brass


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to brass: brass monkey, brass knuckles

brass,

alloyalloy
[O. Fr.,=combine], substance with metallic properties that consists of a metal fused with one or more metals or nonmetals. Alloys may be a homogeneous solid solution, a heterogeneous mixture of tiny crystals, a true chemical compound, or a mixture of these.
..... Click the link for more information.
 having copper (55%–90%) and zinc (10%–45%) as its essential components. The properties of brass vary with the proportion of copper and zinc and with the addition of small amounts of other elements, such as aluminum, lead, tin, or nickel. In general brass can be forged or hammered into various shapes, rolled into thin sheets, drawn into wires, and machined and cast. Its ductility reaches a maximum with about 30% zinc and its tensile strength with 45%—although this property varies greatly with the mechanical and heat treatment of the alloy. Cartridge brass (70% copper, 30% zinc) is used for cartridge cases, plumbing and lighting fixtures, rivets, screws, and springs. Aluminum brass (not exceeding 3% aluminum) has greater resistance to corrosion than ordinary brass. Brass containing tin (not exceeding 2%) is less liable to corrosion in seawater; it is sometimes called naval brass and is used in naval construction. Dutch metal (80%–85% copper, 15%–20% zinc) is used as a substitute for gold leaf. When iron is added to brass it produces hard, tough alloys. One of these is delta metal (55% copper, 41% zinc, 1%–3% iron, and fractional percentages of tin and manganese), which can be forged, rolled, or cast and is used for bearings, valves, and ship propellers.

brass

Any copper alloy having zinc as the principal alloying element, but often with small quantities of other elements.
See also: Metal

Brass

 

a copper-based alloy in which the main additive is zinc (up to 50 percent). Brass was smelted even before the Common Era; until the late 18th century it was produced by fusion of copper with zinc ore mixed with charcoal. Only in the 19th century was this method generally replaced by direct fusion of copper with zinc.

Because of its good hot and cold pressure workability, excellent mechanical properties, attractive color, and relatively low cost, brass is the most common copper alloy. It is produced in the form of sheets, ribbons, rods, tubes, and wire (deformable brass), as well as ingots (cast brass). As the zinc content increases, the color of brass changes from reddish to light yellow. In Russia, brass was called yellow copper rather than red copper.

Simple brasses are alloys of copper only with zinc. Brasses containing up to 10 percent zinc are called tombacs; those containing 10–20 percent zinc are called half-tombacs (low brasses). These alloys, which are characterized by high corrosion resistance and plasticity, are used for making radiator and condenser pipes, as well as sheets and bands for cladding steel. Brass containing about 30 percent zinc and suitable for extensive drawing is called cartridge brass and is widely used for making parts by cold stamping, as well as by molding and drawing.

Aluminum, tin, iron, manganese, nickel, silicon, and lead (up to a total content of about 10 percent) are added to double alloys of copper with zinc to improve their mechanical, anticorrosion, and other characteristics. Multicomponent (or special) brasses are called aluminum, silicon, aluminonickel, and ferroman-ganese brasses. Brass containing about 15 percent zinc and 0.5 percent aluminum has an attractive gold color and is highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion. It is used as a substitute for gold in decorations and objets d’art. Brass with up to 1.5 percent tin added (called naval brass) has improved resistance to corrosion in seawater. The addition of lead (up to 3 percent) makes brass chips brittle and makes possible the production of very smooth surfaces by cutting. Lead brasses are used in the manufacture of motor vehicles and in clock and watch production (clock brasses).

Many brasses containing more than 20–30 percent zinc are susceptible to corrosion cracking caused by the simultaneous action of residual stresses in articles and the corrosive effect of ammonia and sulfur dioxide (in a moist atmosphere). This effect is called the seasonal sickness of brass, since increased corrosion cracking occurs in months with increased moisture in the air. Such cracking is reduced by annealing at 250°-300°C to reduce the residual stresses.

Brass is also used in general mechanical engineering, instrument-making, and heat engineering.

REFERENCE

Smiriagin, A. P. Promyshlennye tsvetnye metally i splavy, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1956.

I. I. NOVIKOV

brass

[bras]
(geology)
A British term for sulfides of iron (pyrites) in coal. Also known as brasses.
(metallurgy)
A copper-zinc alloy of varying proportions but typically containing 67% copper and 33% zinc.

brass

1. Any copper alloy having zinc as the principal alloying element, but often with small quantities of other elements.
2. A plate of brass with memorial inscription and sometimes an effigy engraved on it, set into a church floor to mark a tomb.

brass

1. an alloy of copper and zinc containing more than 50 per cent of copper. Alpha brass (containing less than 35 per cent of zinc) is used for most engineering materials requiring forging, pressing, etc. Alpha-beta brass (35--45 per cent zinc) is used for hot working and extrusion. Beta brass (45--50 per cent zinc) is used for castings. Small amounts of other metals, such as lead or tin, may be added
2. 
a. the large family of wind instruments including the trumpet, trombone, French horn, etc., each consisting of a brass tube blown directly by means of a cup- or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
b. instruments of this family forming a section in an orchestra
3. a renewable sleeve or bored semicylindrical shell made of brass or bronze, used as a liner for a bearing
4. Brit an engraved brass memorial tablet or plaque, set in the wall or floor of a church
References in classic literature ?
The sons, in short square-skirted coats, with rows of stupendous brass buttons, and their hair generally queued in the fashion of the times, especially if they could procure an eelskin for the purpose, it being esteemed throughout the country as a potent nourisher and strengthener of the hair.
He said he would split open a raw Irish potato and stick the quarter in between and keep it there all night, and next morning you couldn't see no brass, and it wouldn't feel greasy no more, and so anybody in town would take it in a minute, let alone a hair-ball.
They would smouch provisions from the pantry whenever they got a chance; or a brass thimble, or a cake of wax, or an emery bag, or a paper of needles, or a silver spoon, or a dollar bill, or small articles of clothing, or any other property of light value; and so far were they from considering such reprisals sinful, that they would go to church and shout and pray the loudest and sincerest with their plunder in their pockets.
He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door- knob, a dog-collar -- but no dog -- the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash.
Because my innocent pure girl here at my side wouldn't marry that rich, insolent, ignorant coward, Brace Dunlap, who's been sniveling here over a brother he never cared a brass farthing for--"[I see Tom give a jump and look glad THIS time, to a dead certainty]"-- and in that moment I've told you about, I forgot my God and remembered only my heart's bitterness, God forgive me, and I struck to kill.
It was only of polished brass, continued the circular, though it was invariably mistaken for solid gold, and the shade that accompanied it (at least it accompanied it if the agent sold a hundred extra cakes) was of crinkled crepe paper printed in a dozen delicious hues, from which the joy-dazzled agent might take his choice.
Ranged on benches down the sides of the room, the eighty girls sat motionless and erect; a quaint assemblage they appeared, all with plain locks combed from their faces, not a curl visible; in brown dresses, made high and surrounded by a narrow tucker about the throat, with little pockets of holland (shaped something like a Highlander's purse) tied in front of their frocks, and destined to serve the purpose of a work- bag: all, too, wearing woollen stockings and country-made shoes, fastened with brass buckles.
This is t' way on 't:- up at sun-down: dice, brandy, cloised shutters, und can'le-light till next day at noon: then, t'fooil gangs banning und raving to his cham'er, makking dacent fowks dig thur fingers i' thur lugs fur varry shame; un' the knave, why he can caint his brass, un' ate, un' sleep, un' off to his neighbour's to gossip wi' t' wife.
In fact, there was no one to see but the servants, and when their master was away they lived a luxurious life below stairs, where there was a huge kitchen hung about with shining brass and pewter, and a large servants' hall where there were four or five abundant meals eaten every day, and where a great deal of lively romping went on when Mrs.
And then at length the glorious mad descent down three plunging cataracts of rocky road, the exciting rattling of the harness, the grinding of the strong brakes, the driver's soothing calls to his horses, and the long burnished horn trailing wild music behind us, like invisible banners of aerial brass,--oh, it stirred the dullest blood amongst us thus as it were to tear down the sky towards the white roofs of Yellowsands, glittering here and there among the clouds of trees which filled the little valley almost to the sea's edge, while floating up to us came soft strains of music, silken and caressing, as though the sea itself sang us a welcome.
As may be supposed--continued the pilot--the mountain sides are very rugged, but on the summit stands a brass dome supported on pillars, and bearing on top the figure of a brass horse, with a rider on his back.
Nobody could bargain with greater obstinacy, and as for cleanliness, the lustre on her brass sauce-pans was the envy and despair of other servants.