Science, Tech, Math › Science Is There an Element Symbol for Brass? Share Flipboard Email Print Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images Science Chemistry Molecules Basics Chemical Laws Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated September 09, 2019 It's easy to get confused about the difference between elements and alloys. Some people wonder what the element symbol for brass is. The answer is that there is no element symbol for brass because it consists of a mixture of metals or an alloy. Brass is a copper alloy (element symbol Cu), usually combined with zinc (Zn), although sometimes other metals are combined with copper to make brass. Element Symbols The only time a substance has an element symbol is when it contains only one type of atom, all having the same number of protons. If a substance contains more than one kind of atom (more than one element), it may be represented by a chemical formula made up of element symbols, but not by a single symbol. In the case of brass, the copper and zinc atoms form metallic bonds, so there isn't really a chemical formula. Thus, there is no symbol.