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Article: Brass


Composition and Elements in Brass

  • Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.
  • The proportions of copper and zinc can be varied to achieve different properties.
  • Copper typically has the larger proportion in brass.
  • Brass is a substitutional alloy where atoms of copper and zinc can replace each other within the crystal structure.
  • Both bronze and brass may contain small proportions of elements like arsenic, lead, phosphorus, aluminum, manganese, and silicon.
  • The presence of different elements in brass can affect its properties.
  • The specific composition of brass can be tailored for specific applications.

Properties of Brass

  • Brass has a bright gold-like appearance.
  • It is commonly used for drawer pulls, doorknobs, sculpture, and utensils.
  • Brass has a low melting point and high workability.
  • It is durable and has good electrical and thermal conductivity.
  • The color of brass can vary depending on the copper and zinc content.

Historical Use of Brass

  • Brass has been used since prehistoric times.
  • It was popular during the Islamic Golden Age for making astrolabes.
  • Brass was widely used for decorative purposes in the Netherlands around 1500.
  • Its popularity in making utensils and sculptures has persisted over time.
  • Brass continues to be used in various industries due to its desirable properties.

Applications of Brass

  • Brass is commonly used in plumbing fittings and valves.
  • It is used in musical instruments like trumpets and saxophones.
  • Brass is employed in electrical connectors and terminals.
  • It is used in ammunition casings and bullet jackets.
  • The versatility of brass makes it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Distinction between Brass and Bronze

  • Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, while bronze is a copper alloy containing tin instead of zinc.
  • The distinction between bronze and brass has historically been inconsistent and unclear.
  • Museums increasingly use the term 'copper alloy' to refer to both bronze and brass.

Brass Data Sources

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