What is brass?
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc with traces of other elements such as tin and lead. When exposed to oxygen, the color will eventually change over time and become darker because of oxidation. In general, brass is highly valued for its smoothness and shine.
For thousands of years, artisans have used brass to make jewelry, statues, and sculptures. Brass is a good conductor of electricity and heat, making it ideal for electrical wiring and plumbing. It is also often used in musical instruments such as trombones and trumpets, as well as in door hardware such as handles and knockers. Because of its low friction, brass is commonly used in applications that require low friction like kitchen faucets, screws, and fasteners used in entryways, cupboards, even munition components.
Why extrude brass?
The goal of most manufacturing processes it to create a uniquely shaped part or component that adheres to precise tolerances. This can be accomplished through a molding, casting or machining. But each of these processes can be expensive, wasteful and energy intensive. Sometimes, it is possible to eliminate such costly and time-consuming processes by starting with brass that has been extruded into the desired shape, something that can be done with great precision. Even when it’s not possible to extrude brass to match the final shape perfectly, getting it as close as possible, a near-net shape, can eliminate a great deal of machining and finishing in the manufacturing process.
Extrusion is especially well suited to the production of wire, rods, tubes and pipes. But since brass can be extruded into extraordinarily complex shapes, the possibilities are limitless. Brass can be either hot extruded or cold extruded depending on the desired result. It is then pushed through a die to conform it to the desired shape.
Cold extrusion produces a strong rod with a superior finish.
Hot extrusion produces a fine-grain rod with fewer pores and voids.
At Chicago Extruded Metals, our skilled engineers can help you to determine the best brass alloy and extrusion process for your needs. All of our work is done right here in the U.S.A. in our plant just outside of Chicago, Illinois. It’s the same building where we’ve been doing this for over a century. And you can rest assured that we are a DFARS certified supplier. Looking for a quote? Just ask.