In Modern periodic table, elements are arranged in increasing order of their atomic number from left to right in certain number of periods and groups. Elements which are placed in same group exhibit same chemical properties whereas elements in same period exhibit a regular trend in their properties.
If we observe the elements placed in groups and period, we will find that left side of table consists of metals whereas right side of table contains non-metals.
The distinct line between metal and non-metal is line for metalloids which are elements with intermediate properties of metals and non-metals. Metals can be distinguished with their hardness and shiny surface. They are good conductor of heat and electricity. Due to presence of 1, 2 or 3 electrons in valence shell, they can easily lose their valence shell electrons to metal cations. Because of the presence of these free electrons, they are malleable and ductile in nature. Unlike metals, non-metals can exist in gas and liquid state also. They have tendency to accept electrons due to presence of 5, 6 or 7 electrons in their valence shell. Therefore they are insulators and bad conductor of heat also. Metalloids like silicon, germanium have intermediate properties as at a certain temperature they act as metal. Today metals are part of our everyday life in different ways and almost all industries are based on different metals such as iron, Cu etc.
One of the most common uses of metals is as alloys. Alloys are mixture of metals in certain composition. Alloys exhibits unique physical and chemical properties which make them even more useful than metal. Addition of different metals in fix proportion enhances the hardness, malleability, electrical and thermal conductivity. Alloys can be mixture different non-metals with at least one metal element. This mixing improves the properties of constituent elements like strength and resistance to corrosion.
Overall alloys can be defined as the metallic compounds with one or more metals with non-metals in a fix proportion. For example steel is combination of iron with carbon here iron is metal and carbon is non-metal. Another most common alloy is bronze which is formed by mixing of Cu metal with tin metal whereas brass is mixture of Cu metal with zinc. We know that metals have many important and useful properties such as good electrical conductivity, high strength, and hardness, or heat and corrosion resistance etc. Brass is a substitutional alloy which is used for decoration and antique items due to its bright gold-like appearance.
This alloy is used for applications with low friction like locks, gears, bearings, doorknobs, ammunition, and valves. It is also part of plumbing and electrical applications and musical instruments due to its acoustic properties. Since it is a soft alloy so it is also used to manufacture zippers and in fittings around explosive gases.
On the basis of percentage compositions, brass can be different types. Some of them are listed below.
||30% Zn and 1% Sn
||60.66% Cu, 36.58% Zn, 10.2% Sn and 1.74% Fe
||Less than 35% Zn
||75% Cu and 25% Zn also known as Prince Rupert's metal
||35-45% Zn, also called as Muntz metal or duplex
||With presence of Al
||Contains an addition of As and Al
||45–50% Zn content
||30% Zn brass
||37% Zn brass; also named as rivet brass
||With a small percentage of As
||95% Cu and 5% Zn
|High brass||65% Cu and 35% Zn |
|Leaded brass ||alpha-beta brass with Pb |
|Low brass||Cu-Zn alloy with 20% Zn |
|Manganese brass ||70% Cu, 29% Zn, and 1.3% Mn |
|Muntz metal ||60% Cu, 40% Zn and a trace of Fe |
|Naval brass ||40% Zn and 1% tin |
|Nickel brass ||70% Cu, 24.5% Zn and 5.5% Ni |
|Nordic gold||89% Cu, 5% Al, 5% Zn, and 1% tin |
|Red brass||85% Cu, 5% Sn, 5% Pb, and 5% Zn |
|Rich low brass ||15% Zn; commonly known as Tombac |
|Tonval brass ||Cu-Pb-Zn alloy; also called CW617N or CZ122 or OT58|
|White brass ||Containing more than 50% Zn |
|Yellow brass ||33% Zn brass |
The mixing of metals to form alloy improve the chemical and physical properties of metals which makes them more useful in different industries. For example steel is an alloy of iron which is stronger, lighter and more workable alloy than constituent metal.
The malleability and acoustic properties of brass depends on the composition of alloy and also on the presence of different additives. It is malleable alloy with low melting point of brass with good flow character. The density is approximately 0.303 lb/cubic inch or 8400 to 8730 kg/m3 which vary from percentage composition of brass. It is a recyclable alloy that can be separated from ferrous scrap by passing the scrap near a powerful magnet due to anti-Ferromagenetic property. Because of presence of aluminum in brass, it becomes stronger with good corrosion resistant due to formation of layer of hard aluminium oxide (Al2O3). The addition of Fe, Al, Si and Mn provide good wear and tear resistant to brass. Similarly presence of lead enhances the machinability of brass due to low melting point of lead.
||Composition and use
||Used to inhibit dezincification
||Useful for marine applications
||Used in pressing and forging
||Used to imitate gold
||Used for seawater service and in Euro coins
||Used for boiler fireboxes
||Suitable for casting
||Used for ammunition cases
||Used for cold working
|Gilding metal ||Used for ammunition jackets |
|High brass ||Used for springs, screws, rivets|
|Low brass ||Used for metal hoses and bellows |
|Manganese brass ||Used in making golden dollar coins|
|Muntz metal ||Used as a lining on boats |
|Nickel brass ||Used to make pound coins |
|Nordic gold ||Used in 10, 20 and 50 cts euro coins |
|Rich low brass ||Used for jewelry|
Young's Modulus or Modulus of Elasticity can be defined as the measurement of stiffness of an elastic material. It describes the elastic properties of various objects like wires, rods during compression or stretching. Tensile Modulus is ratio of stress along an axis to strain and it is used to predict the elongation or compression of any object. The Young's Modulus of brass alloy lies between 102 – 125 GPa.