Brass is not an element but an alloy (mixture) of copper and zinc. It is a harder and stronger metal than copper, but has a lower electrical conductivity.


Depending on the ratio of zinc and copper, you can produce brass with a variety of properties. The ratio also influences the color of the brass produced – a more reddish hue shows there is less zinc present, while a golden hue indicates that a lot of zinc was used.

Because brass can be made to look like gold, it is often used as a substitute in cheap designs.

Thanks to its acoustic properties, it is used in various musical instruments such as bells and the French horn.

Due to its physical properties, it is used in various devices that require low friction, such as locks, ammunition, and others.


Photos from Wikipedia.

By: Dr. Meir Barak
Department of Structural Biology
Weitzman Institution of Science



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