This is a variety of brass with an admixture of iron, which gives it a considerable degree of tenacity. It is especially adapted for purposes which require a hard and, at the same time, tenacious metal. Analyses of the various kinds of this metal show considerable variation in the proportions. Even the amount of iron, to which the hardening effect must be attributed, may vary within wide limits without materially modifying the tenacity which is the essential characteristic of this alloy.


The best variety of Aich's metal consists of copper, 60 parts; zinc, 38.2; iron, 1.8. The predominating quality of this alloy is its hardness, which is claimed to be not inferior to that of certain kinds of steel. It has a beautiful golden-yellow color, and is said not to oxidize easily, a valuable property for articles exposed to the action of air and water.


Copper, 60.2 parts; zinc, 38.2; iron, 1.6. The permissible variations in the content of iron are from 0.4 to 3 per cent.

Sterro metal may properly be considered in connection with Aich's metal, since its constituents are the same and its properties very similar. The principal difference between the two metals is that sterro metal contains a much larger amount of iron. The composition of this alloy varies considerably with different manufacturers.


Two varieties of excellent quality are the product of the Rosthorn factory, in Lower Austria—copper, 55.33 parts; zinc, 41.80; iron, 4.66. Also


English sterro metal (Gedge's alloy for ship sheathing), copper, 60 parts; zinc, 38.125; iron, 1.5.

The great value of this alloy lies in its strength, which is equaled only by that of the best steel. As an illustration of this, a wrought-iron pipe broke with a pressure of 267 atmospheres, while a similar pipe of sterro metal withstood the enormous pressure of 763 atmospheres without cracking. Besides its remarkable strength, it possesses a high degree of elasticity, and is, therefore, particularly suitable for purposes which require the combination of these two qualities, such as the construction of hydraulic cylinders. It is well known that these cylinders, at a certain pressure, begin to sweat, that is, the interior pressure is so great that the water permeates through the pores of the steel. With a sterro metal cylinder, the pressure can be considerably increased without any moisture being perceptible on the outside of the cylinder.

Sterro metal can be made even more hard and dense, if required for special purposes, but this is effected rather by mechanical manipulation than by any change in the chemical composition. If rolled or hammered in heat, its strength is increased, and it acquires, in addition, an exceedingly high degree of tenacity. Special care must be taken, however, in hammering not to overheat the metal, as in this case it would become brittle and might crack under the hammer. Sterro metal is especially suitable for all the purposes for which the so-called red metal has been in the past almost exclusively used. Axle bearings, for example, made of sterro metal have such excellent qualities that many machine factories are now using this material entirely for the purpose.