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Brass vs Bronze – What’s the Difference?

All About Brass and Bronze

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between brass and bronze? Even though both are alloys of copper, they have some distinct differences that set them apart. Let’s take a look at the key characteristics of each metal and how they can be used in your projects.

What is Brass?

Brass is an alloy made up of copper and zinc. The ratio of these two metals can vary depending on the type of brass being produced. For instance, red brass has 85% copper and 15% zinc, while yellow brass has 70% copper and 30% zinc. Generally speaking, the higher the zinc content, the stronger the metal will be, but it will also be more brittle than its lower-zinc counterparts. Brass is a popular choice for plumbing fixtures, door knobs, locks, hinges, musical instruments, and jewelry because it has a warm golden color that doesn’t tarnish easily.

What is Bronze?

Bronze is an alloy made up of copper and tin. Like brass, there are many different types of bronze with varying ratios of copper to tin. For example, phosphor bronze contains 90% copper and 10% tin, while silicon bronze contains 97% copper and 3% silicon plus trace amounts of other elements such as iron or manganese. Bronze is much stronger than brass but still malleable enough to be formed into shapes or cast into molds for intricate designs. It’s commonly used in shipbuilding due to its durability in saltwater environments as well as in sculpture-making because it’s easier to carve than other metals like steel or iron.

Difference Between Bronze and Brass

Brass vs Bronze Strength

When talking about strength, many people may think of metal types like brass and bronze as being two similar materials in terms of their physical capabilities. However, when you dig a little deeper, there is actually quite a difference in terms of their strength. Brass is found to be more ductile and malleable than its bronze counterpart, allowing it to carry more weight without fracturing. In turn, this makes it the better choice when constructing items that require flexibility with useful load-bearing capabilities. On the other hand, Bronze is known for its superior hardness which is great for maintaining complex shapes and preventing wear & tear from occurring. This makes it perfect for applications like marine engineering where parts may experience high amounts of pressure on a regular basis. Taking into account their respective strengths, both brass and bronze have very valuable purposes across various industries.

Brass vs Bronze Composition

Brass and bronze are both copper-based alloys, however the two metals have some distinct differences. Brass has a yellowish color due to its higher content of zinc, while bronze has a reddish-brown color thanks to the presence of tin. Strength is another distinguishing factor since brass tends to be less malleable than bronze. Even though they differ in their compositions and properties, brass and bronze are often used together in many combined parts when designing structures like buildings, bridges and monuments as they complement each other well.

Brass vs Bronze Durability

Beyond aesthetics, there are several differences between these two alloys regarding strength and durability. Brass is known for its corrosion resistance and excellent malleability—making it ideal for parts that require bending or shaping during installation. It’s also very resistant to wear and tear, which makes it suitable for applications like valve components or machine parts that need to stand up to constant use over time.

Bronze has slightly higher tensile strength than brass, making it a better choice for applications where weight needs to be minimized without sacrificing too much strength or flexibility. It also resists corrosion better than brass in extreme environments like salt water or high-temperature steam systems. This makes it great for marine hardware or heat exchangers where corrosion may be an issue.

Brass vs Bronze Price

The price of brass and bronze can be drastically different despite their similarities. In general, brass tends to be more costly than bronze thanks to its malleability, as it is much easier to shape and form than other metals. However, when looking at the long term cost, bronze may in fact be the more expensive of the two. While it initially can be priced lower than brass due to its relative stiffness compared to other metals, it takes a higher level of craftsmanship to shape properly so it’s cost can eventually outweigh that of brass. So regardless if you are a hobbyist or professional, it is important to factor in both the initial price as well as the labor costs when deciding what metal you want to use for your projects.


Brass and bronze are two very popular alloys with distinct properties that make them ideal for certain applications or projects. When deciding which one to use for your project, consider factors such as cost, strength requirements, corrosion resistance needs (which will depend on your environment), aesthetic appeal (what color do you want your finished product to have?), ease of use (some alloys are easier to shape than others), etc. Knowing their unique traits can help you make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your project! With this knowledge under your belt now, you can confidently choose which alloy will work best for you!

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