Wednesday, March 15, 2023

How to Preserve Bronze Plates

Bronze plates are found in so many different applications. They can be used in architectural and ornamental design, as well as machining projects and marine applications. 

While this metal alloy knows how to get the job done well, that does not mean you should just use it and forget about it. There are a few things you should know about preserving bronze plates to get the best use of them in their most beautiful state for years and years to come. 

A Little About Bronze Plates

It is always a good idea to get to know your metal before you begin working with it. In this case, you should get yourself familiar with bronze. 

Bronze is an alloy that can have a varied composition. However, its composition will always be primarily made up of copper (roughly 88%) and tin with a mixture of other elements. And it has some pretty incredible characteristics, including that it is: 

  • Highly ductile

  • A conductor of electricity and heat

  • Highly resistant to corrosion - even in saltwater

  • Unable to create sparks

  • Very durable

  • A metal with a moderate melting point - and it expands as it cools

It is worth noting that there are bronze plates and sintered bronze plates. Sintering uses powder metallurgy, meaning the bronze is ground down into a powder. It is then put into a mold and fused together to create the finished plate. As a result, sintered bronze is very porous and strong with a long lifespan. 

Bronze Plate Dangers

Bronze plates may come with some notable traits, but it is not invincible. If you want to preserve it, then you need to know what the danger is. 

Because of its high-copper composition, bronze plates, like copper, may turn green as time goes by. The reason for this is that when the metal is exposed to air, it forms a protective layer known as patina. 

Patina may take away from the nice bronze color, but it is also doing its job to protect the metal from any further damage from the air it has been exposed to. 

Unfortunately, patina does not appear or help in applications involving ocean water. It is the chlorides that can penetrate the metal and cause it to corrode. Though, this doesn’t always happen nor does it happen quickly, especially if the bronze plate is preserved. 

Preserving Bronze Plates

The best way to preserve bronze plates is to make sure that a protective coating has been applied to keep elements from accessing the metal itself. Of course, choosing the right type of bronze plates for your application will help, too. For instance, opting for diamond-cut naval brass which has high corrosion resistance to seawater is a great option. 

If you find that your bronze has begun to develop a patina, you can find many different cleaning methods online that will help you to remove the green layer and return it to its normal shine. Just be sure to re-seal the metal with a good protective coating in order to preserve it from future issues. 

Atlas Bronze for Your Bronze Metal Needs

In need of bronze plates? Or sintered bronze plates? 

If you are looking for bronze - or any other metal - to meet the metal needs of your next project, Atlas Bronze has just what you are looking for. Our team of highly-skilled experts is available to help you with your purchase and answer any questions you may have. 

Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

How To Tell If A Bronze Bearing Is Worn


Many different metals are used to make modern machine equipment, but one of the most popular options for the modern world is bronze. Bronze is affordable and easier to find and work with compared to many metals, while also providing great resilience for heavy loads, high temperatures, and long term corrosion. As a result, many metalworking manufacturers and machines use bronze as a base alloy for bearings.

Nothing will last forever, and overtime  bronze bearings will wear out. Do you find your bronze bearings wear out more quickly than expected? Unsure when it’s time to replace your bronze bearings, or don’t know why you should? Is your bronze bearing worn? Here are the key things you should know when it comes to maintaining and replacing worn out bronze bearings.

Why it is vital to maintain bronze bearings

Bearings serve an essential role in machine and metalworking design. It is a component that restricts the movement of moving parts, ensuring that they don’t get dislodged during use. Furthermore, they also reduce friction between parts, increasing the longevity of machines and protecting sensitive or key components, even at extremely high temperatures or speeds.

There are many different types of bearings, including many different types of bronze bearings, but they all serve similar purposes of machine support. The end result is usually the same when a bearing is missing or fails to perform its purpose. Moving parts can get dislodged from mechanical systems, and the increased fiction will wear down components more quickly. Failing to maintain and replace bronze bearings will lead to greater machine failure with time.

As a result, maintaining bearings is important to get the most use and value of essential machine equipment.


What causes bronze bearings to get worn out and prevention

Ordinary wear and tear is often the main reason why bronze bearings get worn out. Bearings are designed specifically to reduce the pressure, strain, and friction that other essential machine components experience during operation. As a result, components like bronze bearings are often what gets worn out the fastest on machines, and depending on how often you operate key machinery is a part you will have to regularly switch out.

A few tips to prevent accelerated wear and tear on your bronze bearings include:

  • Pick the right bronze alloy. There are many bronze alloy bearings to choose from. Different alloys have different characteristics that make them better suited for certain types of machines and environments. Make sure you carefully match the right alloy for your intended machine use.
  • Choose the right bearing size. Picking a bearing that is too big for intended use will cause additional friction and even machine jamming. Picking a bearing that is too small quickly accelerates the wear and tear on the bearing, or even causes machine failure. Carefully get your bearings sized properly before installing them in machines.
  • Regularly lubricate bronze alloys. Many bronze alloy bearings require lubrication to maintain proper machine performance. Failure to lubricate will accelerate how fast your bronze bearing gets worn out, and can also lead to improper machine performance. Be careful to avoid over lubrication, which can cause accelerated corrosion and jamming.

Signs of worn out bronze bearings

There are several different signs to look out for that may indicate it is time to replace your worn out bronze bearing. The top symptoms and indicators include:

  • Squealing, squeaking, or unusually sounding equipment during use
  • Smoking, burning, or otherwise hot metal during machine operation
  • Needing to constantly correct misalignment, especially after a short period of use
  • Unusual, uneven, or accelerated wear and tear on metal surfaces
  • Shafts, bearings, and bushings that feel unusual when you touch them
  • Metal components that no longer hold grease, lubrication, or liquid as well as the past
  • Machines that do not perform at their usual level or fail to perform at all

If you experience any of the above issues, it is highly recommended that you check out the bronze bearings in the affected areas. Also, take the time to keep careful records of when parts were last installed, replaced, and serviced, especially for vital and expensive machinery. Doing so can help you monitor when it’s time to examine and replace bearings and other machine components as they near the end of their expected service life.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Which Bronze Alloy Is Commonly Used As A Bearing Alloy?


Bearings are essential for maintaining proper movement in rotating machinery. Whether it be a ball or roller bearing, or just a simple casing, bearings keep moving parts from going off track while also reducing the friction and wear and tear. Despite their often small size, maintaining and regularly replacing bearings as they get worn out is an effective way to preserve machinery.

Whilere bearings are made from many different metals, one of the most popular bearing alloy metals is bronze. Bronze alloys are highly affordable, while also having the key characteristics required to properly improve and maintain performance in machine bearing support. Unsure which bronze alloy is the best fit for your needs?

Here are some of the key traits and characteristics of the most popular bronze bearing alloys:

The most common bearing alloy: Leaded Bronze

Leaded bronze bearings are one of the most common bronze alloys used for machine bearings. Typically, a small amount of tin, zinc, or nickel is mixed in with the bronze and copper base. The result is that leaded bronze alloy bearings have greater strength, fatigue resistance, load capacity, and overall longevity compared to ordinary copper and bronze alloy bearings. 

Due to these properties, leaded bronze alloy bearings are very popular in many common household and ordinary business tools and machines. However, leaded bronze isn’t a good fit for very heavy loads, high temperature environments, or highly corrosive environments. For machines in more extreme environments, consider one of these other bronze alloy alternatives.

A great high pressure bearing alloy: Aluminum Bronze

Aluminum bronze is a very popular option for machines that need to maximize bearing strength under high pressure or in heavy load situations. As a result, aluminum bronze bearings are very popular for larvae machines, including expectation equipment, aircraft parts, ship propellers, and similar metal equipment.

Aluminum bronze is also a general upgrade over leaded bronze when it comes to general corrosion resistance and structural resistance at high temperatures. Due to the metal composition, aluminum bronze bearings can be very expensive, and their extreme rigidity can make them a poor fit for constantly moving or rotating parts. Instead, the next best option to consider would be manganese bronze.

Top bearing alloy for high speed movement: Manganese Bronze

Manganese bronze alloy bearings are some of the best bearings for supporting constantly moving machine components. As such, manganese bronze is a popular bearing alloy for gears, piston heads, cams, and key components in bikes, cars, and other transportation vehicles. Due to the great durability and long lasting nature of manganese, it is also seen as a great in-between metal bearing alloy when neither lead bronze nor aluminum bronze are a good fit.

The one major note when it comes to relying on manganese bronze bearings is that they require greasing and lubrication more than the average bronze alloy bearing. As a result, manganese bronze isn’t a good fit for machines where bearings are hard to reach and lubricate, or for high water environments. Instead, you’ll want to consider phosphor bronze alloys instead.

High corrosion resistance bearing alloy: Phosphor Bronze

Phosphor bronze bearings fall in and out of popularity due to the smaller supply of phosphor bronze alloy metal, but it is one of the best bronze alloy options for wet and corrosive chemical environments. A mixture of bronze, tin, copper, and phosphorus, the bronze alloy produces a bearing that is also resilient, with great wear and fatigue resistance.

In terms of application, phosphor bronze alloys are also a great option for highly electrical machine equipment. Due to the materials required to manufacture, just be aware that phosphor bronze bearings can greatly range in price and availability. Depending on the kind of bearing, they often take more time to manufacture and deliver compared to other bronze alloy bearings.

Need bronze bearings? Check out Atlas Bronze

Whether you need a lead, aluminum, manganese, phosphor, or some other kind of bronze alloy bearing, you can find what you need here at Atlas Bronze. Founded in 1994, we have since grown our company to become one of the lead distributors in bronze, copper, brass, iron, and other metalworking and manufacturing producers in the United States.

Need to get in touch with a metalworking expert to help you find the products you need? Contact us by phone or email today and reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about bronze alloy bearings, and help you find the best metalworking tools and parts you need at low, affordable prices you won’t find anywhere else.

For all things metalworking and manufacturing, make sure you partner with us here at Atlas Bronze.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How To Tell If Brass Bushings Are Worn


two dozen brass bushings on a table

A brass bushing performs an important function in machine designs. Brass bushings reduce the friction between surfaces, increasing the functional lifespan of moving parts. Brass bushings also act as a fail-safe when parts start to break down. With a brass bushing, you can identify problems before larger, more expensive parts have to be fixed or replaced.

Because of its purpose, it is vital that brass bushings are regularly inspected and maintained. With that in mind, how can you tell if a brass bushing is worn out? When can you just clean a brass bushing, or when do you have to replace it? What causes brass bushings to get worn out in the first place?

Here are the key things to know when it comes to brass bushings maintenance:

How Do Brass Bushings Get Worn Out?

Brass bushings are designed to reduce friction between powerful moving parts, so they’re built to last. Despite brass being in their name, brass bushings generally have a two-part design. The bushing’s outer shell is often made of steel, while the inner bushing that endures the most friction is made of brass. Brass bushings are long-lasting, corrosion and water resistant.

That said, several different things can cause brass bushings to degrade. General wear and tear is the leading cause of breakage, especially when brass bushings are used in machines that operate around the clock. Brass bushings can get contaminated, with dirt and debris wearing them down. Lastly, brass bushings do have a PSI limit, especially when comparing bushings of different sizes. Consult the recommended limit before incorporating a bushing into your design. 

At What Point Should I Replace A Brass Bushing?

Just because a brass bushing is starting to get worn doesn’t mean you have to replace it right away. In fact, some people make the mistake of replacing what they think is a worn out bushing that could be restored with a simple washing. Dirt, mud, water, and other substances that plaster bushings should all be cleared out before determining if a bushing is worn out. 

The best way to tell if a bushing needs to be replaced is by examining the equipment your bushing is helping move. As a bushing gets worn out, the pins inside of it will start dragging across the metal, leaving scratches and other visible marks. At first, these marks will be small, but they can grow in size and lead to serious damage overtime.

Replace the brass bushing as soon as it starts to leave marks on the equipment it's supporting. A good time to check if this is happening is when you start hearing sounds out of the ordinary from your bearings while your machine is in use.

How Can I Extend The Life Of My Brass Bushing:

Want to make the most out of your brass bushing? Then be sure to follow these tips when performing maintenance:

  • Regularly clean out debris from the bearing

  • Make sure to properly lubricate parts

  • Clear out excess oil and other liquids before machine use

  • Make sure your machine or design does not exceed recommended PSI limits

  • Do not use your bearing in above recommended temperatures

Buy Bearings With Atlas Bronze:

Whether you need a brass, bronze, or different kind of bearing, you can depend on us to help you procure what you need. Atlas Bronze is one of the leading distributors of metal and manufacturing components in the United States, with over 25 years of exception service. We service companies small and large alike, with affordable prices for our products and custom design services. You give us your requirements, and we’ll get you what you need.

So if you’re ready to fill an order or want to learn more about how we can help your business, be sure to contact us today. We look forward to helping you with your metal needs here at Atlas Bronze!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Bronze Bushings vs. Linear Bushings


an empty freeway onramp

When working with guide rails, one of the most essential components is the bushing. The bushing bears the load of the carriage, supporting the weight of the other components as they slide along the guide rail. Without the bushing, the whole guide rail would quickly fall apart from use.

Because of how essential it is, one common question many machine designers have is whether bronze or linear bushings are better for their designs. The short answer is that it depends on what your guide rail needs. That’s why we’ve developed this guide, to help you understand what the two have in common, how they differ, and what kind of guide rails they’re best suited for.

What Do Bronze And Linear Bushing Have In Common?

Whether you use a bronze or a linear bushing, both of them perform the same function. A bushing is a specific type of bearing that reduces friction as components operate on a guide rail. Bushings also minimize the noise, wear and tear, and even power consumption that comes with machine operation. 

Both bronze and linear bushings have a similar design as well. A bearing is any device that can minimize the friction between a wheel and axle. A bushing is a sleeve or tube that helps with components that slide, such as along a guide rail, whereas most bearings reduce friction in components that roll over each other.

The type of bushing your design will need depends on its intended use and your most essential needs. Here are a few key things to consider that distinguish bronze from linear bushings:

What Key Characteristics Do Bronze Bushings Have?

Bronze bushings are significantly more affordable than linear bushings, and have a long functional lifespan too. Their design incorporates oil, allowing them to lubricate while in use. Bronze is a resilient metal, and it is specifically designed to handle massive loads, capable of handling up to 40,000 PSI when installed properly in machine applications.

The downside of bronze is that because it is primarily metal, they can be loud when incorporated into linear designers. Furthermore, bronze requires a high temperature to release oil, which makes them ill-suited for applications with a low load or PSI. They also require more maintenance than linear bushings as the oil has to be replaced after heavy use.

What Key Characteristics Do Linear Bushings Have?

Linear bushings are an advanced bearing that are tightly built, providing a far smoother motion than most other bearings. Less static friction is generated during use, decreasing the wear and tear compared to bronze bearings. The decreased static friction also means that linear bushings are better suited for wet environments, especially since they don’t corrode as quickly as ball bearings. You also won’t have to perform as much oil maintenance on linear bushings either.

The complicated ensign, along with other metal components makes linear bushings significantly more expensive than bronze bushings. Because of its design, it is also more likely to jam when dirt or dust get in its way. Linear bearings aren’t as versatile as a bronze bearing either, making them harder to procure. Unlike bronze bearings, you may have to get a linear bearing custom designed in order to properly incorporate it into a machine design.

Shop Bearings With Atlas Bronze:

Still need help figuring out if a bronze or linear bearing is right for you? Or maybe you want to explore alternative bearings that might be better suited for your machines. Either way, you’re invited to contact us here at Atlas Bronze!

Atlas Bronze has worked hard over the last 25 years to become one of the top distributors of bronze, copper, brass, iron, and other metals in the United States. We work closely with our client, providing everything from simple bolts to outfitting manufacturing plants. We have hundreds of products ready for shipping, with advanced machinery to fulfill custom orders too.

Reach out to us if you have any questions, and we look forward to serving you at Atlas Bronze!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What is Sand Casting Used For?


person using machine to pour molten metal into mold

Casting is one of the oldest manufacturing processes in existence. For over 7,000 years, humans have been able to create intricate objects by pouring liquid metal into a mold. While it is a very cost effective method for making intricate objects, the mold matters just as much as the molten metal when making objects.

The most popular mold material option for casting is sand. Sand casting is the art of casting liquid metal with a sand mold. Despite being one of the oldest molding processes, sand casting continues to be popular in the manufacturing industry for a variety of reasons. There are all sorts of objects that can be made with sand casting despite its low investment cost.

What Objects are Made with Sand Casting:

One of the great advantages of sand casting molds is how versatile it is. Sand molds support a wide range of metals, including aluminum, iron, steel, and more. While many manufacturers work with much cooler metals, sand casting molds are able to support liquid metals up to 3,000 degrees fahrenheit.

Sand casting can be used to create a wide variety of products, no matter their complexity or size. Some of the most popular products created by sand casting include:

  • Medical equipment
  • Automobile components
  • Small screws, nuts, and gears
  • Electrical components
  • Mining gear
  • Common home tools
  • Home appliances
  • Plumbing components

The Benefits of Sand Molds for Casting:

  • Price. Molds are typically damaged or thrown away in order to retrieve the metal components formed inside. Sand is highly reusable, and even when the mold is damaged is very inexpensive to replace.
  • Strength. Casting molds have to withstand high pressure and intense heat. Sand molds possess both of these characteristics. The stronger the mold, the more likely the metal object solidifying within will form properly. Sand molds have a high success rate because of these qualities.
  • Moisture Absorption: Moisture has a huge impact on the casting process. A mold with too little moisture can fall apart during formation. A mold with too much moisture can cause steam bubbles to form, ruining the metal object solidifying within. Sand molds strike a perfect balance that accounts for moisture as part of the casting process.
  • Ease of Moldability: Different objects require different molds. These molds have to be precise, and depending on the part may require small, minute adjustments. The flowability of sand allows it to be very easy to work with, allowing for more intricate metal objects to be created without excessive effort when designing the mold.

Contact Atlas Bronze for your Sand Casting Needs:

While sand casting is a very effective and popular manufacturing process, it requires specialized equipment if you want to craft products using sand. Both the molten metal and the sand can heat up to several thousand degrees fahrenheit. As such, a bronze container is often required to contain the sand mold and liquid metal while the metal within cools and solidifies.

Atlas Bronze is here to help with your sand casting needs. We have over 25 years of experience in the metal industry, and have established ourselves as one of the leading distributors of bronze in the country. We’re experts in sand casting as well, and can help you determine if the product you’re making can be made even quicker with sand casting.

So if you have any questions about sand casting, be sure to contact us today at Atlas Bronze! We’re excited to answer any questions you have, and help you with all of your manufacturing needs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

How Does a Thrust Bearing Work?


graphic of five thrust bearings in a row

One of the most important components in any machine that moves is a bearing. A bearing is a traditionally circular shaped part designed to restrict the movement of other machine components. Furthermore, bearings reduce the friction that comes with metal moving against other metal surfaces. As such, bearings are essential for preserving the longevity of machines. There are many different types of bearings, and one of the most important is a thrust bearing. A thrust bearing is a bearing specifically designed to support components that rotate. In more technical terms, a thrust bearing is any bearing designed to support an axial load. There are many different types of thrust bearings, each of which function a little bit differently from each other. Even so, we hope to explain how a few of the most common thrust bearings work, and explain why they’re so important.

How do the Most Common Thrust Bearings Work:

A thrust bearing primarily works by limiting which directions a moving machine part can turn. Most often, thrust bearings restrict moving machine parts to rotating in a circular direction, though these bearings can also be used to only restrict horizontal or vertical movement. By restricting movement, all thrust bearings serve the same main function. They are designed to reduce the friction between moving metal parts and prevent machine damage from parts moving in the wrong direction. This is true of all thrust bearings, no matter what type of thrust bearing they are. Even so, different thrust bearings accomplish their purpose in different ways. Depending on your machine, it may require one of the following types of thrust bearings:
  • Ball Thrust Bearings: One of the oldest and most basic thrust bearings systems.These thrust bearings have tiny balls in the perimeter of the bearing. This is one of the most common types of thrust bearings, and is particularly effective for small machines or those made with inexpensive components.
  • Cylinder Thrust Bearings: As the name suggests, this thrust bearing is made up of a cylinder shaped roller. It is specifically designed to accommodate much heavier axial and impact loads compared to ball thrust bearings. Automobile crankshafts are almost universally made with cylinder thrust bearings.
  • Magnetic Thrust Bearings: One of the most advanced thrust bearing systems, magnetic thrust bearing use magnets for maximum machine support within minimal friction. This is especially useful for machines that would be complicated by oil interaction, and is often used in generators and other electronic machines.

What Machines Use Thrust Bearings:

Almost everyone modern machine with moving parts will use thrust bearings of some kind. They’re easy to mount, while offering fantastic strength, durability, and reliability to significantly increase the longevity of the machines they’re incorporated into. Furthermore, thrust bearings can be used in extreme environments, and can support high loads when incorporated correctly. Some of the most popular and important machines that rely on thrust bearings include:
  • Automobiles
  • Airplanes
  • Mining equipment
  • Oil rigs
  • Home appliances
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Generators
  • Turbines

Get Thrust Bearings Built to Last At Atlas Bronze:

A good thrust bearing can add years to the functional lifespan of a machine. Even so, a thrust bearing won’t do much if the bearing itself is made poorly. There are also other components to be aware of, such as the washers that will help a bearing stay in place despite the heavy movement and axial loads it will have to sustain. Atlas Bronze is here to help you get the parts you need to sustain your thrust bearings and other machines. Founded in 1994, we have over 25 years of experience providing excellent service and selling top of the line metal products throughout the United States. We aim to be metal experts, and are one of the leading bronze, copper, and iron distributors in the nation. If you have any questions about metal, or need help addressing problems you have with your thrust bearings, be sure to contact us today. Our experienced staff is happy to provide any support we can here at Atlas Bronze!