How Much is Brass and How is it Made?(what is brass made out of Moses)

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Brass is a metal alloy made up of copper and zinc that has been used for thousands of years. The exact mixture can vary, but standards range from 60% copper and 40% zinc to 90% copper and 10% zinc. The different ratios create different types of brass with unique properties and uses. But how much does brass cost and what goes into making this versatile material? Let's take a closer look.
Pricing of Brass
Brass pricing can vary greatly depending on the form it's purchased in, composition, quantity ordered, and current market conditions. Some typical price ranges include:
- Brass Sheet (12" x 12" x 0.5") - $5 to $20 per sheet
- Brass Rod (1" diameter x 3' length)- $10 to $30 per rod
- Brass Tubing (1" diameter x 6' length) - $20 to $60 per tube
- Brass Fittings (elbow, tee, coupler) - $1 to $5 per fitting
- Brass Scrap (mixed clean scrap) - $1.50 to $3 per pound
The pricing above is just a general guide. Scrap brass tends to be on the cheaper end, while specially fabricated parts and products made from brass would be more expensive. The purity of the brass also affects cost, with higher zinc content lowering the price. Overall brass is moderately priced as far as metals go, generally costing less than copper, bronze or stainless steel.
Manufacturing Processes
Brass is manufactured using several processes that involve mixing copper and zinc, melting, alloying and shaping the metal. Here are some of the main production methods:
- Direct alloying - This is done by heating copper and zinc metals to melting point and mixing to achieve the desired brass composition. The molten brass can then be poured into molds or casts.
- Cementation - Small pieces of zinc metal are added to molten copper. The zinc dissolves and diffuses into the copper to create the brass alloy.
- Calamine cementation - Zinc ore (calamine) is added to molten copper to produce brass through heating, dissolving and diffusion.
- Electrolytic brass - This is made by electrolytically plating zinc onto solid copper metal to reach the needed percentage. The plated metal is then heated and fused into a uniform brass alloy.
- Mechanical alloying - Powders of copper and zinc metal are mechanically pressed and rubbed together while heated to produce brass flake. The flake can be melted and cast.
- Recycling of scrap - Brass scrap is melted down and recast into new products, reducing waste and material costs.
Once the raw brass has been produced via an alloying method, it can then be shaped and finished using techniques like:
- Extrusion - Pressing the brass through a die to create long rods, bars and tubing.
- Rolling - Compressing brass between rollers to form uniform flat sheets and plates.

- Forging - Using presses and hammers to form brass into parts like valves, fittings and nozzles.
- Stamping - Cutting shapes from brass sheets using pressing dies and stamps.
- Machining - Turning, drilling and milling brass blocks into parts using automated tools.
- Die casting - Forcing molten brass into reusable molds and shells for high volume production.
So in summary, brass costs between $1 to $60 per pound based on factors like form, composition, order size and market conditions. Manufacturing processes blend copper and zinc via melting, alloying and diffusion to create the brass material. The raw brass is then shaped into products using techniques like extrusion, rolling, stamping and machining. It's a versatile metal alloy with a long history and wide usage across many industries.
Uses of Brass
Thanks to its attractive gold-like sheen, anti-corrosive properties, and ease of manufacturing, brass has been used in a vast array of products and applications. Some of the primary uses of brass include:
- Musical instruments - Brass is ideal for horns, trumpets, trombones, bells and other instruments where its acoustic properties are important.
- Decorative objects - Brass chandeliers, door handles, jewelry, statues and other artwork take advantage of brass' beautiful appearance.
- Locks, gears, valves - The material's machinability and anti-seizing properties allow it to be fabricated into small intricate mechanical parts.
- Plumbing fittings and pipes - Excellent corrosion resistance makes brass ideal for water supply lines, faucets, couplings and valves.
- Ammunition casings - Spent brass cartridges are often recycled into new ammunition cartridges.
- Marine components - Corrosion resistance also suits brass for use in boat propellers, portholes, navigation instruments and other saltwater hardware.
- Electrical equipment - Good conductivity makes it useful for electrical contacts, terminals, switch plates, and spark plugs.
- Architectural features - Brass door hinges, kickplates, building accents and roofing ornaments add elegance and style.
So whether for beauty, corrosion protection or manufacturing ease, brass continues to be a versatile and useful alloy across many walks of life. Its unique qualities come at an affordable price, thanks to efficient large-scale production methods. Brass has served important roles for thousands of years and will likely continue being a valued material long into the future. CNC Milling CNC Machining