Uses of Brass Alloy

Brass alloy is made from the combination of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu). It has a dull gold colour, is malleable, acoustic and corrosion and wear resistant. Brass is used extensively in harsh environments and for outdoor applications. There are various types of brasses, including red brass (combines 15 per cent Zn with Cu 85 per cent), yellow bras (Zn 40 per cent and Cu 60 per cent), cartridge brass (30 per cent Zn and 70 per cent Cu), admiralty brass (Zn 29 per cent, Cu 71 per cent and Sn, or tin, 1 per cent), naval brass (Zn 40 per cent, Cu 59 per cent and Sn 1 per cent) and manganese brass (38 per cent, Cu 60 per cent, iron 1 per cent, tin 0.5 per cent and manganese 0.5 per cent).

Musical Instruments

Brass is used to make wind musical instruments (musical instruments that create sound by the vibration of air within a hollow cavity or a tube) owing to its good acoustic properties. It is popularly used to make trumpets, tubas, horns, euphonium, saxophones and trombones. Instruments made of brass are able to produce loud sounds by exploiting the reverberation of physical structures such as tubes, rods and boxes. For instance, in a trombone or trumpet, sound is produced by blowing wind through a cylindrical tube, while saxophones and horns produce sound when wind is blown thrown a conical tube.

Tableware & Utensils

Brass requires little maintenance, gives an attractive appearance (owing to its dull gold colour), does not rust or tarnish easily, and is durable. These properties make it an ideal choice for tableware and other utensils. Brass tableware is available in one of two finishes: antique finish and polished finish. Popular brass items include napkin rings, jugs, cutlery, crockery, trays, ice-tongs, wine chillers and cooking utensils.


Brass is a good thermal conductor and is used to make radiators and heat exchangers (air conditioners, oil coolers and heater cores). Radiators are used in cars and trucks to prevent the engine from overheating. An efficient radiator is one that has excellent heat transferring capability. According to "Copper: Its Trade, Manufacture, Use, and Environmental Status," brass was the primary choice for heaters and radiators for a significant portion of the 20th century.

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About the Author

Natasha Gilani has been a writer since 2004, with work appearing in various online publications. She is also a member of the Canadian Writers Association. Gilani holds a Master of Business Administration in finance and an honors Bachelor of Science in information technology from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan.