Is Brass Malleable? Need to Know Facts!

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc having good resistance to corrosion. In this article, we shall discuss the malleability of brass and its strength in detail.

Brass is malleable because it does not develop fractures and cracks when exposed to high pressure and deforming forces. The tensile strength of brass is around 315 MPa and the hardness of about 3 on the Mohs scale. It has either a face-centered cubic structure or a body-centered cubic structure that makes it malleable.

Brass being a good corrosion resistance is used as fitters, connectors, mechanical tools, door knobs, tabs, nails, metals for musical instruments, etc. We shall further discuss whether brass is more malleable than copper, steel, bronze, zinc, etc in detail. We shall also talk about the brittleness of brass.

Is brass less malleable than copper?

The malleability of material is directly dependent on temperature, thermal conductivity, and density. Let us see whether brass is less malleable than copper or not.

Brass is more malleable than copper because brass density is less than copper. The atoms in brass can more easily slide across each other compared to the Cu atoms. Cu is composed of unique-size atoms while brass is composed of copper and zinc atoms. The atomic radius of Zn is more than Cu which gives high void density.

Is brass more malleable than steel?

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon having good corrosion resistance and high stability. Let us discuss whether brass is more malleable than steel or not.

Brass is more malleable than steel because steel is a compact and rigid matter that does not allow atoms do not slide easily as iron and carbon atoms form strong bonds. The melting point of brass is 930 0C while that of steel is 1370 0C. Also, the thermal expansion coefficient of brass is more than steel.

Is brass brittle?

A matter is said to be brittle if it has very less elastic deformational and develops cracks on the application of force. Let us see whether brass is brittle.

Brass can be brittle based on the percent of zinc and copper added during the formation of the alloy. The brass is brittle at a low temperature whereas, as the temperature increases, the malleability of brass increases due to the drift velocity of atoms, thus reducing the brittleness of the material.

Image Credit: Brass by Thamizhpparithi Maari (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Is brass more malleable than zinc?

Zinc is used as a galvanizer, for coating other metals, and in zinc batteries. Let us discuss whether zinc is more malleable than brass or not.

Brass is more malleable than zinc because zinc is brittle at low temperatures. Zinc becomes malleable and ductile at a temperature. Zinc has only one type of atom and hence can generate cracks upon stretching, while brass has two different sized atoms that can slip and fill the cracks without developing a fracture.


We can conclude from this article that brass is malleable due to its low melting point and the presence of two different sizes of atoms. It is ductile and can be elongated into thin wire without generating a cleavage. It holds a property of elastic deformation at high temperatures.

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