What makes an alloy of Copper what we commonly call brass? Its the Zinc. It can have other
elements too.
Copper and zinc in various proportions form a number of alloys that we find in our everyday
lives from jewelry to fixtures in our kitchen and bathroom. Many brasses are used in industrial
and marine applications as well.
Brasses have a combination of appearance and corrosion resistance along with useful strength
and ease of production by all common metalworking processes and have been since ancient
times.
For production of parts in machining operations, alloys with an addition of lead increases cutting
speed dramatically.
Of course there are many applications today where lead is either prohibited or restricted due to
effects on human health or the environment.
Brasses can readily accept mechanical finishes and surface treatments for decorative
applications.