Brass and bronze are two metals that are often undervalued. Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, is often thought of as the metal of ancient history while brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, is used in costume jewelry and cabinet pulls. However, copper is one of the most highly valued industrial metals and is used in everything from brewery piping to high-voltage transmission lines. The copper obtained from brass and bronze recycling is more than valuable enough to justify the expense of recycling. These two alloys also have valuable properties of their own.
Brass and bronze are both spark-resistant alloys and are frequently utilized to make bearings and tools for use in environments where the sparks from steel or other metals are hazardous. Brass also has high ductility compared to steel and is a popular choice for use in gas fittings and ammunition castings. Bronze is a high-strength metal that is corrosion-resistant, making it the preferred material for propellers on ships as small as sailing yachts and as large as supertankers. This widespread use means there is a vigorous market for scrap and remnant brass and bronze.