Brass is a metal alloy made from the combination of zinc and copper. Alone, copper is quite expensive, and it is very soft. By adding zinc to it in the melting process, it become less brittle, and it is strengthened significantly. Brass is made from approximately 90% copper and 10% zinc. Sometimes, phosphorous, silicon, and aluminum are also added for increased strength and durability.
The high concentration of copper is what gives brass such a beautiful color and shine that makes it such a desirable medal to purchase from brass suppliers. Besides its appearance though, there are also many other benefits to using the alloy. It is resistant to salt water, so it is frequently used for marine based applications.
It is more resistant to corrosion than copper and other metals, so it can be used for outdoor applications. It holds up well in regular weather conditions, but bird droppings and acid rain can cause damage to it quickly. The high percentage of copper in it also makes it antimicrobial, meaning it resists forms of bacteria and germs. In fact, staph and E. coli bacteria cannot survive on the surface of brass and other copper alloys.
Brass suppliers sell brass in many different shapes and sizes. It comes in rods of different thicknesses and lengths. It can also be purchased in sheets cut in different shapes and bars. Brass costs less than pure copper does. It can also be recycled. Not all brass suppliers sell recycled brass though. There are many different kinds of brass, so it is important to let the brass supplier know the purpose that the brass will be used for, so they can be sure that you get the right kind.