Characteristics and Applications of Alloy
Copper is an important engineering metal since it is widely used in its alloyed and unalloyed conditions.
Copper-Zinc based alloys are called brass, it contains up to 40% of Zinc. It has a pleasant yellow color resembles to that of gold. Many of its superior properties has made brass become one of the most widely-used copper alloys. They are widely used because of their excellent electrical and thermal conductivities, outstanding resistance to corrosion, ease of fabrication, and good strength and fatigue resistance. They are generally non-magnetic. They can be readily soldered, brazed, and welded by various methods. Brasses can be polished and buffed to almost any desired texture and luster. They can be plated, coated, and chemically colored to further extend the variety of available finishes.
Brasses containing 1 to 6% lead (Pb) are free-machining grades. The lead in wrought leaded brasses provides high machinability by acting as a microscopic chip breaker and tool lubricant. Free-cutting brasses, such as JIS C3604 and ASTM C36000, are widely used for machined parts, especially those produced in screw machines (automatic lathe) and NC turning center.
Certain types of parts, most notably plumbing fittings and valves, are produced by hot forging using forging brass simply because no other fabrication process can produce the required shapes and properties as economically.