Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Shrinkage Factor Of Aluminum Bronze Material Explained

For various reasons, it is common for metal to shrink as it transforms from its liquid form to a solid form. It is important to gain an understanding of what to expect when working with metal so that allowances can be made when referring to the finished product. 

After all, shrinkage is not always visible. 

Let’s take a closer look at the shrinkage factor of aluminum bronze material, including what it is and why it happens. 

Understanding the Shrinkage Factor

When working with metal, it is important to understand that there will be a shrinkage factor you will need to consider. Without doing so, you can find yourself with a defective end product that leads to its inability to function properly. 

Aluminum bronze material, specifically, can encounter shrinkage at different steps, including: 

  • Liquid shrinkage. Shrinkage at this stage occurs before it begins to cool and harden. In other words, it can already begin to happen before the metal has cooled. 

  • Solidification shrinkage. Liquid aluminum alloy will shrink as it begins to solidify. The reason for this is that solid alloys are much more dense than liquid alloys. 

  • Pattern shrinkage. When a patternmaker begins to mark a metal once it has cooled, you risk shrinkage, as well.  

Factors the Impact the Shrinkage of Aluminum Bronze

There are a few factors that influence the shrinkage of aluminum bronze material, as well as other metals. These include things like the temperature at which it is poured, its chemical composition, the casting or mold conditions, and so forth. 

  • Pouring temperature. Simply stated, the higher the pouring temperature, the greater amount of shrinkage that will occur. 

  • Chemical composition. Different elements that are used to make up a metal or metal alloy will play a role in just how great or small the shrinkage is. 

  • Molds and Castings. The type of shrinkage that occurs here is the result of the mold itself. It is more of a blocked shrinkage due to the size and shape of the mold/casting. For instance, a mold’s design may cause different cooling rates. This can impact the finished product and its amount of shrinkage. 

What is the Shrinkage Factor of Aluminum Bronze? 

Remember, there are a number of factors that impact just how much metal will shrink - including aluminum bronze. Though, on average, you should expect your metal to shrink anywhere between 1.6% to 6%. 

Tips to Minimize Aluminum Bronze Shrinkage

Believe it or not, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the amount of shrinkage you encounter with your aluminum bronze. Below are a few tips to get you started. 

  • Make sure you control the temperature of your liquid metal as you pour it. 

  • Pour it fast.

  • Create a riser that will allow the additional liquid metal to compensate for shrinkage. 

  • Improve your casting structure

The more time you take to perfect your system, the greater chance you have of minimizing your metal’s shrinkage. 

Learn More About Working with Aluminum Bronze

Interested in working with aluminum bronze? At Atlas Bronze, we understand just how imperative it is to fully understand the metal you are working with if you want an end product that exceeds expectations. 

To learn more about aluminum bronze or any other metal your application calls for, contact us at (800) 478-0887.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

What Are Sintered Bronze Bearings Made From?

Sintered bronze bearings are one of those component parts that play a fundamental role in so many applications. Not only are they effective at what they do without requiring any maintenance, but they are also a cost-effective solution. 

Without losing its strength, the porous metal created from the sintering process is what gives them their traits - and makes these bronze bearings a go-to for many. 

But how are they made? And what exactly are sintered bronze bearings made from? Let’s find out. 

What are Sintered Bronze Bearings Made From? 

Sintered bronze bearings are made from powder metallurgy. 

Powder metallurgy is a metal-forming process in which bronze or bronze alloys are made into a powdered form through various processes, such as atomization, chemical decomposition, and grinding. 

This powder is poured into a mold cavity and pressed with great force in an attempt to compact the particles. 

The mold with the metal is then placed directly into a furnace. This heats the metal to just below its melting point. As a result, it comes together to form a very strong and porous component part. 

This process is known as sintering metal. 

Because this metal is so porous, it creates a great self-lubricating bearing. It is the fact that this metal is so porous that makes it a great option for self-lubricating bearings. As they work they are able to create a film that provides lubrication - keeping friction to a minimum while in motion. 

To get this effect, there is a second phase that follows the powder metallurgy known as oil impregnation. In a very brief overview, this refers to all of the pores being impregnated with grease so that it will continue to lubricate the bearing continuously. 

Applications for Using Sintered Bronze Bearings

Sintered bronze bearings are ideal and versatile enough to be used across many different industries. It is not uncommon to see them used in all sorts of applications - not to mention that they are affordable and easy to procure, too. 

A few of the most common places you may find them include:

  • Aircraft accessories

  • Spacecraft

  • Automobile accessories

  • Small appliances

  • Motors

  • Power tools

  • Construction equipment

  • Farm equipment 

  • Business/packaging machines

Advantages of Sintered Bronze Bearings

So, why choose sintered bronze bearings over the alternative? Are they more effective at fulfilling their role than other metal, plastic, or rubber bearings?

Let’s just say that sintered bronze bearings are a highly-effective solution - and come with many advantages over the competition. A few of their most stand-out traits include: 

  • Being self-lubricating 

  • Requiring no maintenance

  • Operating with low noise

  • Having high sliding velocities

  • A low friction coefficient

Regardless of how you intend to use them, you will likely be surprised by how well they hold up - without any maintenance. 

Looking for Sintered Bronze Bearings? 

If you have used sintered bronze bearings before and know what you are looking for, Atlas Bronze has a long list of sizing options to meet your needs. However, if you are in search of a better solution for your application, our metal experts are available to guide you - and answer any questions you may have along the way. 

Contact us today at (800) 478-0887. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

What is Centrifugal Casting?

Centrifugal casting is a process that has been around for over a century. It involves pouring molten metal into a mold to create pipes using centrifugal force. Hence, how it got its name. 

Now used in so many industries, centrifugal casting has been mass-produced on a large scale to meet the need. What makes it so popular? Perhaps it is its high level of reliability and material soundness or maybe it is because these products are created with a high level of accuracy. 

Whatever the reason, centrifugal casting isn’t going anywhere - so let’s learn about it. 

What is Centrifugal Casting? 

Sometimes referred to as roto casting, centrifugal casting is a metal casting process that begins with molten metal being poured into a die mold that has been heated and is spinning at a rapid rate. The die mold will be oriented and designed in any type of configuration so that it can yield the desired outcome. For instance, the mold could be horizontal or it could be vertical. 

As the molten metal is poured into the spinning die, inertia carries the metal throughout the walls of the mold at high pressures. Between the spinning and this added pressure, you get a piece of metal that has been created under controlled solidification. 

The result is a metal lacking in impurities without any unwanted pockets or inclusions. 

Types of Centrifugal Casting

There are many different applications that rely on centrifugal casting. A few of the most common include sewage and water pipes, engine cylinders, brake drums, bushings and rings, gas pipes, street lamp posts, and industrial equipment. 

To meet the needs of so many different industries, there are three main types of centrifugal casting. 

  • True centrifugal casting. True centrifugal casting is the basic process mentioned above. The downfall is that it is limited to cylindrical and otherwise circular dies. 
  • Semi-centrifugal casting. The product of semi-centrifugal casting is solid instead of tubular. 
  • Centrifuging. Centrifuging works to create asymmetrical products using high pressure. These molds are typically small in size. 

Benefits of Centrifugal Casting

Are you interested in the benefits of centrifugal casting for your applications? Are you curious whether or not it will make a difference? Those who rely on it do so because it has proven to be beneficial, high-performing, and high-quality. 

Below are a few of the benefits of centrifugal casting. 

  • The molten metal solidifies from the outside to the inside. This is what allows it to get rid of any impurities and cavities 
  • Affordable manufacturing
  • Easily mass-produce symmetrical products
  • Mechanical soundness
  • Can be used with different types of metal
  • Very minimal waste

With all of the advantages it brings, the life and endurance of the resulting product are increased. And that makes it a reliable option. 

Atlas Bronze For All Your Metal Needs

Whether you are interested in learning more about centrifugal casting or you have other metal needs, such as forgings, sand castings, plates, or castings - the team at Atlas Bronze is here for you. Our made-to-order items are not only convenient, but they help to make your processes flow much more efficiently. 

Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

How Continuous Casting Machine Works


Continuous casting is a cost-efficient metallurgic process that is regularly used with steel, aluminum, or copper. It breaks these metals down into high-quality sections using prefabricated molds. 

The result? 

A strong, continuous length of metal in specified shapes is used as raw material to fit many different applications.

Let’s take a look at how the continuous casting process works.

What is Continuous Casting? 

With continuous casting, you can melt and shape metals and metal alloys without stopping. In other words, the metal is melted and poured into a mold where it takes on a new shape. Water is used to cool it as the machine continues to work with the metal and get it in the right shape. 

Thanks to this technology that has been around since the 1950s, all types of metals used in various industries are created from continuous castings, such as bars, tubes, slabs, and stripes. Squares and rectangles, too. 

Benefits of Continuous Casting

Continuous casting provides many advantages over other types of metalwork, including other types of casting methods. A few of the benefits of continuous casting over other casting methods include: 

  • It does not waste metal 
  • Ability to cast metal into larger forms
  • The end product is always the same - very consistent
  • More efficient and more cost-effective

And that’s just to name a few. 

The Continuous Casting Process

There are a few main steps that are involved in the continuous casting process. Below is an overview. 

Step one: The metal is heated at a high temperature to liquefy it.

Step two: Using a ladle, the molten metal is poured into a tundish (similar to a funnel) that leads directly into a mold that sits underneath it. Depending on the setup, it could flow into one mold or multiple molds at the same time. 

Prefabricated molds that are used during the continuous casting process will vary based on the project. They can either be expendable molds that are usable for a one-time casting process or non-expendable molds that can be used a number of times. 

A continuous casting machine makes this process flow smoothly and efficiently - and produces a greater output. 

Step three: Cool water surrounds the molds to lower the temperature of the exterior edges of the metal in the mold so that it can easier maintain its shape. As it is removed from the mold, it is surrounded by even more cool water which further drops the surface temperature - and helps it to maintain its shape. 

The molded metal flows down a slope, cooling as it travels. 

Step four: The semi-solid metal will be sent through a guide that stretches it into a desired thickness and straightens it to fulfill the dimensions. The final product can be cut as needed. 

The continuous casting process is relatively standard throughout the industry. And all of these parts to create it are referred to as the continuous casting machine. 

Learn More About Metals at Atlas Bronze

In many different industries, continuous casting can prove to be beneficial and keep businesses moving. It can also benefit those who are looking for metal of specific dimensions. To learn more about how this can benefit your application - or to get answers to any questions you may have - the experts at Atlas Bronze can help. 

Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

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.