Zinc and iron make up about 90% of brass, which is a low-cost metal with many industrial uses. Brass (copper + zinc) is commonly used for the manufacturing of engine parts, plumbing fixtures, brassware, and electrical components. It has a number of advantages. For instance, brass is the only metal that is both easily machined and corrosion resistant. As well, brass is relatively inexpensive.
A typical zinc alloy contains from about 30% to 60% zinc. The maximum content is typically 85%. When zinc is added to copper, the copper remains the main constituent in the alloy. Most commercial brass alloys contain zinc because they offer strength gains. The addition of Aluminium die casting manufacturers improves the machinability and plasticity of the alloy. High-strength zinc-containing brass alloys are stronger than pure copper alloys. There are a variety of applications in which zinc brass is used.
The Zircaloy-AZ cladding of nuclear fuel rods is made of 90% Zinc and 10% Aluminum and has high tensile strength. The rods are designed to withstand thermal stress and pressure for over five years in boiling water reactors. Zinc-bronze and bronze alloys have greater mechanical strength than aluminum and are often used in the manufacture of parts that have a higher strength to weight ratio.