How Much is Brass - An Overview of Brass Pricing, Grades and Applications(galvannealed Evelyn)

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Brass is a metal alloy made up of copper and zinc. The ratio of copper to zinc determines the properties and classification of the brass alloy. Brass is highly malleable and has a golden color which makes it useful for decorative purposes. It also has high corrosion resistance compared to other alloys. Due to its versatility, brass is used extensively in plumbing, musical instruments, hardware, ammunition, decoration and jewelry. The price of brass varies based on the grade, form and market conditions.
Grades of Brass
There are different grading systems for brass including the Unified Numbering System (UNS) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) system. The most common classifications are:
- C200 series - Copper zinc alloy with up to 39% zinc content. The most widely used and inexpensive grade.
- C300 series - Copper zinc nickel alloy with up to 39% zinc and up to 1% nickel content. Has better corrosion resistance.
- C400 series - Copper zinc tin alloy with up to 39% zinc and up to 0.75% tin content. Has improved corrosion resistance.
- C500 series - Copper zinc nickel alloy with up to 25% zinc and up to 5% nickel content. Has very high corrosion resistance.
- C600 series - Copper zinc aluminum alloy with up to 15% aluminum content. Has high strength.
- C700 series - Copper zinc tin aluminum alloy. High strength and corrosion resistance.
The grade affects the cost with higher grades usually costing more due to better properties and corrosion resistance.
Forms of Brass
Brass is traded and used in various forms including:
- Sheets - Thin sheets used for stamping, deep drawing and spinning metal parts. Vary in thickness.
- Plates - Flat pieces that are thicker than sheets. Used for sleeves, flanges and storage tanks.
- Rods - Long round/hexagonal sections suitable for machining and lathe work.
- Bars - Rectangular sections suitable for machining.
- Pipes & Tubes - Used for plumbing, medical equipment, heat exchangers and decorative parts.
- Wire - Used for lock parts, springs, mesh, screens and some fasteners.
Brass Pricing
The price of brass depends on the form, grade being traded and market conditions. Some indicative pricing for common forms includes:
- Brass sheets - $5 to $10 per square foot
- Brass rods - $3 to $20 per linear foot
- Brass bars - $5 to $15 per linear foot
- Brass pipes - $10 to $25 per linear foot
- Brass wire - $3 to $15 per pound
These prices vary between dealers and change based on grade, thickness/diameter, quantity ordered and current metal prices. Architectural and naval brass items can cost significantly higher due to specialized forming and machining required.
Factors Affecting Brass Price
The major factors that affect brass pricing include:
- Base metal prices - Since brass mainly contains copper and zinc, prices follow copper and zinc market trends.
- Manufacturing costs - Costs related to energy, labor, transportation etc. impact the production costs.
- Level of processing - Significant value addition through activities like machining, polishing and heat treatment increase price.
- Quality - Higher purity and specialized grades fetch higher pricing.
- Supply and demand - Brass prices rise when demand exceeds available supply.
- Bulk discounts - Large volume buyers usually negotiate lower pricing.
- Inventory levels - Traders tend to lower prices when their inventory piles up to clear stocks.
Brass Applications
Here are some of the most common applications of brass:
- Plumbing - Brass pipes, tubes, valves, faucets, fittings due to corrosion resistance and machinability.
- Electrical - Connectors, junction boxes, terminals owing to good conductivity and workability.
- Automotive - Radiator cores, bushings, bearings, fuel fittings because of strength.
- Consumer goods - Decorative objects, musical instruments, locks, scales, ammunition cases etc.
- Refrigeration - Condenser and evaporator coils, water valves, expansion valves, etc.
- Marine fittings - Corrosion resistant brass is ideal for marine hardware.
- Infrastructure - Door handles, railings, plates, building façades etc.
- Engineering - Precision turned parts, pumps, valve components, fasteners, gears etc.
So in summary, brass is an important industrial metal used for its corrosion resistance, machinability and strength. Pricing can range from a few dollars per pound for basic forms and grades, up to several hundred dollars for highly machined articles and special alloys. The exact price is determined by the shape, grade, order quantity and prevailing market rates. CNC Milling