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Benefits of Brass, Bronze, and Copper Shim Stock

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Benefits of Brass , Bronze and Copper Shim Stock

Red metals earned their name from the unique reddish tint they possess. Copper is the foundation of the red metals as it can be used in its natural state and it can be alloyed to create the other two red metals — brass and bronze. Although these metals have a similar hue, they possess different qualities, compositions, and properties that make them suitable for some applications over others. 

Copper is one of the oldest metals discovered and has been in use for over 10,000 years due to the expansive range of benefits copper and its alloys offer. Red metals are extremely versatile, making them a popular choice in a wide array of applications, including musical instruments, marine hardware, HVAC systems, and electrical components.

Benefits of Brass

Brass is created by adding variable amounts of zinc to copper. Zinc increases the ductility and strength of the copper and the resulting brass material is a lighter color than the original copper. The benefits of Brass and brass shim stock applications include:

  • Low Friction: Brass is a soft metal that produces a low friction rate, making it a good choice in applications where sparking should be avoided. This red metal is also a good electrical and heat conductor. 
  • Corrosion Resistant Shims: Marine environments often opt for brass shims for tuning and piping because brass is corrosion-resistant. Even in environments where gasoline, alcohol, fuel, or oil may be present, brass has shown strong resistance qualities.
  • High Malleability: Brass shim stock’s softness and low melting point make it suitable in a broad range of applications, particularly in machinery. They are useful in creating accurate alignments, leveling surfaces, filling gaps, and more.
  • Recyclable: Brass isn’t ferromagnetic, making it highly recyclable. Because it doesn’t possess magnetic qualities, it can easily be separated from other metals using a magnet.
  • Antimicrobial: Because brass is a copper alloy, it has inherent antimicrobial properties. Copper naturally eliminates certain bacteria, making it a good option for shims that require sterilization, like the medical and food industry. 

Benefits of Bronze

Bronze is a copper alloy most commonly combined with tin. However, silicon, aluminum, phosphorous, and manganese are also commonly used to create bronze. The addition of these elements increases bronze’s hardness. Bronze has a high aesthetic appeal and is excellent for surface finishes, has high dimensional precision, and is cost-effective. Bronze shim stock benefits and applications include:

  • Durability: Bronze is commonly used in musical instruments due to its durability. It can withstand repeated impacts making it a good candidate for bells and cymbals as well as windings of steel and nylon strings on guitars and pianos.
  • Expandability: Bronze is the metal of choice in sculpting because it expands immediately before setting, bringing even the most intricate details in your artwork to life. 
  • Corrosion-resistant: Manufacturers of furniture trims, ship hardware, automobile parts, hardware mounts, coins, ship hardware, and wall panels prefer to use bronze because it is corrosion-resistant and has a unique color. 

Benefits of Copper

Though it is often alloyed, copper is one of the only metallic elements that can be used in its unaltered state. Copper’s extreme versatility is due in part to its mechanical, thermal, and electrical characteristics. Benefits and applications of copper shim stock include:

  • Corrosion-resistant: Copper is highly resistant to corrosion. This metal can withstand high-moisture applications such as plumbing, roofing, and outdoor applications.
  • Ductile and Malleable: Copper is one of the easiest metals to work with in joining and fabricating processes. It resists cracking and can bend to form a wide range of shapes making it optimal for use in industrial, architectural, and automotive applications.  
  • Easy to Alloy: Copper can easily alloy with a majority of other metals, including nickel, zinc, and tin to enhance or add application-specific qualities.

Shim Stock at Trinity Brand Industries

For centuries, red metals have been important elements for advancing modern tools and technology. Due to their versatility, corrosion resistance, antimicrobial properties, and more, red metals are ideal for applications in architecture and construction to machinery and telecommunication. 

For over 30 years, Trinity Brand Industries has continually provided quality shim stock to a wide array of industries. Our complete line of shim stock options includes rolls and sheets for the red metals such as brass shim stock, half-hard brass shim stock, copper shim stock, phosphor bronze shim stock, and more. Our commitment to quality has delivered lasting customer relationships. We are always committed to supplying USA-made materials that offer traceability and a Material Test Report (MTR) in all materials. To learn more, reach out to Trinity Brand Industries or request a quote for our products and services.

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