Comparison Between Brass and Bronze – Brass vs. Bronze, What’s the Difference?

Copper is a non-ferrous pure natural metal. Except for pure copper, most of the copper exists in the form of alloys. Copper alloys are divided into brass, bronze, gold-copper, and cupronickel according to different alloy compositions. The following YIJIN Hardware will give you a comprehensive introduction to the difference between copper, brass, and bronze.

What is Brass?

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc with a beautiful yellow color, collectively referred to as brass. The copper-zinc binary alloy is called ordinary brass or simple brass. In order to improve the properties of ordinary brass, other elements are often added, such as aluminum, nickel, manganese, tin, silicon, lead, etc.

Aluminum can improve the strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance of brass, but reduce the plasticity, so it is suitable for seagoing condenser pipes and other corrosion-resistant parts.

Tin can improve the strength of brass and its corrosion resistance to seawater, so it is called naval brass and is used for ship thermal equipment and propellers.

Lead can improve the machinability of brass; This free-cutting brass is often used for watch parts. Brass castings are often used to make valves and pipe fittings, etc.

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Properties and Applications of Brass

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

Brass alloys containing less than 36% zinc are composed of solid solutions and have good cold working properties. For example, brass containing 30% zinc is often used to make bullet casings, commonly known as bullet casing brass or seventy-three brass.

Brass alloys with zinc content between 36 and 42% are composed of and solid solution, of which the most commonly used is the six-four brass with a zinc content of 40%.

If it is only composed of copper and zinc, it is called ordinary brass. Brass is often used to make valves, water pipes, connecting pipes for internal and external air conditioners, and radiators.

If it is a variety of alloys composed of two or more elements, it is called special brass. Such as copper alloys composed of lead, tin, manganese, nickel, iron, and silicon.

copper material

Special brass is also called unique brass, it has high strength, hardness, and strong chemical corrosion resistance. The mechanical properties of cutting are also outstanding.

Brass has strong wear resistance. Seamless copper tube is drawn by brass, soft quality, strong wear resistance. The brass seamless tube can be used for heat exchanger and condenser, low-temperature pipelines, and submarine transport pipes. Manufacturing sheet, bar, bar, pipe, casting parts, etc. Copper in 62% ~ 68%, plastic strong, manufacturing pressure equipment.

What is Bronze?

Bronze is an alloy of copper and elements other than zinc and nickel, mainly tin bronze, aluminum bronze, etc.

Bronze is the earliest alloy used in the world, with a history of more than 3,000 years. Bronze originally refers to copper-tin alloy, later copper alloys except for brass and white copper are all called bronze, and bronze is often preceded by the name of the first major added element.

Properties and Applications of Bronze

Tin bronze: The copper-based alloy with tin as the main alloying element is called tin bronze. The tin bronze used in the industry mostly has a tin content between 3% and 14%. Tin bronze with a tin content of less than 5% is suitable for cold working; tin bronze with a tin content of 5% to 7% is suitable for hot working; tin bronze with a tin content of more than 10% is suitable for casting. Tin bronze is widely used in shipbuilding, chemical, machinery, instrumentation, and other industries. It is mainly used to manufacture wear-resistant parts such as bearings and bushings, elastic components such as springs, and anti-corrosion and anti-magnetic parts.

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Lead bronze is a widely used bearing material for modern engines and grinders.

Aluminum bronze: The copper-based alloy with aluminum as the main alloying element is called aluminum bronze. Aluminum bronze has higher mechanical properties than brass and tin bronze. In practice, the aluminum content of aluminum bronze is 5%~12%, and the aluminum bronze with 5%~7% aluminum has the best plasticity and is suitable for cold processing. When the aluminum content is more than 7%~8%, the strength increases, but the plasticity decreases sharply, so it is mostly used in the as-cast state or after hot processing. Aluminum bronze has higher wear resistance and corrosion resistance in the atmosphere, seawater, seawater carbonic acid, and most organic acids than brass and tin bronze. Aluminum bronze can manufacture gear, shaft sleeves, worm gear, and other high-strength wear resistance parts and high corrosion resistance elastic components.

Beryllium bronze: The copper alloy with beryllium as the basic element is called beryllium bronze. Beryllium bronze contains 1.7%~2.5% beryllium. Beryllium bronze has a high elastic limit and fatigue limit, excellent wear resistance, and corrosion resistance, good electrical and thermal conductivity, and has the advantages of non-magnetism and no spark when impacted. Beryllium bronze is mainly used to make important springs for precision instruments, clock gears, bearings, and bushings working under high speed and high pressure, as well as welding machine electrodes, explosion-proof tools, and nautical compasses, and other important parts.

Phosphor bronze has a high elastic limit and good electrical conductivity and is suitable for the manufacture of precision springs and electrical contact elements.

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The Difference Between Brass and Bronze

Compositional Properties

To understand the difference between bronze and brass, let’s first look at the respective compositional properties of bronze and brass.

Brass is an alloy of red copper and zinc, named for its yellow color. Brass with a copper content of 62% to 68% has a melting point of 934 to 967 degrees. Brass has good mechanical properties and wear resistance, and can be used to manufacture precision instruments, ship parts, and shells for guns. Different zinc content will have different colors. For example, if the zinc content is 18%-20%, it will be red-yellow, and if the zinc content is 20%-30%, it will be brown.

Bronze is an alloy of red copper added with tin or lead. It is called bronze because of its grayish color. Compared with red copper, bronze has high strength and a low melting point (25% tin smelting bronze, the melting point will be reduced to 800 ° C. The melting point of pure copper (red copper) is 1083 ° C). Bronze has good castability, wear resistance, and chemical stability.

Types of Brass and Bronze, Application Scope

Types of Brass, and Its Application

Types of Brass: Tin Brass, Manganese Brass, Iron Brass, Silicon Brass, Aluminum Brass.

Brass: It is often used to manufacture valves, water pipes, connecting pipes for internal and external air conditioners, and radiators.

Other Special Brass Uses:

Lead Brass: Lead is actually insoluble in brass, and is distributed on the grain boundary in the state of free particles. Lead brass has α and (α+β) according to its structure. α lead brass can only be cold deformed or hot extruded due to the large harmful effect of lead and low plasticity at high temperatures. (α+β) lead brass has good ductility at high temperatures and can be forged.

Tin Brass: The addition of tin to brass can significantly improve the heat resistance of the alloy, especially the ability to resist seawater corrosion, so tin brass is called “navy brass”.

Manganese Brass: Manganese has a greater solubility than solid brass. The strength and corrosion resistance of the alloy can be significantly improved without decreasing the ductility by adding 1% ~ 4% manganese into brass.

Iron Brass: In iron brass, iron is precipitated by iron-rich particles as crystal nuclei to refine grains and prevent recrystallization grains from growing up, so as to improve the mechanical and technological properties of the alloy. Iron brass in the iron content is usually less than 1.5%, its structure is (α+β), with high strength and toughness, plasticity is very good at high temperature, the cold state can also be deformed. The commonly used brand is Hfe59-1-1.

Nickel Brass: Nickel and copper can form a continuous solid solution, significantly expanding the α phase region. The corrosion resistance of brass in air and seawater can be improved by adding nickel. Nickel can also increase the recrystallization temperature of brass and promote the formation of finer grains.

Types of Bronze, and Its Application

Types of Bronze: Beryllium bronze, tellurium bronze, chrome bronze, manganese bronze, aluminum bronze, silicon bronze, phosphor bronze, and tin bronze.

Advantages of Bronze: Bronze has the characteristics of low melting point, high hardness, strong plasticity, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, bright color, and so on. Bronze is suitable for casting various appliances, mechanical parts, bearings, gears, etc.

Tin bronze has good casting performance, antifriction performance, and mechanical properties, suitable for manufacturing bearings, worm gear, gear, and so on.

Lead bronze is a bearing material widely used in modern engines and grinding machines.

Aluminum bronze has high strength, good wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. It is used for casting gears, bushings, and Marine propellers with high loads.

Beryllium bronze and phosphatic bronze have high elastic limits and good electrical conductivity, making them suitable for the manufacture of precision springs and electrical contact elements. Beryllium bronze is also used in the manufacture of sparkless tools used in coal mines and oil depots.

How to Distinguish Between Brass and Bronze
The easiest way is to look at it in terms of color, yellow for brass and green for bronze. From the price point of view, the price of bronze is higher than that of brass. The chemical method is as follows: dissolve with a mixture of HCL and H2O2, and then add potassium chromate. If there is a yellow precipitate, then it is bronze, if not, it is brass. There are many people in the market who use brass to pretend to be ancient bronzes, which requires experts to distinguish.

Comparison Table Between Copper, Brass, and Bronze

Comparison Table Between Copper, Brass, and Bronze



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