Metal buttons are one of the most popular buttons due to their surface finish, durability and decorative function. Based on the manufacturing materials, metal buttons can be further grouped into:
- zinc alloy buttons
- brass buttons
- stainless steel buttons
- aluminum buttons
- iron buttons
Zinc alloy buttons and brass buttons are two of the most commonly seen metal buttons on the market. Stainless steel buttons are also popular due to their lower chances of susceptibility to rusting as well as their much lower cost when compared with the zinc alloy buttons and brass buttons. Aluminum buttons that can achieve special effects are also available on the market. However, iron buttons whose surface is susceptible to rusting and corruption are seldom used.
Below we will take a closer look at the two most commonly used metal buttons, namely, zinc alloy buttons and brass buttons.
Zinc Alloy Buttons
Recognized as a type of high-grade and high-quality metal buttons, zinc alloy buttons are commonly used for top-grade jeans, coats, uniforms, etc. They are the most expensive among the metal buttons. However, their quality is much better.
Zinc alloy buttons are generally manufactured out of 5# zinc alloy, which is majorly comprised of zinc and aluminum. These buttons will go through the polishing treatment following the die-casting process, which removes the burr along the button edges or in the holes and takes care of the surface that is not smooth before they are subjected to the electroplating process. Please note that color matching does not work for zinc alloy buttons, although they can be electroplated in various colors.
Regarded as another type of high-grade metal buttons, brass buttons are commonly used for the jeans wear, casual wear, coats, handbags and so forth. They are less expensive than zinc alloy buttons while more expensive than the stainless steel buttons.
Brass is a metallic alloy comprised of copper and zinc. Brass buttons can be manufactured out of H62 copper, H65 copper and H68 copper, whose major difference lies in the content of copper. The higher the content of copper, the easier it is to pass the more demanding needle detection. SBS brass buttons are mainly manufactured out of H65 copper and they come available in a wide variety of designs.
Tips for Differentiating between Zinc Alloy Buttons and Brass Buttons
It is easy to differentiate zinc alloy buttons from brass buttons.
Zinc alloy buttons are heavier in weight. Additionally, you can scratch off the electroplating layer of a zinc alloy button/brass button with a hard object and observe the color of the raw material. Zinc alloy buttons look like iron in appearance and they are whiter, while brass buttons are gold.