Precision machined brass parts are very common in various industries. Brass is a soft metal, which makes it one of the easiest to machine. Brass also has great electrical conductivity, and doesn’t rust–which is why it’s commonly used for plumbing and electrical parts.
Spex uses brass to machine precision fittings, adapters, and connectors. No metal is perfect for every job, but brass is very useful and versatile. Here are 5 benefits to using brass for CNC machined parts.
The two common brass alloys used for machined parts are 353 and 360 Brass. Both of these alloys are about 62% copper, 35% zinc, 2-3% lead, and trace amounts of iron.
360 brass has slightly more lead, which makes it the easiest to machine. Generally, machining brass costs about 60-70% of machining steel.
Because it’s easier to machine, brass parts are less expensive to manufacture, and complex part designs can be machined quickly and efficiently.
Iron is the element that causes most metals to rust and deteriorate. That’s why most metals and water don’t mix well. Because brass has very small amounts of iron, it isn’t susceptible to rust. In the right conditions, brass parts can be used for hundreds of years.
Brass tarnishes easily, so it can lose some of its luster, or shine, but that’s purely cosmetic and doesn’t affect performance or durability.
You’ll find lots of brass connectors and fittings used in plumbing fixtures. Even when there’s poor water pH conditions, the most corrosive water won’t deteriorate the brass. Machined brass parts also have a low friction coefficient, which means they don’t wear down quickly when they’re moving and rubbing against other materials.
Conductive metals like copper and brass are often used in electrical and plumbing systems. Brass isn’t as conductive as copper, but it’s still a great conductor of heat and electricity.
Brass is also harder and more durable than copper, so it’s used in applications where there’s more friction and pressure.
Precision brass parts are used for transporting water, chemicals, flammable gasses, slurries, and other substances, and the high conductivity helps increase efficiency.
Another great benefit of brass is that it can handle very high working temperatures without losing functionality.
This makes brass a great part material for hot water systems. The brass parts continue to provide an excellent watertight seal despite hot temperatures. This increases the efficiency of the system and prevents water leaks.
Because brass parts can handle higher temperatures, they’re also useful in the manufacturing industry.
The copper that’s in brass makes the parts naturally anti-bacterial. Copper and brass are often used in water filtration systems and sanitation systems.
The copper produces special ions that attack protein in single-celled organisms, killing them instantly in the process. This is very helpful when maintaining sanitation is a priority.
Brass isn’t perfect for every situation. There are a few disadvantages to using brass, and sometimes using a different metal is the better choice. It’s important to consider your specific needs.
Because brass is harder than copper, brass parts are more prone to cracking or splitting. Since copper is a softer alloy, it can be bent with a lower risk of cracking.
Brass parts are also subject to tarnishing. Tarnished brass loses its shine and starts to darken. As we mentioned earlier, this usually doesn’t impact the part function, but if aesthetic appeal is important, brass parts require some regular maintenance.
Overall, brass is one of the best metals to use for a variety of industrial, marine, and electrical applications. Spex offers customer precision machined brass components for a wide variety of industries.
Reach out to our team to learn more about our brass precision machining services.
Fill out the form to learn more about our precision machining services.
Phone: (585) 467-0520
85 Excel Drive
Rochester, NY 14621