Brass

Brass Intro Icon
Brass Intro Icon

Overview

  • Brass is an alloy made of copper and zinc  the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brass products with varying properties. Brass is often used in situations in which it is important that sparks not be struck, such as in fittings and tools used near flammable or explosive materials.
  • Brass has higher malleability than bronze or zinc. The relatively low melting point of brass and its flow characteristics make it a relatively easy material to cast. By varying the proportions of copper and zinc, the properties of the brass can be changed, allowing hard and soft brasses. Today, almost 90% of all brass alloys are recycled. Because brass is not ferromagnetic, it can be separated from ferrous scrap by passing the scrap near a powerful magnet. Brass scrap is collected and transported to the foundry where it is melted and recast into billets and ingots. These are then heated and extruded into the desired form and size. The general softness of brass means that it can often be machined without the use of cutting fluid, though there are exceptions to this.
  • Combinations of iron, aluminium, silicon and manganese make brass wear and tear resistant. To enhance the machinability of brass, lead is often added in concentrations of around 2%. Silicon is an alternative to lead; however, when silicon is used in a brass alloy, the scrap must never be mixed with leaded brass scrap because of contamination and safety problems.
  • Brass is an ideal alloy for the transport of water through pipes and fittings. It is also appropriate for use in marine engines and pump parts. Another common usage of the metal comes from its non-magnetic nature. Clock and watch components, electrical terminals and munitions all require a metal that will not be affected by magnetism, which is where brass finds its usage.
Brass Factor Icon
Brass Factor Icon

Factors Influencing the Market

  • Brass prices are dependent either on the international benchmark of the primary metal copper and zinc or the supply and demand of brass scrap and brass.
  • Economic events, such as the national industrial growth, global financial crisis, recession and inflation, affect metal prices.
  • Commodity-specific events, such as the construction of new production facilities or processes, new uses or the discontinuance of historical uses, unexpected mine or plant closures (natural disaster, supply disruption, accident, strike, and so forth), or industry restructuring, affect metal price.
  • Trade policies set by the government (implementation or suspension of taxes, penalties and quotas) affect supply as they regulate (restricting or encouraging) material flow.
  • Geopolitical events involving governments or economic paradigms and armed conflict can cause major changes.
  • As societies develop, their demand for metal increases based on their current economic position, which could also be referred to as ‘national economic factor’.

* Disclaimer: The users are also advised to refer to latest circular issued by the Exchange.

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