Does the question: is brass magnetic often puzzling you? Or do you want to know how nonmagnetic brass is used in CNC machining? Here is the guide!


Metals and their discovery have played a crucial role in mankind. Brass is a common metal discovered in 5000 BCE. It was produced as an experimental result of blending copper and zinc. Brass is popular for its high malleability and conductivity. Its affordable prices make it suitable for multipurpose uses, raising the market demand.


But the real question is, “Is brass magnetic?” Magnetism is the property of a material that generates a magnetic field. Knowing the magnetic properties of brass is essential so that it can be used in the best way possible. Here is a blog to discuss everything about brass magnetism.


Understanding Brass and Its Properties

Before answering your question: is brass magnetic, let’s first discuss brass. It is a metal alloy composed of ductile copper and lustrous zinc. Generally, it contains 60-70% copper and 30-40% zinc. However, you can adjust the ratio of two metals depending on your needs. The proportions of copper and zinc in alloy define the grade of the metal. Brass features an array of properties. It is corrosion-resistant and durable. Thus, it is a popular choice for different applications. You can find brass in other materials. For example, decorative items, toys, musical instruments, and industrial goods. Further, the excellent machinability makes it ideal for CNC machining.


How to Find: Will Brass Stick to a Magnet?

You will find the answer if you search “Is brass a magnetic material” on Google. But let’s try to find it ourselves with the brass magnet test. You can do a simple DIY test to find out if there is a brass magnet. This experiment will help you analyze the properties of the brass. You only need a strong magnet and the brass item you wish to test.


Now, bring the magnet close to the brass item. Observe now. Can you pick up brass with a magnet?


And you will find yourself asking your question: Is brass magnetic? And the answer might shock you. Like iron, brass doesn’t attract the magnet.


Is Brass Magnetic?


Now comes the most asked question: does brass stick to a magnet, or will a magnet stick to brass? Let’s try to understand the answer to this. And find out if you can ever make a brass magnet!


Understanding Brass Magnetism


Made up of non-ferrous metal, copper, and zinc, brass is nonmagnetic in itself. To understand why brass is not magnetic, it’s essential to understand magnetism. At the core, magnetism is defined as the presence of electric charges. In scientific language,


Magnetism is a contact force. It characterizes the attraction of unlike poles and repulsion of the like poles. It arises because of the motion of electrically charged particles. The spinning movement of electrons under the influence of an electric field generates electric charge. This charge further creates magnetic characteristics of the material. Magnetism is a vector quantity with a magnitude and direction. Every metal has different properties and different levels of magnetism. A metal’s magnetic movement defines its strength and direction. The specific term for this is dipole movement or magnetic movement.


Here are the types of magnetic behaviors:



Electrons with opposite spins show diamagnetism. The force creates a repulsion in electrons and sets them apart. Metals and alloys like brass, copper, and silver reflect diamagnetism.



With more than one unpaired electron, these electrons show asymmetrical movements. This results in magnetic movement in any direction under an external field. And as soon as you remove the external field, you say goodbye to magnetism. For example, aluminum.



Permanent metals like iron show ferromagnetism. In other words, these materials are magnetic under every condition. And the external field does not affect their magnetic properties.


What Type of Metal is Not Magnetic?


Metal with zero magnetic fields and which are also not attracted to magnets are nonmagnetic. In magnetic metals, the force is natural and permanent. But, there are also electromagnetic materials that feature temporary magnetism. Brass, in its raw state, is nonmagnetic. But there is a possibility of making brass a magnetic metal, which we will understand later.


Why is Brass Not Magnetic?

Why is Brass Not Magnetic?

What do you think now? Is brass magnetic? No, what, why? Here is the explanation. Brass reflects diamagnetic electronic movement. Thus, it is not magnetic at all. Its atomic structure doesn’t allow electrons to spin, which generates magnetism. The absence of unpaired electrons handles the non-existence of brass magnets. When it is placed in an external magnetic field, it generates a weak opposing field. But, this effect is weak and minimal when considering brass as a magnetic substance.


Can We Make Brass Magnetic


In its natural state, brass is a nonmagnetic substance with no magnetic characteristics. Yet, a few techniques can impart weak and transitory magnetic characteristics to brass.



When it comes to a strong electromagnetic field, brass can magnetize for the short term. The electromagnet causes the electrons in brass to rearrange their position. Thus, it can produce a mild magnetic field. But again, it dissipates when you remove the electromagnetic.



Some elements like iron and nickel can improve brass’s magnetic characteristics. The only step is adding pure magnetic metals to the brass alloy during production.


Special treatments

Special treatments, such as annealing operations or exposure to very low temperatures, can also achieve Brass magnetism.


Practical Uses of Nonmagnetic Brass


Even with its nonmagnetic properties, brass is popular. There are different practical implications of brass in industries. Further, it turns into a hero where magnetic properties could interfere with functionality. Let’s understand the uses of brass:


Brass and Electronic industry


Brass is commonly used in the electrical industry. You can find a significant amount of brass in components like connectors, terminals, etc. Its nonmagnetic properties don’t interfere with electronic signals, ensuring the proper functioning of devices. Further, it is resistant to corrosion and offers excellent conductivity. This is all you need for an ideal electrical material.


Brass and Navigation


When it comes to navigation or precision instruments, you must find a nonmagnetic material. Further, the raw material should be durable. Else, there’s a high chance of wear and tear. And the magnetic material can interfere with the sensitivity of the instruments. Here again, brass comes to the rescue. It is stable and doesn’t produce a magnetic field. Thus eliminating distraction and producing accurate results.


Role of Brass in CNC Machining

Role of Brass in CNC Machining

As mentioned above, brass is popular in CNC machining. For those who don’t know, CNC is a pre-programmed computer software. It assists in the precise shaping of materials. It is because of its consistent performance and high durability. There are many advantages of using brass in CNC machining. We know that brass is a non-ferrous material. Hence, CNC machining allows for quick, complex work without compromising quality. The absence of magnetism in brass allows it to detriment the magnetic interference. The negotiable wear and tear brings durability. Thus, you don’t need to change the machine parts repeatedly.


Moreover, it is a manufacturing process that dictates the movement of the machines. Brass facilitates the precise cutting of the products. This allows CNC to create quality and accurate gears, valves, and bearings. Different grades of brass are available on the market. But, the most common grades for CNC machining are C360 and C260. Here are some common CNC machined brass components you can find in the market:

  • Valves and Gears: For mechanical fluid control systems.
  • Precision Instruments: For marine, scientific, medical, and navigation systems.
  • Utilities: Such as handles and knobs for doors and other furniture.
  • Connectors: For electrical and plumbing purposes.


Final Words


Next time, if someone asks you: “Is there a brass magnet?” You know the answer. There is nothing called magnetic brass. It reflects diamagnetic properties. But even after lacking magnetism, brass became popular. Thanks to its characteristics, including:

  • excellent machinability
  • corrosion resistance
  • malleability
  • durability


The alloy doesn’t interfere with the precision of the instruments. Thus, it has common implications in various industries, particularly CNC machining. Brass ensures the optimal performance of the products. Even in your home, you can find brass in different states. For example, the knobs of your doors, bearings of your bathroom taps, and even utensils in your kitchen. Every day, you can spot different implications of the brass around your corners. Most of the brass items are CNC machines.

Still wondering? Is brass magnetic or not? Brass is not magnetic. While it might not stick to a magnet, brass is a reliable and versatile material choice.

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