Perhaps the most commonly used architectural metal of all time, brass is a durable, resilient copper alloy that is the "go to" metal for foot rail and hospitality use. Because brass is stronger and harder than copper, it is often used as a substrate for lustrous copper-plating. Although uncoated brass will patina quickly, it is highly resistant to corrosion and a great choice when durability is a primary consideration.The traditional names for various types of brass usually reference their color. The brass we use for foot rails is primarily "Yellow" brass and contains more zinc than softer more reddish varieties with lower percentages of zinc.
Brass is an environmentally friendly alloy that has a combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and malleability that will continue to make it a useful material for many applications. It has an advantage over other materials in that most products made from brass can be recycled rather than being discarded in a landfill.
All of our brass products are solid brass, not plated, and are available in polished (available online) and satin (by phone order) finishes.
A word about satin brass: Our satin brass products are typically provided with a clear powdercoat. Many other companies offer satin brass with a clear polyurethane lacquer that we consider to be an inferior product. When brass is brushed to achieve a satin finish, the surface area of the brass is increased significantly. Left uncoated, the brass will tarnish rapidly. However, unlike smooth, polished brass, the tiny crevices created during the brushing process become extremely difficult to clean. In order to mitigate this issue some companies spray a thin coat of lacquer to help retard the patina. Unfortunately, when used on foot rails, the lacquer can wear quickly causing the satin finish to tarnish in spots, including near and under the edges of the lacquer. The process used by 4rails.com utilizes a far more durable clear powdercoat. While no coating will last indefinitely, we believe our finish provides a better product that will maintain its original look, longer.