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"Why did our brass parts turn reddish brown?"

February 22, 2017

Q. We are using brass material for our products. brass material colour changed to reddish / brown during our assembly. what will be cause for the colour change. Kindly give your suggestion to arrest the colour change on the brass material.

- Coimbatore, tamilnadu, India

February 2017

A. Hi cousin Siva. You haven't told us what alloy your parts are made of, what environment you have placed them in, etc. But brass always tarnishes, and usually quite quickly. If you want it to retain a shiny golden look, a dip in sodium benzotriazole will help for a while in a favorable environment, but brass lacquer or another type of clear coat is certainly required for the longer term and if the parts will not remain in climate controlled conditions. Good luck.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 15, 2017

Q. Thanks for the answer. One additional question, is there a special kind of lacquer for brass or would the regular ones meant for metal coating in general work as well?

Indranil Banerjie
Freelance woodworker - Greater Noida, UP, India

affil. link

May 2017

A. Hi Indranil. Although some brass lacquers contain sodium benzotriazole, which is specific to copper and brass, some don't. Whether the ones that don't contain it are "different" from what you are using, I couldn't say.

Please see our suggestion regarding "abstract questions" because, as you see, nobody but me responded to Siva's question, and unfortunately I don't think any readers are going respond to yours either ... and I respond only as a courtesy as the site's curator; I certainly don't claim to be a brass expert. Sorry.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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