As one of the oldest alloys in the class of metals, brass has acquired a reputation for unparalleled durability. Owing to this and many other properties, it has become a solid material used in oilfield instrumentation in the form of brass wear rings.

Even though brass had many industrial benefits in the prehistoric ages, it started to be commercially produced in the post-medieval period. Since copper is a base metal, the alloy shares some of its chemical and physical properties. But the chemical composition of brass allows it to be a more robust choice of metal than bronze, with a golden luster that adds to its aesthetic value by glittering like gold.

However, it offers more than just beauty, and that’s why oilfield instrumentation largely depends on brass wear rings to build the infrastructure of off-shore and on-shore oil rigs and refineries.

Classifications of Brass

There are various classifications of brass according to the fraction of zinc and copper in each alloy. The market value of the metal is proportionate with the copper content, which makes it more valuable in the oil industry.


With less than 37% zinc, the Alpha alloy is the most superior of them all. With a uniform distribution of copper across the board, the alloy is closer to that than zinc in attributes. It’s mostly used where the work requires high-quality metal for drawing, bending, brazing, rolling, welding, and cold work. They’re resistant to corrosion and best to avoid the risk of weathering.


Less ductile and more strong than Alpha, this alloy contains around 45 percent of zinc. The dominant beta structure is a prominent trait of Alpha-Beta brass. The reduction in the amount of copper is compensated with inferior metals such as tin, aluminum, and silicon.


Beta brasses contain more than 45% zinc which makes them hard and inflexible. They can’t be cold-worked because of lack of malleability and can only be shaped when hot. This alloy is also highly corrosive since it’s susceptible to dezincification which compromises the integrity of the metal.

What Makes Brass the Top Choice?


The low-friction surface of this alloy is perfect for moving parts or wear rings. This makes them highly durable, requiring minimal servicing or repairs. Brass used in other industries has been tested to clear D8, 500,000 cycles—the highest durability rate.

Tensile Strength

Brass is excellent for reinforcing structures that are subject to severe tension. Brass fittings can endure pull forces and remain intact. However, it’s not commonly used to resist compressive forces because it’s malleable. Despite that, it’s the top choice for bolts, nuts, and wear rings.


The high machinability of this allow brass to be reshaped into whichever tool you need it to be. Oilfield instrumentation machinery requires several small parts, most of which can be cut and shaped from brass.

If you’re looking for affordable but high-quality oilfield instrumentation, including brass wear rings, look no further.

Contact Instruments is a leading manufacturer of OEM instrumentation in Canada with a production facility in Leduc, Alberta. We supply drilling equipment such as mud pressure gauges, custom cables, or clipper weight indicators for Canadian and American oil companies at affordable rates.

Check out our full range or call at 780-955-8998 for more information.