Considered to be a type of alpha-beta brass, Muntz Metal is composed of 60% copper, 40% zinc, and some traces of iron in its mix. Because of this, it is largely considered to be a stronger, harder, and more rigid kind of brass than others.
With its composition being able to form such hardiness, it therefore becomes ideal for use in forging, hot pressing, blanking, or forming and bending, particularly for architectural creations. It is also otherwise known as the yellow metal, but not to be confused with yellow gold.
How Muntz is Made
What makes this copper and zinc hybrid, invented by George Fredrick Muntz, very practical in various applications is that it is also very lightweight. It’s this combination of weight and strength that make it one of the more popular alloys among builders, engineers, and designers.
The way the different metals are processed and combined lends to its formation. First, it’s the copper that is melted, after which the zinc is then infused into it. Once it forms an alloy, it is then cooled down in iron ingot molds. It is then formed and shaped in either a bolt or a thin sheet. For the final touch, the sheet or bolt is then dipped into a weak solution of sulfuric acid before being washed with water. As a result, you get a solid brand new piece of Muntz metal ready for use.
Its corrosion-resistant properties make it popular for use in machine parts and sheathings for bottoms and hulls of boats. Eventually, it was found that it could also effectively protect piers from disintegration caused by corrosion, and that’s why it’s now being used to wrap around the piles of piers.
For a more accessible form in daily use, Muntz metal is used in general construction and building, particularly in bolts. The manufacturing industry, specifically, is putting this kind of brass to a lot of good use, from sheets to coils and rods.
Finding a good quality supplier of metals, in whatever blended form it may be, is going to be important in ensuring the integrity and quality of any construction or building project. Those in this type of business would do well to carefully scrutinize the products when they go to copper and brass sales. Preferably, go to reputable suppliers like Rotax Metals.
Copper Alloys. Copper Development Association Inc.
Muntz Metal. Britannica.com