Brass is not an element metal by itself but since it’s used so commonly and described as it’s own metal, it deserves it’s own section. Copper is the base element found in brass and alloyed with a high percentage of zinc. You will also find information here on a couple of commonly bought bronze alloys. Common terms and information in recycling brass are given below.
This is the most commonly used brass. Used in household plumbing including popular items such as your faucets and “under the sink” plumbing. Most keys will also be yellow brass. Although many different alloy percentages can be found, yellow brass usually contains around 60% to 70% copper, 30% to 40% zinc and trace amounts of lead and tin. Yellow brass gets it’s name because the very apparent yellow color. Yellow brass prices often reflect the price of copper but demand is also key, as with any alloyed metal.
Although diminishing in use, this brass is still commonly recycled. The reddish pink tint gives this brass its name. The red tint is due to the high amount of copper that will usually will be found. red brass is commonly made up of 85% Copper, 15% Zinc and very small traces of Lead and Tin. Common uses are sprinklers and shut off valves but there are many other items that can be found.
This has modernly replaced red brass as we’ve known it. Cheaper element mixture and equally as useful, it’s defined use has made this all but replace red brass. The common element alloys are 80% copper, 10% zinc, 5% tin, 2-3% lead and other trace elements. It’s common uses are similar to red brass that includes shut off valves, sprinkler’s and other not so common items.
A less common type of metal that has similar alloyed elements as brass, is bronze. The 2 most used are defined as Aluminum Bronze and Manganese Bronze. Aluminum Bronze is around 90% copper, 7% aluminum, 2-3% iron and traces of other elements. Manganese Bronze is 58.5% Copper, 39% Zinc, 1.4% Iron and small traces of other elements.
Other types of brass that we purchase are known as Naval Brass, Machinery Brass and 85/15. We also buy brass heater cores.