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Freezing Temperature Of Brass

  1. Sep 11, 2014 #1
    Hi Everybody,

    I'm interested in learning what the freezing temperature of brass might be - at what point would it break / snap when tension applied to it, not impact but gradual tension?

    I have no idea how to calculate this as I am a Carpenter and I guess not the usual user of a forum like this!

    Seems to be some very knowledgeable guys on here, so if anyone can shed some light on this subject I would be very interested to hear.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2014 #2


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    You're asking two separate questions here:

    1. What is the freezing point of brass?

    2. What's the ultimate strength of brass?

    Brass is an alloy, primarily composed of copper and zinc, although other metals may be mixed into the alloy in small quantities.


    What you need to do is find out what type of brass you have, and then ask these questions.
  4. Sep 11, 2014 #3
    actually steamking i think he's asking at what temperature does brass transition from stretching and tearing to snapping
  5. Sep 11, 2014 #4


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    I think "freezing the ****s off a brass monkey" is a metaphorical expression. Any change to a brittle phase in brass is likely to be at very low temperatures - unlike tin alloys, where about -30C is cold enough to convert solid objects into powder.

    This temperature effect was known as "tin pest" (because if was thought to be caused by some type of bug "eating" the metal). There are similarly named "zinc pest" and "bronze pest" corrosion effects, either of which might affect brass, but neither of those has anything to do with low temperatures. Wikipedia has articles on all three.
  6. Oct 14, 2014 #5
  7. Oct 14, 2014 #6


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    Hi Stuart. Welcome to the board.

    Generally when we talk about a freezing temperature, we're referring to the temperature where the material changes from liquid to solid or back again. For brass as you might expect, that temperature is pretty high. It's on the order of 1700 F. But I don't think that's what you really are trying to get at because you want to know what point brass would break or snap when a gradual tension is applied to it. The short answer is that there is no such temperature. In fact, even for steel or iron, as long as the material is cooled gradually, there won't be any point that it will suddenly snap if you simply apply a gradual load. I design reciprocating cryogenic pumps that operate down to just a few degrees above absolute zero, and brass alloys work very well even for impact loads at that temperature.

    Copper alloys, like most materials, actually increase in strength as the temperature drops. Hyo X provided a graph of temperature (x axis) versus strength (y axis) which shows how various alloys of copper (ie: brass) increase in strength as they get colder. That's fairly common for most metals and plastics as well. They tend to get stronger as they get colder. You've probably seen things like a flower or a tennis ball get dunked in liquid nitrogen (-320 F) and they become very brittle and can shatter like glass. But the fact is, they don't suddenly break just because they get cold.

    The second graph Hyo X provided shows how elongation varies with temperature. As the material gets colder, the various alloys shown remain ductile (ie: the amount they will 'stretch' when you apply a load to them, does not vary significantly over the range of temperature given. This means they remain ductile and would bend or stretch at low temperture just as well as they would at room temperature. That's true for most copper alloys.
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