The typical composition of brass is 65% copper and 35% zinc, although this can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. Aluminium can also be added to make Brass stronger and more corrosion resistant.
Brass is well known for its bright gold-like appearance, making it suitable for a variation of decorative applications. Musical instruments are often made from brass due to its acoustic properties. It is also used for its low friction properties, such as for locks, gears, bearing, ammunition and valves. Brass is germicidal due to the copper in its composition, via the oligodynamic effect, for example brass doorknobs disinfect themselves of many bacteria within eight hours, an important effect in hospitals but useful in many contexts.
Brass is harder than copper, with excellent corrosion resistance, although does tarnish easily. Brass casts well, is easily hard and soft soldered and can easily be machined.
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