Date:June 06, 2011

Aluminum Connectors Are Softer than Brass

Los Angeles, CA — at its website, Rigel Products’ research team points out that
aluminum connectors are softer than brass. There has been a trend in the market to
use brass connectors with the assumption that brass is softer than other connector
materials.  The trend seemed to assume that brass being a softer core wire than
carbon steel wire extends to brass being a softer connector.  However, that
perception seemed to assume that connectors are carbon steel, which they are not.  
The most popular connector, being aluminum, is softer than brass.  On the Mohs
scale of metal hardness, aluminum rates 2 to 3, and brass rates harder at 3 to 4.  
Some consumers also mistakenly think aluminum connectors are made from hard
aluminum alloys, such as ones used in aerospace, but it is not the case.

At its webpage “Research,” Rigel’s team explains an easy way for any user to see
that aluminum connectors are softer than brass ones.  The common nail scratch
method is applied.  Users are guided to scratch each type of connector with a nail,
and then, using a magnifier, to see which scratch is deeper and wider.  A user can
see that the aluminum connector has a deeper wider scratch mark, which means it
is softer.  The test shows brass, on the other hand, gives a shallower thinner scratch
mark, which we would expect since it is harder

Also, it appears aluminum connectors are no more likely than brass ones to become
embedded with carbon particulates.  If a user is concerned that a cleaning element
has become embedded with carbon particulates, the user can wash the cleaning
element vigorously in soapy water.  If one is concerned about water rusting the
cleaning element, then one can end the cleaning with a quick rinse of concentrated
alcohol or with a dry swabbing.  91% isopropyl alcohol is available from drugstores.

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Shane Smith
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