Brass Fabrication: Comparing Different Grades and Their Properties

Brass is one of the popular metals used in custom metal fabrications in the manufacturing industry. In general, this material is favoured because it has decent tensile and compressive strength. Also, the appearance of this copper base alloy is exceptional in comparison to ordinary metals in the market. The term brass is used to indicate all copper alloys with zinc as the primary alloying element. However, there are different grades with different properties to consider for your applications. Here is a short discussion on the most popular brass alloys to help you choose the most suitable grade. 

Red or Gilding Brass

If you are looking for a material with high aesthetic value, you should consider choosing red brass. As implied, this material is reddish in colour as opposed to golden like other brass variants. This appearance can be attributed to the high percentage of copper in the material in comparison to the zinc content. Red brass is highly malleable and can be hammered into diverse shapes. In addition, the tensile strength of the material is quite high. You should think about purchasing this material for fabrications which require high aesthetic appeal or corrosion resistance.

Free Machining Brass

Free machining or cutting brass is a common alloy which is used in diverse applications ranging from equipment fittings to plumbing components. This alloy is formed by combining copper, zinc and lead. The zinc strengthens the material, making it more resilient and durable in adverse applications. The lead content increases the malleability or machinability of the metal. The copper ensures durability and high corrosion resistance. You will find this material in the market in bar and rod forms.

Naval Brass

If you are looking for a material with high corrosion resistance, you should consider purchasing naval brass for your applications. Bronze, in general, is corrosion resistant. However, if the material is exposed to harsh conditions, it will experience degradation like other metals. Naval brass, which is also known as naval bronze, has some tin added to the copper and zinc content. This element increases corrosion resistant in adverse environments such as in seawater.

Arsenical Brass

Arsenical brass contains a small amount of arsenic. This alloying material increases the corrosion resistance of brass, prolonging the lifespan of the fabricated material. If you are looking for a material which can resist corrosion when exposed to water, including potable water, this is an ideal metal choice. Arsenical brass has great strength and is highly machinable. Therefore, it can be used for most applications, including equipment parts and plumbing.