Brass is prized for many of its characteristics, including its distinct appearance, machinability, durability, and conductivity. But perhaps the property that craftsmen and artisans consider to be the most important is its excellent corrosion resistance. Through the ages, new brass alloys have been introduced with improved ability to withstand corrosion. This is why brass remains as a preferred material for aggressive working environments and even in marine applications.
Today, there are over 60 types of brass specified by European Norm standards, each with a different composition to suit the specific needs of the user. If you want a material that satisfies the most demanding conditions across many industries, however, here are three of the finest alloys you can get from suppliers like Rotax Metals.
Also referred to as admiralty brass, naval brass is composed of 30 percent zinc and 1 percent tin. Small as it may be, that tiny percentage of tin is what gives naval brass its most notable property—resistance to dezincification. This is especially true if the copper content is near the top end of the range. Being an alpha-beta brass, naval brass is often cheaper, easier to find in markets, and more workable at high temperatures. Naval brass plates hold up well against seawater and other caustic substances, making it a staple in ship manufacturing.
Muntz metal is also a popular material in the shipbuilding industry, although it’s not quite as widely used as naval brass. Its composition of 60 percent copper, 40 percent zinc and a trace amount of iron makes it a little more susceptible to dezincification, particularly in marine environments. This is why Muntz metal is more commonly used only as lining on boats. When treated and protected with iron or zinc anodes, though, it can tolerate a significant amount of dezincification before needing replacement.
Nowadays, aluminum brass is just as important as naval brass when it comes to marine applications. Containing about 76 percent copper, 22 percent zinc, and 2 percent aluminum, this alloy has superior corrosion resistance, too. Aluminum brass sheets, strips and plates are widely used in seawater service and sometimes for production of seawater pipe systems. It is also a prominent material used in Euro coins due to its resistance to tarnishing, as well as its non-allergenic and mild antimicrobial properties.
All brass types are naturally corrosion resistant under normal conditions, but some are designed to be more resilient when exposed to the elements. Consult with your supplier to know which brass alloy works best for your project.
About Rotax Metals
Rotax Metals is a trusted supplier of quality copper, brass and bronze products for a number of industries. Founded by Ronald Rosenthal in 1948, our company offers an extensive inventory of competitively priced items along with value added services, such as welding, cutting, forming, and machining. We also provide special services, including polishing, metal shearing, waterjet cutting, metal fabrication through our vast network of resources. Get in touch with us and let our experienced and knowledgeable staff help with your project today.
The Brasses: Properties & Applications, CopperAlliance.eu
Brass Alloys and Their Applications, TheBalance.com