Look around your home or office, and you will probably find at least one item made from brass. Brass is used for everything from making pipes to fire arms, but few people know the process that brass suppliers go through to produce it or what it is actually composed of. Read on for more information about this fascinating metal.
Types of Brass
Brass is made from a combination of copper and zinc. The percentage of zinc combined with copper effects the color and how the brass is classified. For instance, brass with a reddish color, or red brass, contains only 15% of zinc, and the remainder is copper. Brass with a yellowish appearance, or yellow brass, has a much higher amount of about 30% zinc.
How Brass is Made
Combining zinc and copper to make brass requires melting the metals at a very high temperature. Brass suppliers use ovens that reach over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for the process. Once the metals are melted and combined, they are poured into molds. Once molded, blocks of brass are called “cakes”. When these cakes have cooled, they are reheated and fed into a series of steel rollers that turn the cakes in to sheets of flattened brass. Each roller flattens the metal until it becomes thinner and stronger. Then, the brass is scraped by a machine that removes any build up of oxides, and the metal is washed in an acid bath.