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The Differences Between Brass and Copper

The Differences Between Brass and Copper

Two metals that often get confused with one another are brass and copper. The educated metal worker might be able to spot the differences within seconds, but the layperson might struggle to find the discrepancies. We’ll teach you the differences between brass and copper so that you’ll no longer use the terms interchangeably.


Brass is an alloy composed of two or more metals. It mostly consists of copper and zinc, with traces of tin often present. Brass may vary in color and quality depending on the relative amounts of copper and zinc present in it. It may look anything from pale yellow to a drab shade of gold. Due to its resilience and malleability, you can find brass often in plumbing, mechanical parts, and musical instruments. Since it looks like gold, you’ll see brass in décor pieces as well.


The element copper is a part of the metal group of the periodic table. People mine it from the ground and use it to make brass and bronze. Copper is prominent in electronics and computing devices due to its excellent conductivity and strong heat resistance. Additionally, copper pipes are common in plumbing systems. Scrap yards place a high value on copper because of its widespread use and sustainability.

How Brass and Copper Are Different

Since brass contains copper in its composition, distinguishing between them may be challenging. Yet they’re distinct from one another thanks to several qualities. Use these guidelines to distinguish between copper and brass.

  • Color: Brass generally has a bright yellow-golden hue, whereas copper is more reddish-brown.
  • Composition: Since copper is an element, pure copper is the only ingredient in copper, although traces of other metals affect its purity. Brass is an alloy. Thus, it has traces of copper, tin, and zinc.
  • Sound: It’s clear when you strike copper or brass metal. Copper is more of a baritone and low, while brass is a higher-pitched soprano.
  • Durability: Copper is the heavier material and corrodes at a slower rate. Copper’s strength is its malleability, but it isn’t as durable.
  • Magnetism: Theoretically, both materials shouldn’t have a magnetic reaction. Nevertheless, traces of iron in brass can elicit a response to magnetism. Copper, on the other hand, won’t react.

Learning the differences between brass and copper helps you see how unique each material is and decide which to use for any project you have. Before starting your next job, consider Thin Metal Sales as your brass and copper sheet manufacturer. There isn’t a big or small job that we can’t help you with. Veteran-owned and operated since 1976, we provide the highest-quality custom slit-to-width sheets.

Why Water Pipes Are Commonly Made From Copper

Why Water Pipes Are Commonly Made From Copper

When you understand which materials to choose over others, you can easily build safe, secure water pipes. For instance, you may know that copper is common in water pipes, but do you know why? Check out the explanation below to see why water pipes are commonly made from copper. That way, you can start carefully designing pipe systems instead of doing any guesswork during the planning phase.

Corrosion Resistance

Moisture can promote the corrosion of certain metals, which can cause problems in various industries. It should go without saying that a corroded pipe isn’t exactly something you want in your water supply. Luckily, copper is naturally corrosion-resistant. The presence of iron in metals will trigger corrosion, but copper does not contain iron. Instead of corroding, copper forms a patina on the surface that helps it combat corrosion and remain intact.

Lead-Free Construction

When installing water pipes, think about the potentially toxic materials leaching into the water. For example, preventing lead from entering the water supply is critical to a safe drinking water system. One of the primary reasons why water pipes are commonly made from copper is that they contain no lead. Thanks to a lack of corrosion and lead, copper pipes are an ideal solution for carrying water, but these aren’t the only benefits.

Ductile Design

As a copper sheet supplier, Thin Metal Sales provides manufacturers with copper for many reasons, one of which is ductility. Thanks to them being so ductile, you have more flexibility when working with copper. You can easily build copper pipes into a system that efficiently carries water to its destination by having them undergo extreme deformation.

As you can see, copper is a versatile material that can make your project easier and safer than other materials available. The more you know about copper, the better you can use it to your advantage when the opportunity to manufacture metal piping arises.

What Metals Are Recyclable?

Recycling is becoming more and more popular for its many benefits. When it comes to metal, many people might not know which metals can be recycled and which can’t. According to Blackstone, less than half, or about 40%, of new steel products worldwide are made with recycled metal. This number is expected to increase as people and businesses become more aware of the benefits of recycling. If you’re wondering what metals are recyclable, then read on to get a good understanding.

Brass and Copper

Brass and copper can be recycled over and over again into new products, such as brass pots and pans, copper pipes, and brass doorknobs. They can become new products without losing their quality. When brass and copper are recycled, they are first melted down and then formed into new products. This process uses less energy than if the brass and copper were mined from the ground.

Recycled brass and copper can be used in a wide variety of industries across the United States. Brass can be used by aerospace parts manufacturers to make products such as fuselages, engine nacelles, and aircraft skins. Chemical etching companies can use copper to make products such as etched plates, nameplates, and signs.

Aluminum, Steel, and Lead

Aluminum, steel, and lead are some other metals that can be recycled into new products without losing their quality. Recycling these metals conserves natural resources and energy, and it reduces pollution. Just like recycled brass and copper, recycled aluminum, steel, and lead are also used in a variety of industries. Stamping parts manufacturers use recycled steel to make products such as automotive parts, appliances, and furniture. Medical device companies use recycled lead to make products such as X-ray shielding, medical tubing, and radiation shielding.

Now that you know which metals are recyclable, order them in bulk for your customers to use and to recycle overtime. If you need any kind of metal to keep your company’s production going, then take a look at our selections of brass, copper, and other metals. Call us at Thin Metal Sales today to get started with your order.

The Most Popular Metals Bought Today

Since the age of bronze, individuals have been looking for new ways to develop, refine, and use metals. Luckily, the quest has led to the discovery of different types of metal with different grades over the years. The various types of metals are used in applications only limited by our ability to be creative.

Metals have become a fundamental component of our lives. We encounter different types of metals daily, from buildings to household appliances to infrastructure. According to Thin Metal Sales, metal consumers mostly purchase 3003 aluminum plates, sheets, tubes, bars, hot or cold-rolled steel, and stainless steel. Which among them are the most popular with consumers? Let’s explore four main metals commonly used today, where they’re used, and why.


Aluminum is a silver-white metal discovered in the 19th century. It’s lightweight and less dense compared to most other metals. Additionally, the metal is non-poisonous, corrosion resistant, non-magnetic, and has excellent electrical conductivity.

Due to its properties, this metal has wide use in manufacturing spacecraft, airplanes, and missiles. Additionally, 3003 aluminum is also widely used in the construction of bridge building and used as a component in cellphones, computers, and other electronics.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is long-lasting and can bear heavy use. These qualities make this metal an excellent choice in industrial and commercial applications, where strength and longevity are paramount. Stainless steel also has low maintenance costs, which makes it an ideal material.


Similar to 3003 aluminum, brass is corrosion resistant and has high electrical conductivity. This metal is also formable and highly ductal, which makes it a great material used for commercial and aerospace items.


Copper is a highly malleable metal with excellent electrical conductivity. The latter property makes the metal good for use in the electrical field, especially in wiring. Thanks to being corrosion resistant, the metal has myriad uses in plumbing. Other uses include making things such as jewelry, cookware, and coins.

While there is an array of metals, copper, aluminum, and steel are consumers’ favorites, thanks to their versatility and durability. If you own a manufacturing company and are in need of any of these metals mentioned, don’t wait to get in touch with us today.

The Environmental Benefits of Brass and Copper

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the metal fabrication industry is expected to increase by 12,000 over the next 10 years. Some of the success experienced by the metal fabrication industry stems from the environmentally-conscious process. Take copper, for instance. Copper and its alloy brass offer the following benefits to the environment. Here are a few of these environmental benefits.

They Can Be Recycled

The biggest benefit of brass and copper to the environment is that they can be recycled. Keep in mind that copper is a base metal while brass is an alloy of copper, which is made by mixing copper and zinc. Today, there’s a high demand for copper, and some of that demand is met by the production of recycled copper. In fact, copper is one of the most commonly recycled metals, and this offers several benefits since the process of recycling copper is less energy-intensive than manufacturing copper from scratch. In addition, the copper recycling process has fewer steps in it, which also results in economic benefits to relevant industries.

They Save Energy

Through the recycling of copper and its alloys, less energy is used. Recycling just one tonne of copper can result in a significant reduction in energy consumption compared to the amount of energy that would be used to mine, extract, and process the same amount of copper. Using less energy means the demand for fossil fuels also goes down. The burning of fossil fuels is one of the largest contributors to increased levels of carbon dioxide, which in turn results in climate change that has brought about global warming and higher sea levels.

They Retain Their Quality

As mentioned, copper and brass can be recycled to reduce environmental waste. The good news is that the recycling process doesn’t lower the quality of the copper metal. One of the steps in the recycling process is purification to ensure a high-quality final product without any contaminants. In most instances, copper can be recycled over and over again without losing its quality, so recycling copper can help eliminate wasteful production processes.

These are the top benefits of brass and copper. As the industrial landscape and the world become, increasingly green, environmentally friendly processes like recycling are also becoming top success factors in metal fabrication. Get in touch with us today to learn more about brass and copper and how they can help reduce your environmental footprint and to purchase these metals for your industry.

What Is Copper Sheet Metal Used for?

The industry of manufacturing metal products is very important to the economy. The installation and upkeep of the electrical systems in our homes and other buildings would be significantly more challenging in the absence of aluminum, brass, and copper, as well as materials made of thin steel sheets and stainless steel.

According to the projections made by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry of metal fabrication will expand by 9% between the years 2016 and 2026. With more copper sheet metal for sale available, let’s look at what it is and what it’s used for.

What Is Copper Sheet Metal?

Copper sheet metal is consistently one of the most popular options among the other available metals. The malleable metal is easily identifiable by its one-of-a-kind color, which has an orangey hue. Additionally, it is available in various thicknesses determined by the applications.

Even more useful is that the suppliers of the copper sheet metal for sale can cut it to the desired dimensions and provide you with the exact size you require.

Uses of Copper Sheet Metal

Copper sheet metal for sale is made from mined copper ore that goes through cleaning, crushing, milling, several chemical processes, purifying, and melting. Copper sheet metal for sale is typically purchased by manufacturers, artisans, and builders. Copper is used for a wide variety of purposes, including the following:

  • Architecture: Due to its non-ferrous nature, builders confidently employ copper for exterior features.
  • Automotive: Copper is high in electrical conductivity, which raises its demand in the automotive industry.
  • Home Improvement: Copper’s reddish-brown color complements any interior design.
  • Electrical: Copper, the second-most conductive metal, has a high thermal expansion coefficient and does not burn when carrying high voltage.
  • Electronics: Home and office electronics may contain high frequency and ultra-high-frequency tubes, printed circuits, and base brazing, which is why they may use copper.
  • Energy and Petrochemical Industries: Copper alloys are popular in corrosive-medium containers, offshore drilling platforms, and other undersea installations because it resists salt water corrosion.
  • Manufacturing and power plants: Copper is useful and highly popular for heat exchangers, copper printing machines, fermentation tank lining, and copper distillation pots in wineries.
  • Plumbing: Copper’s non-ferrous nature makes it useful for water purification and filtration tubes and pipes.
  • Transportation: Special types of copper resist fouling, which can increase ship weight and reduce buoyancy.

Copper is very resistant to corrosion, and it is flexible. Copper sheet metal for sale and its fabricated components is the metal of choice for dozens of applications. Contact us today to purchase your own copper sheet metal.

Top Metals Purchased By Consumers

When it comes to purchasing metals, consumers have their favorites. According to studies, aluminum bars, tubes, sheets, and plates, cold or hot-rolled steel, stainless steel are some of the most commonly purchased metals by customers. Here are the top metals that consumers purchase the most.

1. Aluminum

Aluminum is a silver-white metal that is light in weight and has a low density. It is non-toxic, non-magnetic, and has a high electrical conductivity. Aluminum is widely used in the manufacture of airplanes, spacecraft, and missiles because of its strength and weight. It is also used in the construction of buildings and bridges. Aluminum is an important component of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

2. Hot Rolled Steel

Hot rolled steel is a versatile material used in various applications. It is often used in construction projects, as it can be easily formed into various shapes. It is one of the most affordable types of steel on the market today.

As a result, it is an excellent choice for those looking to complete a project on a budget. Despite its low cost, hot rolled steel is still highly durable and can withstand heavy use. In fact, it is often used in commercial and industrial settings where strength and durability are paramount. Whether you are looking for a material to use in a construction project or you need tough and reliable steel for your business, hot rolled steel is an excellent choice.

3. Titanium

Titanium is a strong, lightweight metal widely used in the aerospace industry. It is also used in the construction of buildings and bridges. Titanium is non-toxic and has high corrosion resistance. It is often used in medical implants because it is compatible with the human body. Titanium is also used in the production of sports equipment and jewelry.

4. Copper

Copper is a ductile metal with a reddish-brown color. It has high electrical conductivity and is malleable, meaning it can be easily formed into various shapes. Copper is often used in the electrical industry because of these properties. It is also commonly used in plumbing because it does not corrode easily. Copper can be found in a variety of objects, including coins, jewelry, and cookware

These metals have their own unique properties that make them ideal for different applications. When you are looking to purchase metals, consider what you need them for and choose the metal that is best suited for your needs. For more information about the different types of metals, contact us today.

What Are Combined Metals and How Do They Work?

A combined metal is a metal made up of two or more metals. These metals are melted together and then poured into a mold to create a new metal. This new metal will have properties of both metals but is usually stronger than either one alone. So, what are combined metals? Here is everything you should know about combined metals.

How Do Combined Metals Work?

Combined metals work by taking advantage of the unique properties of each metal. For example, when iron and carbon are melted together, they create steel. Steel is stronger than either iron or carbon alone. This is because the carbon atoms fit into the spaces between the iron atoms, which makes the steel denser. The carbon also makes the steel harder, so it is often used to make tools.

The Benefits of Using Combined Metals

There are many benefits to using combined metals. One benefit is that it allows manufacturers to create new alloys with specific properties. For example, by adding chromium to steel, they can create stainless steel, which is resistant to rust and corrosion.

Another benefit is that combining metals can help reduce waste. According to statistics, about 40% of steel production worldwide is based on recycled metals. By recycling old metal and melting it down with new metal, manufacturers can create a new alloy that still has all the properties of the original metals.

Finally, combining metals can also help conserve resources. For example, by using aluminum instead of steel in cars, manufacturers can reduce the vehicle’s weight, saving fuel and reducing emissions.

The Different Types of Combined Metals.

There are many different types of combined metals, but some of the most common are alloys. Alloys are made by combining two or more metals to create a new metal with different properties. Some examples of alloys include brass, bronze, and stainless steel.

How to Care For Combined Metals

Caring for combined metals is similar to caring for any other type of metal. It is essential to clean them regularly to prevent corrosion and rust. When cleaning combined metals, it is best to use a mild soap and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the finish of the metal.

With the many benefits, it’s no wonder that combined metals are becoming increasingly popular. They offer a way to create new alloys with specific properties, reduce waste, and conserve resources. If you are looking for a durable and low-maintenance metal, then a combined metal may be perfect. Still asking yourself, what are combined metals? Call us today to learn more about combined metals and how to care for them.

When Do You Need to Use 6061 Aluminum?

Sheet metal can come in different forms, and aluminum has a few different grades that it can come in. If you need sheet metal for your job, which you might, as in 2016 the United States had 138,900 sheet metal workers, then you should know what grade you need. Here is an explanation about 6061 aluminum, and what it can do for you.

This is one of the most versatile and flexible aluminum alloys on the market. It has a high level of workability and is resistant to corrosion over time. Due to this, it can be used in places that receive a lot of wear and tear. It also contains a very high percentage of aluminum, making it purer compared to other options. It has a tensile strength of 45,000 PSI, a yield point of 40,000 PSI, and a Brinell Hardness rating of 95.

Due to the durability of 6061 aluminum, it is used for flooring, ramps, and stairs in residential and commercial buildings. This thin sheet metal is also used in aircraft fittings, the frames of vehicles, hydraulic pistons, and some other structural components. Because it can be shaped well with a high degree of strength, this is a very commonly used grade of aluminum and could be right for your job.

There are other thin aluminum strips like 1100 aluminum and 3003 aluminum. These and 6061 are the three basic types of aluminum alloys that can come as thin metal strips. 3003 uses manganese to increase its strength and is generally used for things like pot lids and cooking utensils. It is not great at handling high heat. The 1100 aluminum alloy is the purest form available at 99%. Because it has such a high thermal conduciveness, it is great for any job that would require thermal conductivity.

Talk to your partners and team today about the best type of aluminum for your products and services. You should take into account the longevity you desire in your products, the heat required in the work you do, and the strength needed by your customers. Share this information to educate your team about aluminum strengths and grades, and do more research before making a decision. Call a metal sales company today to ask more questions about what they can provide for you.

Exploring 3 Types of Aluminum Sheet Metal for Your Next Project

If you need thin aluminum strips for your next metalworking project, it’s important that you choose the right type of aluminum sheet metal for the job. If you’re not sure what type of aluminum thin sheet metal you want to work with yet, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s review a few different types of aluminum sheet metal to consider.

Perforated Aluminum Sheet Metal

Perforated aluminum sheets, also known as plate aluminum, are commonly used for projects that require a strong aesthetic presentation. This is because this type of aluminum sheet metal is known for its aesthetic appeal. Some of the most common applications where this metal is used include interior and exterior design, decorative panels, ceiling detailing, and screens. It’s also common to see this metal used in food and pharmaceutical industries as a result of its durability and easy-to-clean nature.

Brushed Aluminum Sheet Metal

Aluminum typically comes in two forms: brushed and unbrushed. Brushed aluminum is preferred by some because it has a more consistent pattern on its surface than unbrushed aluminum. Brushed metal also comes with the benefit of already looking a little bit distressed, which can add aesthetic appeal to almost any project you’re working on. On unbrushed thin aluminum strips, it’s easier to notice a scratch or other imperfections that aren’t purposeful. Interior designers typically use this type of aluminum sheet metal to accentuate certain features or create an accent wall.

Composite Aluminum Sheet Metal

Composit aluminum sheets are some of the lightest sheet metal in the world as a result of their construction. Despite their low weight, they’re incredibly sturdy. In fact, their structure makes them an excellent choice if you need to do external cladding work. Considering that sheet metal accounts for almost $30 billion in revenue, there’s no question that aluminum is a top seller. Composite aluminum, in particular, is easy to install and transport.

No matter what kind of project you’re working on, it’s likely that there’s a type of aluminum sheet metal out there that can help you out. The key is choosing the right one. For all of your aluminum sheet metal needs, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.