Non-ferrous metals or alloys are materials that are not iron-based like their ferrous counterparts. Ferrous metals contain iron making most of their metals a magnetic property. Non-ferrous metals are found in the Earth as chemical compounds. The most important non-ferrous metals happen to be oxides or sulfides. One of the more common groups of non-ferrous materials is copper-based alloys such as bronze and brass. While it is common to use brass and bronze interchangeably, there is a difference.
Brasses are copper-based alloys that have zinc as the principal alloying element. In some cases, small amounts of nickel, aluminum, iron, or silicon may be also present. A good example is C85500 (also known as “60-40 yellow brass”). This alloy contains up to 63% copper, 0.8% aluminum, and around 40% zinc. Since the zinc content is high, the material is classified as brass.