In the manufacture of brass and brass products the weight of the finished product leaving the plant is much less than the total weight of copper and zinc entering. A small part of this discrepancy is due to the unavoidable oxidation of the metals in melting, but by far the largest part of the loss is in the form of metallic particles of copper, zinc, and brass. These losses occur principally at three points in the process:
- in the casting-shop ashes;
- in the slags from furnaces melting scrap brass;
- in material spilled on the floor throughout the manufacturing process.
The amount of these products in some plants is nearly 100 tons per 24 hours.
Casting-shop ashes contain the metal spilled from the crucibles during melting and pouring, and the metal included in the slags formed in the melting process. The ashes also contain pieces of broken crucibles with adhering metal; 20 to 30 per cent, of unburned coal is also present. The metal in casting-shop ashes contains clean pieces of zinc or copper ingots weighing 1 to 2 lb., jagged pieces of metal of all shapes ranging in size from several inches down to the finest dust, and shot and