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For general topics on scratchbuilding.
Hosted by Mike Kirchoff
Brass Rod snaps after Single Bend???
Georgia, United States
Joined: November 04, 2010
KitMaker: 172 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 12:48 PM UTC
I've been using K&S brass rods for a long time with a grabhandler, and I can usually bend and rebend it several times before it snaps. Yet, recently a new package of .51mm rods I bought recently all snap after a single 90 degree bend. I thought at first it was just a bad batch, but two more packages yielded the same results (they were all bought from the same store). I've contacted K&S, but no word yet.

Has anyone had this problem? Is there anything I can do? Should I just look elsewhere for a package of brass rod for now?

Thanks in advance
Texas, United States
Joined: January 15, 2010
KitMaker: 221 posts
AeroScale: 28 posts
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 04:32 PM UTC
Hey Jonathan, The only thing I know of that would cause brass to snap like that would be less Copper content and more Zinc. Maybe they lowered their proportion of Copper to save money. You know! Akin to paying the same price for less cereal, nose spray, etc. or buying a Mercedes and realizing it has a construction quality level of a Ford. I'll stop now before I wind up to a fever pitch.
Many places use recycled materials and just have a higher Zinc ratio in the latest batch so that could be an issue also.
Either way, that's a huge disappointment. I've been using it for years too and if they have deliberately cheapened their product for a higher profit margin, they can keep it.
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: September 13, 2005
KitMaker: 2,016 posts
AeroScale: 475 posts
Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 11:26 PM UTC
Hey Jonathan
Have you tried heating before bending?
Georgia, United States
Joined: November 04, 2010
KitMaker: 172 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 10:59 AM UTC
I have tried annealing it by running it over a lighter. The first time I tried it, I must have annealed too much because it bends from just the slightest touch. But I recently tried again, and it seems to work. I can get several bends and no breaks. I still can't figure out what would have caused it to get so brittle.
California, United States
Joined: July 02, 2009
KitMaker: 962 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 - 01:31 AM UTC
I have too noticed new brass rod breaking on first bend, thought I got a bad batch .020 breaking at 90 deg did K&S buy some cheap brass? Think I will send them an email
Illinois, United States
Joined: August 30, 2005
KitMaker: 3,289 posts
AeroScale: 289 posts
Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 - 04:45 AM UTC
To me, this isn't a new thing. A little over a year to a year and a half ago I was trying to make a set of custom motorcycle exhausts for my model bike and the 1/4" brass tube either cracked, snapped or collapsed...my bends on the one pipe were pretty charp though. I even tried inserting a solid styrene rod inot the tubing to help combat the issue but no luck. I wound up taking the propane torch and heating up the tubing to a nice orange glow and let it air cool...that was the ticket. Get it too hot {mapp gas} and it could melt or go too limp like lead, but if it gets too soft that's not so bad I guess since once you attach it, so long as you don't touch it again, it should stay where you put it....should. Try annealing{heating} the rods to different colors and see which heated color works best for your needs....light orange glow, solid orange glow, yellow, or white- watch your feet for the falling melted brass!