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Types of Brass and Their Composition

Types of Brass and Their Composition

Brass is an alloy comprised of several different metals. Its composition can vary depending on what type of brass you are looking for. Different types of brass have different properties and can be used for a variety of applications. This guide will provide an overview of the various types of brass, their compositions, and some common uses.

Yellow Brass Composition

Yellow brass is one of the most common types of brass. It is composed primarily of Copper (70%), zinc (29%), and trace amounts of lead, Tin, iron, aluminum, manganese, and other elements. The addition of Zinc gives yellow brass a golden-yellow color and makes it more malleable than pure Copper. It also improves the strength and corrosion resistance of the metal. Yellow brass is commonly used in plumbing fixtures, electrical components, musical instruments, jewelry making, locksmithing, architectural ornamentation, and more.

White Brass Composition

White brass is similar to yellow brass but contains more Zinc (up to 40%) than its yellow counterpart. This higher concentration of Zinc gives white brass a brighter white finish than yellow or red brass. White brass also has excellent corrosion resistance due to its increased zinc content. Common applications for white brass include plumbing fixtures, decorative hardware, architectural trimming and molding, electrical components, musical instruments, and more.

Silicon Brass Composition

Silicon brass has a unique composition that includes Copper (75%), silicon (15%), Zinc (7%), nickel(2%), and small amounts of iron and lead. The addition of silicon helps improve the casting qualities as well as hardness when compared to traditional brasses like yellow or red brasses. Silicon brass has excellent wear resistance, which makes it ideal for valves in gas pipelines transporting natural gas or propane gas as well as other industrial uses such as pumps or valves used in corrosive environments such as chemical plants or marine environments where saltwater is present.

Naval Brass Composition

Naval Brass is composed primarily of Copper (60-87%) with small amounts of Tin (3-12%), Zinc (2-10%), lead(1-6%), and other trace elements such as iron(0-4%). Naval Brass was originally developed for use on naval vessels due to its excellent corrosion resistance in saltwater environments; however, it also has excellent strength characteristics, which make it ideal for many industrial applications, including pumps & valves used in corrosive environments such as chemical plants or power plants where steam is present at high temperatures & pressures. Naval Brass has good cold formability & machinability, which make it suited for fastener applications such as bolts & nuts, which require excellent strength & corrosion resistance when exposed to saltwater conditions such as found on bridges & buildings near oceans or lakes etc.

DZR Brass Composition

DZR stands for Dezincification Resistant – This means that when exposed to certain corrosive chemicals such as ammonia or certain acids, this type of alloy resists dezincification – meaning that it does not corrode at a faster rate than expected when exposed to these chemicals over long periods – This type of alloy is composed primarily of Copper (55-95%) Zinc (25-40%) with small amounts Lead (<0 .08 %) Nickel (< 0 .5 %) Tin (<0 .1 %). Common uses include plumbing connectors, valves, fittings, etc., particularly where there may be exposure to aggressive water sources such as seawater, hot water systems, etc.


Knowing the composition and properties associated with each type can help you determine which type best suits your needs when selecting a particular type of brass alloy for your application needs. Many alloys offer benefits over others depending on the environment they will be subjected to – some offer better machinability while others have better corrosion resistance, so understanding what you need before you buy can save time, money & frustration down the road. Understanding how each type differs from another based on its composition ensures that you select the best alloy suited for your application needs. Knowledge is power! So use this guide next time you are shopping around for different alloys! Good luck!

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