Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, whereby the proportions of zinc to copper can vary. Unlike soft copper, brass is relatively hard. This hardness, combined with its resistance to corrosion, makes it a popular alloy in the sanitary industry for use in taps, piping and fittings. Because of its golden colour and sheen, it is also often used decoratively in ornamental fittings on doors and jewellery, for instance. Brass is a material that is ideal for recycling. It is estimated that 90% of all brass alloys are eventually recycled and melted down for reuse.