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Metal Glossary


An important, but difficult to quantify, property of a material. It relates to the ease by which material can be removed from a work-piece by a cutting tool, in turning, drilling, shaping or milling, etc., to leave a satisfactory surface finish. Materials with good machinability permit fast cutting speeds, high feeds with low tool wear and produce a bright, smooth surface. Free Machining Brass CW614N (CZ121 Pb3) has one of the fastest rates of metal removal and sets the machinability standard against which the machinability of all other alloys are measured.


The ability of a metal to deform into a useful shape, without breaking or cracking, under a compressive load. It is therefore the analogue of ductility which measures these effects in tension. A ductile material is invariably malleable and, hence, ductility and malleability are, incorrectly, often used interchangeably. Malleability is improved by annealing.

Manganese Bronze

A frequently, but incorrectly, used term to describe the duplex, high tensile, Brasses (e.g. CW721R / CZ114) that contain Manganese.


The mixture of Copper and Iron Sulphides produced by smelting the concentrated ore

Mega Pascals

The SI unit for measuring the strength of a material and is abbreviated to MPa. Numerically it is exactly equivalent to Newtons/square millimetre (N/mm2 or Nmm-2). An approximate, rule of thumb, conversion to the Imperial measure of ton/in2 is: 1 ton/in2. = 15 MPa.


The prefix given to U.S. military specifications.