Lead-free brass is a type of brass alloy that is free of lead, a toxic metal that was commonly used in plumbing and other applications. Lead-free brass is an important material for ensuring the safety and health of the public, particularly in drinking water applications, and its use is mandated by laws and regulations in many countries.
Lead-free brass is made by substituting other elements, such as silicon and bismuth, for lead in the brass alloy. This results in a brass alloy that has similar properties to traditional brass, such as corrosion resistance and durability, but without the health risks associated with lead.
The use of lead-free brass is particularly important in drinking water applications, as lead can leach into water from brass fittings and pipes over time, particularly in areas with acidic water or high water velocity. Exposure to lead in drinking water can lead to a variety of health problems, particularly in children, including developmental delays, learning disabilities, and other neurological effects.
In response to these risks, many countries have implemented laws and regulations mandating the use of lead-free brass in plumbing fixtures and fittings.
There are various types of lead-free brass alloys, each with different compositions and properties to suit different applications. Some common types of lead-free brass include:
C27450 - also known as "EnviroBrass", is a lead-free brass alloy that contains zinc, copper, and tin. It is commonly used in plumbing and marine applications.
C69300 - also known as "Eco Brass", is a lead-free brass alloy that contains copper, zinc, tin, and a small amount of lead-free bismuth. It is commonly used in plumbing and other applications where high strength and corrosion resistance are required.
C87850 - also known as "Silicon Brass", is a lead-free brass alloy that contains copper, zinc, and silicon. It is commonly used in plumbing and other applications where excellent corrosion resistance and strength are required.
C27400 - also known as "Low Lead Brass", is a lead-free brass alloy that contains copper, zinc, and a very small amount of lead. It is commonly used in plumbing applications where some lead content is allowed by law.
C89520 - also known as "Bismuth Brass", is a lead-free brass alloy that contains copper, zinc, and bismuth. It is commonly used in plumbing and other applications where excellent machinability and low friction are required.
The characteristics of lead-free brass vary depending on the specific alloy used, but in general, lead-free brass has the following properties:
Corrosion resistance: Lead-free brass has good corrosion resistance, making it suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including plumbing and marine environments.
Strength: Lead-free brass has good strength and is often used in applications where mechanical stress is a concern.
Machinability: Lead-free brass is easy to machine and can be easily shaped into various forms.
Non-toxic: As the name suggests, lead-free brass does not contain lead, which is a toxic heavy metal. This makes it safer for use in drinking water applications and other applications where human contact is a concern.
Durability: Lead-free brass is durable and has a long service life, making it a cost-effective material for many applications.
Recyclability: Like all brass alloys, lead-free brass is recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice for many applications.