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How To Order Custom Extrusions in Brass, Bronze and Nickel Silver

How To Order Custom Extrusions in Brass, Bronze and Nickel Silver

Purchasing custom brass, bronze and nickel silver extrusions is a relatively straight-forward process that can be simplified by providing the following information with your “Request for Quote”. 


  1. Quantity.  Specify in units such as pounds, pieces or lineal feet.
  2. Alloy. It is preferable to designate alloy by the Unified Numbering System for Metals and Alloys (UNS).  Architectural Bronze is C38500; Nickel Silver is C77600, as examples. The mill will, of course, recognize red metal alloys traditional nomenclature and historic designations, as well.If you’re not sure which alloy is suitable for your application, ask.  (See “Brass, Bronze and Nickel Silver Nomenclature” in this blog, or visit www.copper.org for Copper Development Associations designation of Wrought Copper Alloys.
  3. Shape Drawing or Cross-Section Defined.  Mills will require a fully dimensioned print before quoting tooling and product on a custom shape.  For common shapes such as rectangles, angles and tees; appropriate nominal dimensions are acceptable.  Mills will accept sketches and other descriptions of a custom shapes but may charge for fully dimensioned prints before proceeding.  Mills cannot design your product, only make your product more efficient to extrude.
  4. Dimensional Tolerances.  Standard Mill, Commercial Mill or ASTM Standard Tolerances will apply unless special values are stated on the print and agreed upon by the mill and purchaser in writing.
  5. Length.  There are several important considerations when designating the length of the extrusion that you are buying.  (We will only deal with those that affect custom and stock architectural shapes):
    1. Specific Lengths.  Indicates that each bar will be a specific uniform length subject to established length tolerances; for example: 12’-0”, 16’-7-1/2” or 10.250”.  (This is the most common length designation)
    2. Multiple Lengths.  Indicates bars will be cut in multiples of a base length; for example: 6’base length may be supplied in 6’, 12’ or 18’ subject to established length tolerances and different multiples may be included in any lot, at the mills discretion.
    3. Random Lengths.  Run-of-the-mill lengths without any indicated preferred length.
    4. Stock Lengths.  Certain uniform lengths subject to established length standards for common products produced and stocked in advance.  Common shapes such as rectangles, angles, tees, etc., are stocked in 16’ lengths. Elevator sills are stocked in 7’, 8’, and 10’ lengths.  Cap rail is stocked in 20’ lengths.


Other Ordering Considerations:

Shipping tolerances for extruded product vary mill-to-mill.  This is an important consideration that is often overlooked.  It is common for mills to maintain and practice shipping tolerances from +/-15% to +/-30%, depending on poundage.  For orders under 300 pounds that tolerance may be increased to include +/-35%, or an additional length.

Mill may assess an additional charge for exact piece count, or certain minimum quantities.


Custom brass, bronze and nickel silver extrusions are not subject to heat-treating at the mill.  Temper designation defaults to ASTM M-30 which is “hot extruded only”.  Product surface of architectural extrusions is designated as “mill-finish”. 


Contact your mill directly to discuss special specifications such as ASTM, ASME, SAE, etc.  Any details of the finished product can be helpful.  Any testing requirements should be discussed with the mill in advance of order placement.  Product certifications (other than simple chemistries) are generally offered at a nominal cost


Mills provide suitable boxing, or crating, for shipment.  Contact your mill for special requirements.  Weight, length and nesting potential are considered when selecting boxing.  Boxes should be supplied with covers and cleats suitable for shipping.


All products are shipped FOB MILL and buyer will be responsible for all freight costs unless agreed in advance between buyer and mill.


Tooling for custom extruded shapes that are purchase by the mills customers remain in the possession of the mill and used and maintained exclusively for the customer.


Mills price product at time of shipment due to the volatility of the metal market.  The price provided at time of quote may change at time of shipment as metal prices move.  This is common practice by all domestic mills. 


Payment Terms and Credit.  Typical terms are 1%-10 Days/Net 30 Days. Terms and credit are usually based upon time of shipment and pre-approved credit, unless otherwise agreed in advance.  Consult your mill for terms and credit criteria.


Ship Date/Delivery Date:  Mills maintain, or publish lead times for custom extrusions that include additional time for new tooling and product validation.  Consult your mill for current lead times and policies for expediting materials inside normal lead times.


Finally, make sure your quote and purchase order are accurately reflected in the mills sales acknowledgement.


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