#ChooseBrass: The Timeless Metal Shaping Modern Progress

Imagine crafting a door handle that endures for generations, constructing a leak-proof plumbing system, powering cell phone towers in harsh environments, or shaping musical instruments that will be played for centuries. It’s all possible with brass, a timeless alloy that has been trusted for over two millennia.

Its popularity can be attributed to a distinctive blend of strength, corrosion resistance, conductivity, machinability, sustainability, and a captivating golden appearance. As we embark on the #ChooseBrass campaign, understanding why this versatile metal alloy continues to be the material of choice across various applications and industries, is essential.

Understanding Brass Alloys & Brass Rod

This distinguished alloy, melds copper (Cu), a nonferrous material readily processed in its pure state, with zinc (Zn). Small amounts of other elements can be added to enhance the properties of brass, further improving desirable attributes such as high machinability and corrosion-resistance. It presents in a diverse range of colors and properties contingent upon its composition. While many brass alloys hover around 60-65% copper and the balance zinc, alloy compositions can vary considerably. These specific ratios and the processing steps involved to make brass products determine the mechanical, physical, electrical, and other property attributes that design engineers seek out when specifying materials.

The #ChooseBrass campaign will focus on one particular product form of brass that highlights its versatility and wide-ranging societal value: rods, bars and sections. In this form, manufacturers can cost-effectively produce intricate parts from brass through automated machining and forging operations. These precision machined brass components are essential to the proper functioning of countless products, systems, and industries.

The Manufacturing Process

The elegant process employed in brass rod production starts with the amalgamation of raw materials comprised primarily of pre- and post-consumer recycled brass, into molten metal, and then allowing this combination to solidify. Through a series of meticulously controlled operations including casting and hot-extrusion, the properties and form of the solidified elements are finely tuned to produce a variety of shapes, including rounds, hexagons, rectangles, squares, and other profiles typically ranging from 0.25 inches to 12 inches in diameter.

The two main types of brass rods are continuous cast rods, where the final product is cast directly from the molten metal, and hot-extruded rods, where larger diameter brass “logs” are first cast and cut into segments called billets which are then heated and forced through a die to create the desired shape and size. An additional cold-drawing step for extruded rods further reduces the diameter to the desired size while enhancing mechanical properties, ensuring customers can efficiently produce brass parts on their machining or forging equipment.

Continuous cast and hot-extruded brass rods have different microstructures and metallurgical properties, giving engineers even more flexibility to ensure the brass they specify is fit-for-purpose for their application requirements.

Diverse Applications of Brass Rod

Boasting dynamic features such as high tensile strength, machinability, acoustic properties, antibacterial effects, non-sparking characteristics, and a natural elegance, brass commands substantial demand in various industries. According to the International Wrought Copper Council, the global demand of brass rods, bars, and sections rose to 2.9 million metric tonnes in 2022, with North America accounting for approximately 185,000 metric tonnes.

As a foundational material, brass rod plays a pivotal role in crafting intricate components, powering everything from aircraft engines to life-saving medical equipment. Its versatile application extends to construction, architecture, industrial machinery, aerospace, defense, and even the melodic realms of orchestras, where dedicated sections, ranging from trombones to trumpets, showcase its unique qualities.

While the myriad of applications is too extensive to list, the reasons why brass should be considered as a material of choice are easy to detail.


In potable water, electrical, and other applications, brass stands out as the safe choice. The next generation of brass rod alloys offers proven solutions for replacing legacy materials that contain lead, helping the world transition to a safer, lead-free future. Its resistance to corrosion, intrinsic antibacterial properties, and non-sparking characteristics make it ideal for ensuring safety across a spectrum of applications.


Brass is a first-choice material for a multitude of industries. With its durability, resistance to wear, and strength, it sets the standard by which other materials are judged. Parts made from brass rods keep mission-critical equipment and machines operating in demanding environments. 100% recyclable and made with over 90% recycled content, brass rod is a closed-loop material system, creating supply security and ensuring long-term availability for generations to come.


High recycled content in brass rods reduces the demand for new mineral resources, promoting a circular economy. Moreover, the superb machinability of brass rods means less energy is required to produce parts compared to steel and other alternatives. As we move towards a more sustainable future, choosing brass aligns with environmental goals and the global commitment to ensuring a promising future.

In the upcoming articles of this campaign, we will delve deeper into each of these three sub-themes, exploring the specific advantages and applications that make brass the material of choice. Join us on this journey to discover why we should #ChooseBrass – the timeless metal shaping modern progress.