brass, copper, phosphor bronze and aluminium bronze

Yellow Metals, Copper and Bronze

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CZ121 Free Machining Brass

CZ131 Turning and Riveting Brass

CZ112 Naval Brass – added tin gives better corrosion resistance.

CZ116 Higher Tensile Brass

CZ108 Brass Used in general electrical engineering (sheet/strip products)

Phosphor Bronze

PB1 is a continuously cast product used for machined components washers and bushes.

PB2 This has a higher tin content than PB1 this addition aids wear resistance and is used in gear applications.

PB102 is a wrought phosphor bronze with a high hardness mainly id bar and rod form used in the manufacture of machined parts and electrical components.

SAE660 – this is a leaded gunmetal used for a bearing material, good strength and , machinability and abrasion resistance.

Aluminium Bronze

CA104 this bronze has been developed for use in the naval and general engineering industries due to their increased corrosion resistance in harsh environments.

NES833 – this is a similar alloy that has to meet stringent Ministry of Defence guidelines.


C101 – High conductivity – used in the electrical/electronic component industries

C106 – available in sheet & strip in coil and tube it has excellent welding properties. It also can be offered in highly polished finishes for architectural purposes.

Brass is the term used for alloys of copper and zinc in a solid solution. The amount of zinc varying from 5 to 45 percent to create a range of brasses each with unique properties. Note that in comparison bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin. Despite this distinction, some types of brasses are called bronzes.

Brass has a yellow colour, somewhat similar to gold. It is relatively resistant to tarnishing, and is often used as decoration.

Brass has been known to man since prehistoric times, long before zinc itself was discovered. It was produced by melting copper together with calamine, a zinc ore. During this process, the zinc is extracted from the calamine and mixes with the copper. Pure zinc, on the other hand, is too reactive to have been produced by ancient metalworking techniques.

Brass types

  • Admiralty brass contains 30% zinc and 1% tin which inhibits dezincification in most environments.
  • Alpha brasses (Prince’s metal), with less than 35% zinc, are malleable, can be worked cold, and are used in pressing, forging, or similar. They contain only one phase, with face-centered cubic crystal structure.
  • Alpha-beta brass (Muntz metal), also called duplex brass, is 35-45 % zinc and is suited for hot working. It contains both α and β’ phase; the β’-phase is body-centered cubic and is harder and stronger than α. Alpha-beta brasses are usually worked hot.
  • Aluminium brass contains aluminium, which improves its corrosion resistance. 
    Arsenical brass contains an addition of arsenic and frequently aluminium and is used for boiler fireboxes.
  • Beta brasses, with 45-50 % zinc content, can only be worked hot, and are harder, stronger, and suitable for casting.
  • Cartridge brass is a 30% zinc brass with good cold working properties.
  • Common brass, or rivet brass, is a 37% zinc brass, cheap and standard for cold working.
  • High brass, contains 65% copper and 35% zinc, has a high tensile strength and is used for springs, screws, rivets.
  • Leaded brass is an alpha-beta brass with an addition of lead. It has excellent machinability.
  • Low brass is a copper-zinc alloy containing 20% zinc with a light golden color, excellent ductility and is used for flexible metal hoses and metal bellows.
  • Naval brass, similar to admiralty brass, is a 40% zinc brass and 1% tin.
  • Red brass is an American term for CuZnSn alloy known as gunmetal.
  • White brass contains more than 50 % zinc and is too brittle for general use.
  • Yellow brass is an American term for 33% zinc brass.
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