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Brass Machining

Anco precision machining not only works with metals but alloys as well. Brass is an alloy composed of both copper and zinc. The percentages of zinc and copper used can be varied to create a wide selection of different brasses. It c should not be confused with its cousin bronze, which is mostly a copper alloy. The term bronzed is applied to a variety of brasses and the difference is mainly historical. Brass is an alloy that is also used for parts manufacturing. Instead, it has found a use as decoration due to its gold-like appearance.

Applications where low friction is required such as in locks, gears, bearings, and ammunition are perfect jobs for brass. It is also used in zippers. It is much softer than most metals so brass is often used in situations where it is important that sparks not be made as is the case with tools that are operated around highly explosive gases. Brass has a yellowish coloring, which makes it look like gold. It is not tarnished easily and cleans up well. Many ancient dig sites have unearthed brass mirrors and coins. The earliest brasses may have been natural alloys made by smelting zinc-rich copper ores however this remains speculation at best.

The Roman period of rule allowed for brass to be deliberately produced from metallic copper and zinc minerals using a cementation process. Variations of such techniques were sued well into the 1800’s. During beginning of the 1st century BC the use of brass spread across a wide geographical areas ranging from Britain and Spain. Traces have even been found as far away as Iran and India.

This trading was encouraged by exports and influence from the Middle-East. It was soon updated to a new process called speltering, which has the direct alloying of copper and zinc metal at its foundation. Brass is hard to machine so metallurgists started adding concentrations of lead of no more than 2 percent. Silicon stands as the alternative to lead however, when it is used with a brass alloy, the scrap must never be mixed with leaded brass scrap to reduce risks of contamination and safety problems.

Throughout history brass has been used by military officials on their medals and buttons. The make-up and consistency at which brass is smelted has increased with technology. The black smiths and metals workers of yester year would love to get their hands on some of the brass we use and manufacture around the world today. Working with brass can be tricky, but don’t worry because Anco precision machining has the tools and skills to get the job done.