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.