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Facts About Brass


Brass Recycling – Brass is not an element metal by it’s self. But since it’s use is so common and it is often described as it’s own metal, it deserves its own section. The base element found in this type of metal is copper 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 this type of metal and its alloys are given below.


Yellow Brasspicture of yellow brass items

The most commonly used of all brasses and its alloys. It is used in household plumbing including popular items such as your faucets and “under the sink” plumbing. Most of the keys we use will also be yellow brass. Although many different alloy percentages can be found, this type of metal usually contains around 60% to 70% copper, 30% to 40% zinc and trace amounts of lead and tin. This type gets it’s name because of the very apparent yellow color. The  prices often reflect the price of copper,however demand is also key, as with any alloyed metal.

Red Brasspicture of what red brass looks like

This brass is still commonly recycled, although diminishing in use. It has a  reddish pink tint which gives it  its name. The red tint is due to the high amount of copper that will usually will be found. This type of metal is commonly made up of 85% copper, 15% zinc and very small traces of lead and tin. Common uses of red brass are sprinklers and shut off valves, but many other items that can be found.

Semi-red Brasspicture of what semi red brass might look like

Semi-red brass has replaced red brass as we’ve known it. It is made of a cheaper element mixture which is  equally as useful. 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 which include 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 defind 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.

a picture of what bronze metal would look like