and is only bound to dissipate. With heat exchangers, however, this heat can be utilized for other purposes, usually for warming rooms of a building, which helps save energy as it allows the furnace to rest from time to time. Heat exchangers consist of tubes that are made from a material that has good thermal conductivity.

Home Fixtures

In your home, you’ll see these metal tubes installed as handrails, railings, or curtain rods. Some are hidden behind your walls or in the cellar, conveying water into your taps or down the sink. Most of the tubes found in your home are made from corrosion-resistant metals, such as brass or bronze, so that they can last for a long time. These metals are also shiny and have a gold-like shade so they add flare to your interior design.

Structural Tube

One of the features that set tubes apart from pipes is that tubes may have structural functions as well. With the right wall thickness, diameter, and strength of material, it can hold up heavy loads. In fact, large tubes with diameters spanning several feet are now widely used in the construction of high-roof structures such as domes and arenas. Also, modern-day builders have already replaced lumber with metal tubes for scaffolding.

Musical Instruments

There are a great number of musical instruments made of tubes, or at least have tubular parts. Brass instruments, including the horn, bugle, and trumpet, are the best examples. Each of them consists of parts that resemble tubes, and they are made from extremely durable and malleable metals as well. Brass instruments, for example, are obviously made of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.

Finding the Right Tubes for Your Project

Now that you’ve identified some of the most common examples of items made of tubes, you’re probably thinking of including tubes in your project. Whether it’s for a major construction or for simple repair work or upgrade, you need to be careful in choosing your tubes to ensure the success of your project.

Tubes come in an array of shapes and materials. You can find round, square, or even multi-sided tubes. Depending on your needs, you can even consider having your tubes customized to your specifications. You will also have to choose among the many types of material the tubes are made out of. There are brass tubes, bronze tubes, and even copper tubes, but each one has a unique set of properties that may or may not suit your needs so you have to be careful in choosing.

The best thing to do is to find a reputable supplier like Rotax Metals. Not only do they have a plethora of brass tubing options that you can choose from, but they are also willing to guide you until you find the perfect tubes for your needs.

About Rotax Metals: Rotax Metals is a go-to provider of high-quality metal supplies in North America. When it comes to copper, brass, and bronze tubes, sheets, or bars, we are the provider of choice for builders, artisans, and distributors. We also provide special services that you might not find elsewhere, such as polishing, metal shearing, waterjet cutting, and metal fabrication. So the next time you need metal supplies, don’t hesitate to contact us.



Heat exchangers, explainthatstuff.com

12 Metallic Facts About Brass Instruments, mentalfloss.com

Bronze Bars, Sheets, and Tubes—What Type of Bronze Do You Need?

Ever since its discovery some 7000 years ago, bronze has maintained its reputation as one of the most valuable and most extensively used metals. It has come a long way from being merely the base material for ancient armors and cutlery to being the very nuts and bolts that hold structures together.

It is important to understand that bronze is no longer the typical alloy of copper and tin. With advances in technology, more versions of bronze have emerged, allowing it to be used for many more vital applications. Here are the most common types of bronze that you can find on the market today.


Architectural Bronze

Bronze is prized for its legendary antique color and shade, especially when sufficiently exposed to the elements. These unique characteristics make it a good material for architectural and structural elements, such as door and window frames, elevator sills, handles, railings, and balusters among many others. Because of the nature of their purpose in a structure, most of them exposed to heavy traffic and handling, they are designed to have high copper content to improve their corrosion resistance.

Manganese Bronze

Manganese is added to the mixture of copper and tin, along with other important elements, to improve bronze’s tensile strength or the ability to resist pulling force. The resulting alloy—manganese bronze—is perfect for applications that involve countering huge levels of tension. Specifically, this type of bronze is what most valves, pump parts, gears, nuts and bolts, and even non-spark tools and parts are made of. They are often produced through casting, forging, or extrusion.

Aluminum Bronze

While bronze is already highly resistant to corrosion, there are situations in which its corrosion resistance isn’t enough. For instance, situations where it has to be exposed to seawater, oil, or petroleum. These substances may have an even harsher effect on bronze than water so understandably, bronze’s qualities have to be improved as well. By adding aluminum, bronze can be resistant not just to tap water but also to saltwater, which is known for being ten times for corrosive.

Phosphor Bronze

Adding a little bit of phosphorus to the original copper-tin mixture gives bronze incredible strength, durability, high fatigue resistance, and a low coefficient of friction. Such properties are critical to applications where continues motion and sliding of surfaces are involved. For this reason, phosphor bronze is often used for making electrical components, washers, springs, and bellows to name a few.

Regardless of the type of bronze you are looking for, you can find the highest quality supplies if you go to a fully established metal supplier, especially one that specializes in copper, brass, and bronze bars, sheets, and tubes like Rotax Metals. Discuss the specific materials you need and they will present you with the options that suit your budget and needs.



HISTORY OF USING BRONZE, bronzecasements.com

Square Metal Tubing: Determine If It’s Ferrous or Non-Ferrous

Metals are categorized in many ways, many of which are meant to determine the applications they are most suited for. Among these is by their iron content. Metals that contain iron are classified as ferrous metals, while those that don’t contain iron are classified as non-ferrous. Why is it important to categorize metals this way?



Iron was discovered in 3000 B.C. but it’s only around 1200 B.C. when it became widely used for various applications. It is also during this period when combining iron with other metals became more commonplace. This gave birth to ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals were discovered much earlier, around 5000 B.C., and it was their discovery that marked the end of the Stone Age.


Roughly 90 percent of all metals produced by foundry around the world are ferrous, and it’s not hard to understand why. Ferrous metals, such as all kinds of steel, are used in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, and dams among many others. Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, are often produced and utilized for smaller scale applications, such as the manufacture of electronics and communication devices.

Some of the most popular types of ferrous metals are steel, cast iron, and wrought iron. Steel, which originally consists of iron and a trace amount of carbon, can be combined with other metals, such as chromium, to improve its properties. Oppositely, the best examples of non-ferrous metals are copper, brass, and bronze.

Properties and Applications

Steel is produced by combining iron and carbon. The role of carbon in the mix is to enhance the sturdiness of iron. This doesn’t necessarily gives steel better resistance to corrosion. Its iron content still makes it fully capable of forming rust when exposed to oxygen. To solve this issue, non-ferrous metals are sometimes alloyed with steel. Chromium, for instance, when added to steel, produces stainless steel. Despite the addition of a non-ferrous metal, steel remains tough and hard due to the presence of carbon and the natural properties of iron.

The only drawback of carbonating steel or having too much iron is that the resulting metal becomes less malleable and ductile, two special properties that are very unique to non-ferrous metals. Copper, brass, bronze, and even silver and gold are very easy to form into sheet or wire without breaking. And since they don’t contain iron, they don’t rust when exposed to moisture. Non-ferrous metals are also non-magnetic unlike ferrous metals.

With these differences in properties, you can easily tell why ferrous metals are the most ideal materials for construction, while non-ferrous metals work better when used for making pipes, tubes, electronic components, cutlery, and the like. Although non-ferrous metals can be made tougher and harder like steel, they still wouldn’t be an ideal alternative to the latter because they are low-abundant metals. It would cost tremendous amounts of money to produce enough non-ferrous metals for massive projects like a skyscraper or a long bridge.

When you’re looking for metal supplies to use in your project, it’s essential to determine whether they are ferrous or non-ferrous first. This way you will know if they possess the properties you need to make the project work. If you need round or square metal tubing that doesn’t corrode, then you should look for non-ferrous metals. Suppliers that specialize in copper, brass, and bronze products, such as Rotax Metals, will be able to help you.



Metals, statista.com

Iron: historical information, webelements.com

How to Safely Clean the Items You’ve Purchased from Top Brass Suppliers

Brass furniture can make your home look bright and elegant. The shimmering reflection they create can brighten up every nook and cranny in every room. Unfortunately, this sheen doesn’t last forever. In fact, it can easily be overshadowed by tarnish as the furniture’s surfaces get exposed to oxygen. Fortunately, though, there are ways to make your brass items shiny again.


Why does brass tarnish?

Before cleaning and polishing your brass furniture, it helps to first understand why brass tarnishes in the first place. Well, you may think that tarnish indicates damage or deterioration. In truth, it’s the other way around. The tarnish is the beginning of a process called patination, or the creation of a protective layer as a reaction to oxidation. That tarnish is actually protecting your brass furniture from damage.

The problem with tarnish is that it makes brass surface look pale and unattractive. Unless you intend to make your brass furniture look rustic and antique, you have no other choice but to clean and polish them every now and then to bring back their luster.

Is it solid brass or just a coating?

Brass is an expensive metal because its base metals are hard to mine and it requires a quite complex alloying process. This is also why most items made of pure brass cost more than those made of iron or aluminum, which is more abundant in supply. When a piece of brass furniture is offered to you for an unreasonably low price, it could be a red flag that the furniture is not made of pure brass.

There’s a way to determine if a furniture is pure brass or not. Hold a piece of magnet near the surface of you brass furniture. If the magnet doesn’t cling to the furniture, it means the furniture is pure brass. If it does, the furniture could be made of iron and just coated or plated with brass. It is important to know this because the cleaning method required for brass-plated furniture pieces may be different from that required for pure brass items.

Cleaning and Buffing

The first step to restoring the luster of your brass furniture is to get rid of dirt and stains from its surface. Wash the item with soap and water until the surface is all clean. This won’t remove the tarnish but at least you’ve eradicated hard particles that can stick to the cloth and potentially scratch your furniture as you rub on its surface.

Dry the furniture and ready the materials you need for buffing. All you need is a piece of cloth and a burnishing substance. You may use commercially available metal polish but if you like a more natural and cost-effective approach, there are alternative products that you can use, most of them are very likely to be found in your home. Vinegar, for instance, is a natural polishing agent that works just as effectively as over-the-counter products. Catsup and lemon may work, too.

Getting Your Brass Supplies from the Best Supplier

Proper alloying techniques can produce high-quality brass items with sheen that doesn’t easily fade. This means you don’t have to clean and burnish your furniture very often. You can find these materials from reputable brass suppliers, such as Rotax Metals. Buying from a trusted supplier can help you get the most bang for your buck.


How to Polish Brass, realsimple.com

How to clean brass naturally, mnn.com

What You Should Know about the Properties of Metal before Buying Brass for Sale

Finding a metal that has all the properties you need for your project may prove challenging. Not only do some metals look strikingly similar but they may share some properties, too, which can make the entire selection process quite confusing. For instance, certain alloys of brass may appear like bronze and are just as resistant to friction. Therefore, it is important that you meticulously check for these properties of metal before you decide to make a purchase. This way you can be sure that the metal you’ll use best suits your needs. Below are some of the basic properties of metal.



Metals that don’t easily break when hammered, rolled, or pressed into thin sheets are considered malleable. In fact, all metals have a certain degree of malleability. It’s just that some metals, such as copper and its alloys, are more malleable than others. Copper alloys, particularly brass and bronze, are so malleable that they can be transformed into sheets and plates, which are often used for cladding furniture surfaces or making musical instruments. They are also a favorite material for making parts of electronic devices.


When a metal is pulled from both ends, tension builds within it. If the tension exceeds tolerable levels, the metal would break. The metal’s ability to withstand tension is called tensile strength. However, some metals are not just tension-resistant but can elongate when pulled from both ends. The ability of such metals to elongate without breaking is called ductility. The most popular example of high ductility metal is copper. It can be drawn into small wires without snapping. This is why copper is widely used for making electrical wires and magnets.

Corrosion Resistance

Oxygen is the number one enemy of most metals. However, metals respond differently when exposed to oxygen. For instance, iron and ferrous (iron-containing) metals form iron-oxide or rust when they make contact with oxygen-containing substance, such as moisture or even air. Copper, on the other hand, forms a thin film of greenish material, called patina, on its surface when exposed to oxygen. Of the two examples, copper is the more durable one because the patina it forms does not affect the material underneath it. In fact, it later hardens and turns into a protective shield for the metal. If you’re looking for a metal that can last long or maintain its hardness and toughness, copper or any of its alloys is a good bet.


Some metals are too soft to hold up to excessive amounts of pressure. Others are too brittle that they easily break apart when pressed or pulled. If you’re manufacturing machines parts, such as bolts, gears, and bearing, you need a metal that is neither too soft nor too hard. That metal has sufficient machinability.

With all these properties packed in a single metal, you can surely have an output that can endure stresses. Copper and brass for sale are among the best metals you can use for your projects. Just make sure that you will get these metals from a reputable supplier like Rotax Metals.

About Rotax Metals: There are many metal suppliers in the country, and Rotax Metals is one of the very few that can provide you with the highest quality copper, brass, and bronze supplies. Whether you need brass tubes for your bathroom or bronze plate for your backsplash, you can get the right material, grade, and size that you need from our inventory. Visit our store today and we’ll help you find the most suitable choices for your projects.


12 Metallic Facts About Brass Instruments, mentalfloss.com

Facts to Know About the Metal Brass, ehow.com

What is Malleability in Metallurgy, thebalance.com