Naval Brass and Two Other Brass Alloys with Excellent Corrosion Resistance


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.

Naval Brass

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

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.

Aluminum Brass

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,

Brass Alloys and Their Applications,


Why Naval Brass Is Preferred in Ship Manufacturing and Other Construction Projects

A Large Ship Propeller Made of Naval Brass Can Resist Salt Corrosion

Unlike other types of vehicle, sea vessels face one unique, tough challenge–saltwater corrosion. There’s a vast range of substances that can corrode metals, but sodium chloride or salt, mixed with water and other impurities, is different. Saltwater can cause most metals to corrode five times faster than freshwater. Even well-known corrosion-resistant metals like copper, bronze, and aluminum don’t stand a chance against this potent chemical soup. This is why most boats and ships are not expected to last long without regular maintenance and coating.

Thanks to advancements in metallurgy, alloys that have better saltwater corrosion resistance have been discovered and are now widely used in ship construction. One of these alloys is naval brass, a perfect mix of copper, zinc, and tin. It is primarily designed to improve the performance of the outer covering of ships. Read more from this article:

Find Out Why Naval Brass Is Capable of Resisting Corrosion Caused by Salt

A Ship Propeller Corroded by Salt--Prevent Corrosion with Naval Brass

Did you know that the salt you put on your food and eventually into your system is capable of corroding metal? A compound of sodium and chloride, salt can quite be caustic on certain materials. You don’t have to worry, though, because your body does not respond similarly when in contact with salt. (Of course, like with any other food additive, you have to keep your salt intake in check to avoid problems) It’s just that metal and salt don’t mix well together.

Surprisingly, even metals with high corrosion resistance won’t stand a chance when exposed to salt for a long period. You may think that well-known corrosion-resistant metals like copper, bronze, and brass might pull it off but the truth is they, too, will corrode when dipped in salt solution. Read more from this article:

The Conditions Causing Dezincification of Naval Brass and How to Avoid Them

COA 14

Naval brass is widely used in marine construction due to its durability, corrosion resistance, and suitability to salt and freshwater settings. Brass is a popular material for propeller shafts, turnbuckles, and valve stems as well as many other marine fittings. However, sometimes, due to certain conditions, naval brass may experience dezincification, a kind of dealloying process wherein Zinc is removed from the alloy and leaves behind a copper-rich metal which is more porous. If you’re a boat maker, here’s what you need to know about the signs of dealloying Zinc, factors that can contribute to dezincification, and how you can prevent it.

Signs and Factors of Dezincification

Brass is in the stage of dezincification if you see dull red spots on the surface after extended exposure to an industrial atmosphere or mildly-acidic waters. You may also find a white substance or mineral stains on the exterior of brass fittings. Water may start weeping from bodies or seals too. Alpha-beta brass used in underground fittings may be prone to breakage once zinc has leached. In addition, meringue dezincification can result in blocked passageways of pipes and valves. Read more on this blog:

Architectural Designers Using Naval Brass

If you’re an architectural designer, you’re often exposed to some unique materials. Naval brass, in particular, is showing up more in this industry and for good reason. It has a striking look and works well when used in the following ways.

Wall Cladding

For clients looking for a retro look or a premium aesthetic, you can use naval brass as wall cladding. The glow coming from this material instantly lights up rooms and brings warmth to specified areas. The material’s aesthetic can vibe with other pieces in the room or contrast with them, such as a green sofa or recliner.

Since naval brass is going on the walls, it helps to use thinner pieces. They’ll be easier to fasten and keep on walls for a long time. Or, smaller pieces can be used to create interesting patterns, giving you the chance to save some money on material costs.

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Expect Hike in Brass Sales after Interior Design Industry’s Forecast


If you’re looking for the one missing piece to raise the bar of trendy and nouveau, cast your eyes upon brass when trying to satisfy your client’s appetite for panache. Then aim your sights at brass sales near you. Yes, the metallic trend is back yet again, and leading the pack is good ol’ brass.

Perhaps it’s the ease of effort required to make the alloy pop with color and to transform a previously mundane room. Whether the brass accent is slightly muted or unrestrained, it delivers instant elegance and sophistication to most any design. Try some of the following ideas for incorporating brass into your project. Read more on this article: