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Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Some types of brass are called bronzes, despite their high zinc content.

Brass is a valuable manufacturing material because of its hardness and workability. Alpha brasses[?], with less than 40% zinc, are malleable and can be worked cold. Beta brasses[?], with a higher zinc content, can only be worked hot, but are harder and stronger. White brass[?], with more than 45% zinc, is too brittle for general use. Some types of brass have other metals added to modify their properties.

See also bronze, an alloy of copper with tin, and cupronickel, an alloy of copper with nickel.

Other uses of this term include: brass instrument

Also refers to a metal commemorative plate laid down in British and European churches from the 13th Century onwards. These can be reproduced by brass rubbing - placing a piece of paper over the figure or inscription and rubbing with a special crayon. For more information see "Monumental Brasses as Art and History" ed. Jerome Bertram published by Alan Sutton. See also www.mbs-brasses.co.uk

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