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Introduction

Brass is a metal alloy made of a combination of copper and zinc. It demonstrates excellent electrical conductivity and good machinability. Known for its low friction properties and gold-like appearance, brass is commonly used in the architecture sector as well as to manufacture gears, locks, pipe fittings, musical instruments and more.

Subtypes

cnc machining raw material - brass

Brass C360

Brass C360 is a soft metal with the highest lead content amongst brass alloys. It is known for having the best machinability of brass alloys and causes minimal wear on CNC machine tools. Brass C360 is broadly used for fabricating gears, pinions and lock parts.

Tensile StrengthElongationHardnessMaximum TempManufacturing Process
15,000 psi53%35 HRB1650° FCNC Mill, CNC Lathe
cnc machining raw material - brass

Brass C260

Brass C260 is a metal alloy with high zinc content (30%) frequently used in the fabrication of electrical components as well as mechanical fasteners and ammunition casings. It is recognized for having good strength but has inferior stress relaxation properties. Because of its zinc content, Brass C260 is also limited in terms of its solderability.

Tensile StrengthElongationHardnessMaximum TempManufacturing Process
13,800 psi65%40 HRB1560° FCNC Mill, CNC Lathe

Surface Finish

Electroplating

Electroplating can be functional, decorative or corrosion-related. Many industries use the process, including the automotive sector, in which chrome-plating of steel automobile parts is common.

Electroplating Image
Powder Coating

Powder coating forms a durable, wear resistant and corrosion resistant layer on the surface of parts. Powder coating can be used to apply colors to parts and is compatible with any metal.

Powder Coating Image
Painting

Painting the surface of a part improves its aesthetic appearance and can provide brand recognition to consumers. In addition, painting can have a protective effect on parts.

Painting Image
Polishing

Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface, either through physical rubbing of the part or by chemical interference. The process produces a surface with significant specular reflection, but in some materials is able to reduce diffuse reflection.

Polishing Image

Manufacturability

Tolerance

- Standard: (+/-) 125 μm -Achievable: (+/-) 100 μm , (+/-) 50 μm

Wall Thickness

- The minimum wall thickness should be at least 1 mm for machined parts. - 2 mm is suggested for better strength and 2.5 mm for a rigid wall.

Pocket depth

- Pocket depth should be up to 3 times the diameter of the end mill

Engraving

- Engraving is preferable to embossing - For the clear, legible text consider fonts such as Arial or Gothic - Design letter strands with a width of at least 2 mm

Internal Radii

- The minimum internal radii possible is 1 mm - In general, internal radii dimensions depend on the depth of pocket being milled

Holes

- Use standard drill bit sizes - Minimum of 1 mm in diameter

Threads

- Use standard metric inserts - Smallest threaded insert possible is M2

Design Recommendations

Because brass causes limited tool wear during the machining process and is relatively easy to mill, it can – depending on the application – unlock faster machining speeds. The material is also well suited to CNC machining because it is recyclable, meaning that scrap material can be transformed into raw material again.

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