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Corrosion Tests Prove Free Cutting Brass Outlasts Plated Steel

Blog Corrosion Tests Prove Free Cutting Brass Outlasts Plated Steel

Screw machine products made from Free-Cutting Brass, UNS C36000, can be significantly less expensive than identical parts made from leaded AISI Type 12L14 steel. This is possible for three reasons:

  1. Brass turnings are a valuable commodity, and automatic screw machines usually produce more turnings than parts by weight;
  2. Brass parts can be machined much faster than leaded steel (theoretically, almost five times as fast), which translates into significantly lower production costs;
  3. Brass screw machine products don’t require expensive electroplating to resist corrosion or preserve their usefulness or appearance.


Brass parts can cost less whether or not electroplating is a factor; however, environmental concerns have driven the cost of electroplating up significantly in recent years, and brass is becoming a better value than ever before.

Corrosion resistance is certainly an important consideration in automotive screw machine components. Despite exposure to corrosive conditions, parts must continue to function, threads and fittings must continue to fit properly, and an image of quality should be maintained. Is brass’ natural corrosion resistance really adequate to withstand long-term exposure to the potentially corrosive underhood environment? And if it is, how does brass’ performance compare with conventionally plated steel screw machine products?

These questions were addressed in a series of accelerated corrosion tests conducted for the Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA) by the LaQueCenter for Corrosion Technology, Inc., Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The Center subjected typical brass and plated steel automotive screw machine products to accelerated corrosion tests. Read more on this publication that describes the results of those tests at the following link: