Brass Rod Selection Guide

Brass Rod Selection Guide

To the unknowing eye, brass is brass. However, there are many variables in brass alloys that make brass a metal for a wide range of applications.

In order to effectively select the correct brass type that is available in brass rod, critical attributes of the final product have to be considered, including:


Mechanical Properties

What is the necessary tensile strength, yield strength, elongation and rockwell hardness required in the final product?

The Importance of Mechanical Properties

Understanding brass’s mechanical properties and knowing if you require a specific elasticity from brass will guide you to the best brass for your application.

  • Tensile Strength – Tensile strength is the maximum amount of stress a metal can withstand when force is applied before it fails or fractures. 
  • Yield Strength – Yield strength refers to the amount of stress a metal can endure before a permanent length increase occurs. 
  • Elongation – Elongation measures how far it permanently stretches before fracture 

Brass C360

is one of the most popular copper alloys. C36000 Blue Dot® Brass Rod mechanical properties include: 

Diameter (inch) Tensile Strength (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi) Elongation (%) Hardness RD (Rb) Hardness (HX/OC) (Rb)
≤0.500″ 57 25 7
>0.500″-1.000″ 55 25 10 60-80 55-80
>1.000″-2.000″ 50 20 15 50-75 45-80
>2.000″-3.000″ 45 15 20 45-70 40-65
>3.000″-4.000″ 45 15 20 40-65 35-60
>4.000″ 40 15 20 25 min 25 min

ECO BRASS® C693

is a high performance, lead-free* solution. Its mechanical properties include: 

Diameter (inch) Tensile Strength (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi) Elongation (%)
>0.150″-0.500″ 85 45 5
>0.500″-1.000″ 75 35 10
>1.000″-2.000″ 70 30 10

*This product complies with the 0.25% weighted average lead content on wetted surfaces in accordance with Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) / Federal Public Law NO. 111-380.


ECO BRASS® Ingot C87850

is a high strength brass for casting. Its mechanical properties include: 

Casting Method Tensile Strength (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi) Elongation (%) ASTM
Sand 59 22 16 B584
Permanent Mold 64 32 16 B806
Continuous Cast 65 25 8 B505

ECO BRONZE® Rod C693

is an arsenic-free and bismuth-free metal. Its mechanical properties include: 

Diameter (inch) Tensile Strength (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi) Elongation (%)
>0.150″-0.500″ 85 45 5
>0.500″-1.000″ 75 35 10
>1.000″-2.000″ 70 30 10

ECO BRONZE® Ingot C87850

is a lead free* bronze ingot. Its mechanical properties include: 

Casting Method Tensile Strength (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi) Elongation (%) ASTM
Sand 59 22 16 B584
Permanent Mold 64 32 16 B806
Continuous Cast 65 25 8 B505

*This product complies with the 0.25% weighted average lead content on wetted surfaces in accordance with Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) / Federal Public Law NO. 111-380.


Alloy Properties

There are many variations of brass alloys. Certain applications require additional elements that make the brass alloy better suited for the intended application.

Understanding the Chemical Composition of Brass

Brass is a versatile metal and depending on its chemical composition, it can be utilized in a variety of settings. Brass is one of the most commonly utilized man-made metals and is composed of copper and zinc plus may contain other alloying elements like tin, nickel, aluminum, manganese, lead, silicon, phosphorus and iron. The chemical composition alters the ease at which it is machined, increases or decreases its corrosion resistance, and changes its cost effectiveness. With a multitude of brass options, it can be difficult to determine the best brass for your application. However, understanding the most commonly used brasses will guide your brass selection decision.

Blue Dot® Standard Brass – Blue Dot brass products meet our customer’s expectations as the highest machinability of all brass rods. Blue Dot brass is composed of 60-63% copper, 2.5-3.0% lead and about 36% zinc, along with trace amounts of other elements. It is traditionally used to make plumbing fittings, building hardware, and industrial components including adapters, screw machine parts, fluid connectors, valves, gears and automotive parts.

Low Lead – Low lead brasses have a 60-65% copper composition with approximately 38% zinc composition. They also can have trace amounts of lead, phosphorus, and iron. They are easily recycled and meet plumbing legislation compliant with S3874 and AB1953.

ECO BRASS® – ECO BRASS has a 73-77% copper content, approximately 3% silicon, 0.1% phosphorus, about 21% zinc and trace amounts of lead, iron, tin, nickel, and manganese. As a machinable, corrosion-resistant, lead-free* brass, it is a superior solution for water supply and plumbing applications.

*This product complies with the 0.25% weighted average lead content on wetted surfaces in accordance with Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) / Federal Public Law NO. 111-380.

ECO BRONZE® – Like ECO BRASS, ECO BRONZE has a 73-77% copper content and approximately 3% silicon, 0.1% phosphorus, about 21% zinc and trace amounts of lead, iron, tin, nickel, manganese and antimony. ECO BRONZE is a wear resistant bronze.

Antimicrobial Brass CuVerro® – As the only solid antimicrobial touch surface approved by the EPA in our inventory, CuVerro C69300 {https://www.thebrasswarehouse.com/product/iphone-7-8-case-with-cuverro-antimicrobial-copper/} has endured rigorous testing and proven to continuously kill the bacteria* that causes infections. It has a 73-77% copper content, 3% silicon, 0.1% phosphorus, about 21% zinc and trace amounts of lead, iron, tin, nickel and manganese.

* Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, CuVerro® surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli O157:H7, and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE). The use of CuVerro® bactericidal copper products is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. This surface has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but does not necessarily prevent cross contamination. CuVerro® is a registered trademark of Wieland North America, Inc. and is used with permission. (C-0004-1303)


End Use Application

Where and how the product is being used will determine the brass you need. Will you be installing it in a mechanical, ornamental, electrical, potable water conveyance, or medical environment?

Common End Uses for Brass

Brass is unique in that it can be created with a variety of properties. Brass not only adds a decorative touch to homes and businesses but it also has antimicrobial properties and is resistant to corrosion, thus it is popular for mechanical applications.  

Mechanical Applications

Brass is strong, corrosion resistant, antimicrobial, non-magnetic, and machinable; thus brass is ideal for mechanical applications. Whether you need plumbing parts or fittings, marine or automobile applications, or even clock or watch parts, brass is a choice metal.  

  • Construction –  The zinc content of brass makes it stronger than copper. As a strong metal, brass is used in construction applications including piping, fasteners, and hardware. 
  • Plumbing and drinking water systems – Brass is widely used in plumbing and drinking water systems for piping, valves and fittings because of its corrosion resistance. 
  • Lock and Clock Components – When you need an application that will not be affected by magnetism, such as clock, watch, or lock components, brass is a perfect solution. 

Decorative Uses

Brass is commonly thought to be found in industrial settings for mechanical uses. However, it has a universal appeal for decorators, artists, jewelers, and designers. Think about how often you see statues, brass instruments, jewelry, and finishing touches in homes and businesses. Brass is used frequently for decorative purposes. 

Brass is a cost effective solution to gold or silver. When decorators want the elegance or glimmer of gold, brass can be an economical option for trim, door handles, and cabinet hardware. 

  • Jewelry – While brass is strong, it is also easily formed or hammered. It can be hot and cold-worked. Jewelers commonly use brass and appreciate that the color can be changed by adding heat or applying chemicals. 
  • Plaques – Brass is engravable and often used for plaques and nameplates for awards, office environments, and street or business signage. 
  • Musical Instruments – The brass section of a band or orchestra is called that because the instruments are made up of brass. Trumpets, trombones, and saxophones are just a few instruments manufactured from brass. In addition, other instruments can have brass components such as guitars, flutes, and violins. 
  • Housewares and Finishing Hardware – Homes and businesses often have finishing pieces made from brass. Door handles, roofing and architectural trim, and ornamental pieces including candle holders, serving pieces, and decorations are a few examples of brass housewares and hardware pieces. 

Machinability

Machinability is the ease at which brass can be machined. The machinability of the brass alloy can drive the cost of the final product.

Machinability refers to how well a metal is cut into a final product. The copper and zinc content plus other additions like lead or silicon affects how machinable brass is. 

Traditionally, brass is a superior solution because it is easily cut or formed, has minimal wear on tools, and results in smooth surface finish. Blue Dot® C360 is considered the benchmark alloy in machinability as it has the highest rating of any brass alloy. It machines faster and produces a superior surface than any other brass. It produces more components per machine hour, maintains tighter tolerance, and reduces machine downtime as it has a longer tool life. Its machining chips can be recycled easily.

Blue Dot® C360 is often used in industrial applications including gears, adapters, screw machine parts, fluid connectors, and lock bodies. It is also commonly used in faucet components, pneumatic fittings, valve parts, and fasteners.

The Brass Warehouse Blue Dot® brass rod is a cost effective solution for your industrial and plumbing needs.

Contact us today!


Aesthetics

Different alloying elements may change the color of the desired finished product.

Brass Colors

Brass can come in a variety of colors from gold and silver to brown and even red. Brass color changes as it is manufactured. Further, the color can be manipulated by the amount of zinc and other elements alloyed to copper and adding heat or chemicals to the surface. Brass that has 95% copper and 5% zinc is traditionally a deeper bronze color while brass that has 1% manganese will turn to a darker brown color. 

Brass is a popular choice for designers and architects because it enhances residential and commercial spaces.


Antimicrobial

Did you know that certain brass alloys, depending on the chemistry mixture, may be considered antimicrobial?

The Superior Antimicrobial Solution

Laboratory tests prove that brass has germ killing properties meaning it destroys, kills, and inhibits the growth of disease-causing bacteria, like MRSA, staph, and E.coli. It has continuous and ongoing antimicrobial action, even after repeated wet and dry abrasion and re-contamination. 

Brass is proven to be more effective in its antimicrobial properties than stainless steel or other silver-containing coated metals. Brass CuVerro® C69300 is an antimicrobial touch surface approved by the EPA.

While brass has proven to kill more than 99.9% of bacteria within 2 hours and continues to kill 99.9% of bacteria 24 hours a day, it is not a substitute, but rather it is a supplement, for standard infection control practices. Proper handwashing and infection control cleaning techniques must be completed on a continual basis to deter germs.


Given that brass is a mixture of mainly copper and zinc, other elements like lead, silicon, bismuth, phosphorus, arsenic are used to create different brass alloys. With all the combinations and percentages of each element, there are hundreds of lead-free* brass alloys for many applications.

Brass alloys which are utilized in a variety of applications including: Industrial, Transportation, Building & Household, Plumbing, Electrical, Medical, and other applications.

*These products comply with 0.25% weighted average lead content on wetted surfaces in accordance with Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) / Federal Public Law No. 111-380.

 

The Brass Warehouse 6500 E. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90040