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BRASS Scrap Recycling

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by - 9/25/2015 4554 Views

BRASS - A Fascinating Metal Alloy

Brass is a metal alloy the combination of copper and zinc; the ratio of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. Brass is used for decoration for its bright gold-like appearance; it is used for making locks, gears, bearings, doorknobs, ammunition casings and valves; for plumbing and electrical applications; and extensively in brass musical instruments such as horns and bells where a combination of high workability (historically with hand tools) and durability is desired. It is also used in zippers. Brass is often used in situations in which it is important that sparks not be struck, such as in fittings and tools around explosive gases.

The brass industry throughout the world depends on brass scrap recycling for its survival. Making brass from new copper and zinc would be uneconomical and wasteful of raw materials so, since new brass articles are made from recycled scrap, brass is said to be sustainable. In the UK brass manufacturers use almost 100% brass scrap.


Brass is not just one composition; brasses consist of alloys of copper with zinc ranging from 5 to 40%. In addition small amounts (less than 5% each) of alloying elements are added to give the improved properties indicated:

Lead - for better machinability (brass has the best machinability of any metal)

Aluminum - to improve corrosion resistance

Manganese, Iron, Tin, Aluminium - for improved strength

Colours of Brass:

Brasses have a range of attractive colours ranging from red to yellow to gold to silver. With the addition of 1% manganese, brass will weather to a chocolate brown colour. A type of brass called nickel silver (no silver but 18% nickel) will polish to a brilliant silver colour. Brasses are easy to shape, and with all these colours available it is not surprising that architects and designers have used brasses to enhance the appearance of new and refurbished buildings, both inside and out.

Properties of Brass:

Brasses have useful properties such as:

High electrical conductivity, wear resistance and corrosion resistance - these properties are required in the pins of a 13 amp plug

High thermal conductivity - where heat has to be removed efficiently brass is an excellent choice due to its high thermal conductivity - it finds use in car radiators for this purpose.

High strength - important for door lock parts which have to resist bending.


Brass and Hygiene:

You will all be aware from news channels & perhaps the experience of relatives of the fight against hospital acquired infections such as MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and C. diff (Clostridium difficile), which in some cases are fatal. It has been shown that these pathogens, which can be spread by touch, will die in a few hours on copper/brass surfaces. This does not happen on stainless steel or plastic.

As a result of this antimicrobial action, copper/copper alloys such as brass are being evaluated in hospitals in high-touch applications such as doorknobs, grab rails, push plates, fittings, pens and work surfaces.

These hospital trials will evaluate the role that copper and copper alloy products could have in combating these harmful bacteria. This social aspect of the action of copper/brass is an example of the sustainable nature of these alloys.

Sources of Brass Scrap

All of the objects mentioned above will at the end of their useful life be available for recycling; they are too valuable to be thrown away and end up in landfill. So each one of us could play a part when, after any home refurbishments, taps, locks, pipes, letter boxes or ornaments are being discarded, by ensuring that this Brass Scrap is recycled. In the factories where brass is made there is a very well organised system of recycling waste that arises from the manufacturing process. In addition clean scrap of known composition may be bought in.

The Current Trend

According to the market analysis the sad part of the story is that the Non Ferrous prices have continued to drop steadily and the future does not look any better for Brass. Brass has taken a huge hit but has not hit the bottom thought. Prices are not great for these materials right now compared to the last several years, but it will likely continue to drop. Barring any major changes in the global economy, the rest of the year appears to be a rough stretch for the Brass scrap business.

Category : Brass

Tags : Brass Scrap Recycling, Brass Scrap, Brass Scrap Market Trend, Brass Scrap Pricing, Brass Latest Trend

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About Georgy Abraham

As the bright morning of 28th May dawned in the year 1972, in the fulfillment of time according to the plan & will of Almighty Godbrought me forth into this world and I was brought up & educated in Orissa. My parents provided me with the best of education in an English medium school with high standa .... more info


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