Classifying Brasses by Their Crystal Structure—Muntz Metal and Other Brass Types

Copper is valued for its numerous useful properties. Apart from being extensively used for electrical and electronic applications, it also boasts of health benefits. Amazing as it is in pure form, this metal becomes even more useful when combined with other equally prized metals. For instance, when alloyed with zinc, it produces brass, which also has its fair share of great merits, including its high tensile strength and machinability.

Brass can be formed in an array of types by manipulating its zinc content. Each type has unique properties required for specific applications. Currently, there are at least 60 different types of brass. These are further classified into smaller groups based on their crystal structure.

Alpha Brasses

 All brasses that contain less than 37 percent zinc are classified as alpha. This small amount of zinc is evenly distributed within the alloy to form a homogenous alpha grain structure, thus the name. Because there are fewer atoms of zinc held between the molecules of copper in this structure, there’s not enough strength to resist even light pressure. Consequently, the resulting brass is softer and more ductile than other types, making it very easy to work with.

Alpha-Beta Brasses

Adding more zinc to the mixture allows for the creation of a beta grain structure. This is why brasses with 37 to 45 percent zinc content are classified as alpha-beta brasses. Having a beta grain structure, the resulting brass becomes tougher and less ductile, which makes it difficult to work with at room temperature. This is why alpha-beta brasses are usually hot worked by extrusion, stamping, or die-casting. One example of this type of brass is Muntz metal, which has about 60% copper, 40% zinc, and a trace amount of iron.

Beta Brasses

With more than 45 percent zinc, beta brasses are the hardest of all types of brass so much so that they can only be hot-worked or cast. Their hardness makes them suitable for making faucet handles, sprinkler heads, window and door fittings, and other fixtures that are constantly subjected to pressures. Other elements, such as aluminum and iron, are added into the alloy to achieve even better properties that are necessary for complex and aggressive applications.

Apart from differentiating crystal structures, there are other ways brasses can be classified to identify the type that can work best for certain applications. Specifically, they can be classified by their mechanical properties and color, although each property used as basis is related to the rest of the properties.

Using brass with the right characteristics can improve the quality of your project’s output, and possibly reduce the cost. This is why it is important to consult with an expert in metals before shopping around for brass supplies. Top suppliers like Rotax Metals have experts ready to guide you through the choosing and buying process. Also, because they have a huge selection of brass products with different grades and zinc content, you can easily find the most suitable type for your project.


About Rotax Metals. When it comes to copper and brass, you should settle only for the best, and that’s what we at Rotax Metals offer. Established in 1947, we’ve been providing the highest quality copper supplies to professionals and businesses across North America. We even customize metal parts for manufacturers that need specific designs for their machinery. Whether you are a designer or a metal supplier, you need us to provide you with topnotch metal solutions for your projects.



Brass Alloys and Their Chemical Composition,



Getting to Know Brass, Copper, and Muntz Metal for Architecture Work

Some Reasons Why Muntz Metal is In Hot Demand in Architecture Work

Construction is a serious job. Whether it is a house, an office building, a commercial complex, or even just a barn in the farm, having a great design of the structure’s layout is crucial not only in ensuring aesthetic appeal but also full functionality.

Those working in the construction industry are not only concerned about the design flow, but also how it is going to be built. Together with the engineers and designers, they set to come up with the best possible combination of materials and creative ideas to bring their vision to fruition. Crucial to this process is sourcing the best materials possible.

Why Metals

The presence of metals in modern structures is quite commonplace. In fact, it’s practically rare to find structures that have no metal components in them, and for good reasons. Metals are known for their tensile strength, meaning they can resist pulling forces. Concrete, on the other hand, is good at resisting compression. So together, concrete and metal, can provide the ultimate stability to a structure. Read more from this article:

Achieve Elegant Design by Using Copper, Bronze, or Muntz Metal Tiles

Muntz Metal Tiles Make for a Great Covering Material for Your Surface

Elegance is defined as the perfect blend of gracefulness and style. An elegant design is one that is attractive, sophisticated and often times elusive, making it a worthwhile goal to achieve if you want to improve the look of a space. Elegance certainly attracts a favorable and lasting impression.

Due to its upscale nature, chasing elegance can seem like a daunting and difficult endeavor. That said, you don’t have to take obsolete or expensive approaches to have elegance in your design. Elegant design is possible for every style and taste, and sometimes, using the right material can be enough. Read more from this article:

Modern Day Architectural and Construction Design Utilizes Muntz Metal for Its Unique Properties

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In the past couple of decades, both builders and property owners have realized the wide range of design possibilities that metal brings to the table. While metal provides strength and stability, it is also undeniably sensitive to its surroundings. A metal that provides a rather good performance can corrode quite rapidly in some environments.

Despite the fact that Muntz metal (also known as Yellow Metal) is a material primarily used in maritime and industrial applications due to its antifouling properties, an increasing number of architects and contractors are appreciating the unique properties of Muntz metal as a building material too. Muntz metal is highly corrosion-resistant and can reduce the possibility of epibiosis. This means that Muntz metal is not prone to fungi or algae growth, which is quite typical in humid environments.

Capabilities and limitations

Architects and contractors consider several factors in choosing the right metal to incorporate in their design. The metal’s appearance, weight, strength, expected service life, anti-corrosive properties, ease of installation, and cost are just some of the things they consider. Read more on this blog:

Brass Sales Offer a Stylish and Affordable Way to Upgrade Bathrooms

A bathroom goes by a number of monikers, but “comfort room” is perhaps the most accurate description. When designing or remodeling a bathroom, therefore, interior designers need to give it a sense of warmth so that it may live up to this title.

Luckily, doing so is neither difficult nor expensive thanks to brass, which has experienced something of a renaissance recently. Here are just a couple of ways you can incorporate it into the bathroom.


There’s no better place to install brass than the bathroom door. The gold hue of the alloy gives the space an unmistakable touch of elegance from the get-go. What’s more, you can choose any from any number of door handle designs, from elaborate ones to more contemporary designs. It’s a simple tweak that immediately pays dividends, aesthetically speaking. Read more from this blog:

Interior Design Trends for 2017 Seen to Further Drive Up Brass Sales

Brass accents have always been a welcome addition to interior design. Its rich color feature makes it an eye-catching touch to furnitures and fixtures without necessarily being overbearing. For 2017, industry analysts have forecast that this appreciation for brass in its various forms will continue to turn heads among designers and craftsmen alike.

Element Combinations

If you’re a designer who prefers mixing up elements to come up with a sophisticated style, then you’ll be glad to know that there’s a lot more room to play around with materials this season. In particular, brass is being paired up with marble. It’s not necessarily a groundbreaking idea per se, as this is actually one of the more reliable classic combinations. Read more from this blog Read more from this blog

The Beloved Metal of Open Seas: Keeping Ships Afloat With Muntz Metal


It’s a harsh world out there in the ocean. Many normal metals that function perfectly on land would not survive for long under the punishing conditions of sun and saltwater. That’s why special metals are needed to keep boats and ships functioning well for many years. Muntz metal is one such metal, and for lovers of the sea, it’s a necessary part of exploring the deep blue.

The Origins of Muntz Metal

It’s easy to assume that Muntz is its own type of metal, but it’s actually a brass alloy. The name Muntz came from George Fredrick Muntz who invented it in 1832. He perfected its zinc and copper content in Birmingham, and Muntz metal has been indispensable in various industries since then, most notably shipping.

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