Brass tubes are one of the most common forms of the brasses and are suitable for a range of uses including fluid transfer, mechanical and architectural applications.
There are a number of different grades available, covered by the BS EN standards for the manufacture of brass tubes, offering a wide range of properties and characteristics. The table below is designed to assist with the selection of brass tube grade by providing compositions, mechanical properties and some general remarks, so a choice can be made depending on the manufacturing process and final application.
For example, alpha brasses (containing a minimum of 63% copper, e.g. CW505L) generally offer thinner wall sections and are more suited to cold forming operations such as bending and swaging. Leaded brass tubes are available in thicker sections and are commonly used where machining is required or for bearing/wear type applications. Addition of aluminium and tin offers enhanced corrosion resistance, and the higher alloyed brasses (e.g. CW713R) have enhanced strength and wear resistance.
For architectural applications colour or finish may be the primary consideration and the palette can vary from the reddish golden colours of the low zinc containing alloys to the attractive yellow gold of the >30% zinc brasses. Brass tubes can also be manufactured as round or square, as extruded, or extruded and drawn. They can be made with a plain finish, as reeded (fluted) tube or even with fins. Please use the table below to find the brass tube material that offers the combination of composition and properties to meet your needs.
Compositions given are the EN materials appropriate to designation number. Composition ranges may be outside those of previous BS specifications, therefore compliance should be checked before assuming suitability for applications. Note that not all elements listed as impurities are shown here. For the full chemical composition you should refer to the standard or the Copper and copper alloys. Compendium of compositions and products PD CEN/TS 13388.
This table includes brasses previously included in BS 2871 ‘Specification for copper and copper alloys. Tubes’:
- ‘Part 2 Tubes for general purposes’
- ‘Part 3 Tubes for heat exchangers’
These brasses are now included in the following EN standards for individual product forms:
- EN 12449 ‘Copper and copper alloys—Seamless, round tubes for general purposes’
- EN 12451 ‘Copper and copper alloys—Seamless, round tubes for heat exchangers’
- EN 12452 ‘Copper and copper alloys—Rolled, finned seamless tubes for heat exchangers’
For more detail, the appropriate standard(s) should be consulted. Visit our page with details of standards and links to the BSI shop.