Industrial (And Recyclable) Applications of Brass

Pile Of Brass Scrap PiecesBrass is a non-ferrous metal, which means that it doesn’t contain iron and is not magnetic. Instead, it is comprised of a combination of copper and zinc. Depending on the specific amounts of copper and zinc it contains, brass can be made softer or harder and used in a wide variety of applications.

For businesses that utilize this alloy, the need for industrial brass recycling is inevitable. But what are the common uses of brass? And which parts of this non-ferrous compound are recyclable? Here, ASM Recycling, Inc., based in Mobile, Alabama, takes a closer look at the types of brass, widespread industrial applications of the material, and how to recycle it.

Types of Brass

Like any metal, brass can be chemically molded into many shapes and compositions. And by adding other metals to brass, you can change its color, malleability, corrosion resistance, and more. Some of the main types of brass that are used industrially include the following:

  • Red brass: This common type of brass is strong and warm-toned.
  • Cartridge brass: Often developed in sheets, this malleable type of brass is ideal for making shell casings. It is also known as 260 brass and yellow brass.
  • 330 brass: This workable, easily machined brass is practical for tubing. As a result, it is commonly used to craft fire poles.
  • Naval brass: Also called 464 brass, this type is highly resistant to corrosion, making it ideal to use in seawater.
  • High tensile brass: Constructed with aluminum, manganese, and silicon, this brass is hard but easy to process. As a result, it boasts resistance to both corrosion and wear and is machinable.

Industrial Brass Applications

Outside of industrial settings, brass is often used for decoration. But across many industries, it can be put to several other uses, including:

Construction Fixtures

The corrosion resistance and low friction of certain brass types make it a popular choice for plumbing fixtures, hardware, and other construction supplies, including pipe fittings, nuts, and bolts.


The low friction of cartridge brass and other types are also ideal for creating shell casings. Similarly, cartridge brass can also be used to create heat exchangers, drawn and spun containers, electrical terminals, and locks.

Naval Equipment

Naval brass was developed for seawater service applications, including use in marine hardware, pump shafts, valve stems, and more.

Machinery Components

Thanks to its qualities, high tensile brass is ideal for the creation of machinery components. It is most often used to produce bushings, cams, shafts, wear plates, gears, and connecting rods.

Industrial Brass Recycling

With so many industrial applications, can brass be recycled? In most cases, the answer is yes. The majority of brass components are recyclable, including brass slag and turnings, shells, and more. However, one of the most important criteria that your brass needs to meet is cleanliness. If you try recycling a contaminated piece of brass, you might not get the full value of what your metal is worth.

Before recycling your brass, try your best to separate it from contaminants like plastics, aluminum, or steel. Even if your brass is plated, don’t worry. This material is normally not enough to prevent recyclers from judging your brass to be clean. To learn more about industrial brass recycling and how to get the most value from your business’s non-ferrous brass scrap, contact ASM Recycling, Inc. today.