Monday, August 31, 2020

Which Is Stronger Brass or Bronze?

 

If you’re choosing between brass and bronze for your application, there are many factors to consider: resistance to corrosion and wear, price, appearance, and conductivity are just a few. One of the most important factors for many applications is strength—which is stronger, brass or bronze? Here’s what you should know. 

What Is Bronze?


Bronze and brass are both made with copper, but bronze is made with a combination of copper and iron, tin, zinc, aluminum, or magnesium. Bronze is commonly used to fabricate items that need to be resistant to wear like bearings, gears, pump parts, and valves. Another popular use for bronze is in architectural details, sculptures, and statues.

(If you’re interested in learning more, read about how bronze is made on our blog.)

What Is Brass?


The main difference between brass and bronze is that brass is made primarily with copper and zinc, although other elements like iron, manganese, aluminum, lead, and tin can be added to change the color of the resulting alloy or give it different characteristics. The strongest varieties of brass have the highest levels of zinc. Brass is a popular choice for jewelry and other consumer goods because it can be manufactured in a wide range of colors, from red to yellow.

(Read more about the process of how brass is made.)

Brass vs. Bronze Strength


To answer which metal is stronger, brass or bronze, it’s important to take a moment to think about what we mean by strength. “Strength” isn’t a physical property we use in the industry to characterize different metals; instead, physical properties include characteristics like conductivity, resistance to corrosion, luster, formability, and hardness.

Thus, when it comes to determining which is stronger, we need to take a closer look at the properties needed for your application. Do you need a metal that is malleable instead of brittle? In this case, you will want to choose brass. Do you want a metal that has a higher melting point? Bronze comes out on top here. Bronze is also more resistant to corrosion. If by strength, you want the harder or the two metals, bronze is also the winner.

The benefit of working with metal alloys like bronze and brass is that there are many choices available, as different formulations can yield completely different physical properties. Our team at Atlas Bronze can help you understand the best material for your application.

Brass vs. Bronze Price


If you’re still wondering, “should I choose bronze or brass?”, you may want to look at the price of each. Bronze is typically more expensive than brass, although the exact cost depends on the composition of the alloys you’re comparing. 

Learn More About How to Tell the Difference Between Brass and Bronze


Are you deciding between bronze or brass for your application? Do you need help understanding the differences between these options? Atlas Bronze is here to help you with all of your purchasing decisions. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak with one of our experts and get started.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

What Is a Bushing?

 

metal bushing










Bushings are one of the simplest types of bearings. Also known as a sleeve bearing or plain bearing, bushings are thin tubes that enable a sliding motion between two parts or surfaces. They reduce friction, most often in machinery that has a sliding shaft or rotating component. There are several different types of bushings, many of which we manufacture and sell at Atlas Bronze.

Sleeve Bushings


Bronze sleeve bushings are designed to allow sliding without friction. They must either be used in conjunction with a system that lubricates the bearing or they can be purchased with oil or grease grooves or graphite plugs for self-lubrication (also known as oil-impregnated bushings). It’s important to consider both the velocity of your application as well as the applied load when choosing a sleeve bearing; you should also consider the amount and type of lubrication needed. A graphite-plugged or oil-impregnated bushing needs less maintenance and replacement than a plain sleeve bearing.

Flange Bushings


Flanged bearings (also known as bushings) are used when a shaft runs perpendicular to the bushing’s mounting surface. They give the bushing the extra support needed to perform at high speeds and bear heavy loads, preventing the shaft from vibrating or flexing during operation. As you might guess from the name, flange bushings have a flange at one or both ends. This lip is what holds the bushing in place. Because flange bushings are affixed to a surface on one or both sides, it makes them ideal for applications where thermal expansion is likely to occur.

Thrust Washers


Bushings designed for thrust are referred to as thrust washers or thrust bearings. At Atlas Bronze, we manufacture plain thrust washers, oil or grease grooved washers, and graphite-plugged washers. Thrust washers are used as an alternative to rolling thrust bearings when only moderate velocities are involved in an application. Some common uses for thrust washers include appliances, power tools, vehicles, and any application in which axial forces need to be transmitted while keeping components aligned along a shaft.

Choosing the Right Bushing for Your Application


Although there are many materials used to manufacture bushings, we recommend metal bushings—and bronze bushings in particular—for their resistance to wear, high quality, and versatility. We carry a wide range of sizes in stock, with custom orders available when needed.

Most people know whether they need a sleeve bushing, flange bushing, or thrust washer for their application; they likely also know if they should purchase plain, grooved, or graphite-plugged bushings. What can be more difficult is determining the material for your bushings. At Atlas Bronze, we can use many different casting methods and bronze alloys; the choices you make here will determine the physical properties of the end-product. Do you need bushings that are resistant to heat? Corrosion? Our team will help you make the right decision for your needs.

Learn More About Bushings


If you’re researching bushings for your business, Atlas Bronze is available to help you understand all of the different options. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak with one of our experts and get started.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

What Are the Different Types of Flange Bearings?

















In the simplest terms, bearings are used to reduce friction between two mating parts. They do this by bearing force, load, or both typically on to a shaft of plate. Bearings come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials; as different applications require different types of bearings. One specialized type of bearing is the bronze flange bearing.

Flange Bearing Design


What sets flange bearings (sometimes known as flanged bushings) apart from other types of bearings is that at least one end is flanged, while the other may be straight. When it’s a single flange bearing, its shape resembles that of a top hat.

The flange (or lip) of the Flange Bearing holds the bearing in place to prevent shifting, slipping, or falling while the bearing is in use. This is particularly important when there is axial push or load being applied and when shafts run perpendicular to the bearing’s mounting surface. Flanged bearings are used to reduce issues from vibration, shaft flexing, and axial overload due to high speeds and heavy loads. Another benefit of a flange bearing, as opposed to other types of bearings, is that their design allows them to withstand high temperatures because they are held in place by the flange even when thermal expansion is occurring.

Without the lip on the end of a flange bearing, the machinery would stop working shortly after starting, as the bearing would fall out of place. Although a flange may seem inconsequential, it is actually a critical component of the design of these types of bearings.

Types of Flange Bearings


Flange bearings have at least one flange on an end of the sleeve, but beyond this, they are made from many different types of metals and plastics because they all have specific qualities, depending on the application. For instance, Flange Bearings made from Oil-impregnated Bronze release oil when in operation, making them relatively maintenance-free. Or a flange bearing made from C86300 that has graphite plugs may be used because its self-lubricating and can handle temperatures upwards of 700 degrees.

At Atlas Bronze, we provide a range of flanged bronze bushings from standards that are in stock and off the shelf to custom machined with graphite-plugs, or machined with groove used for oil and grease lubrication.

Choosing which flange bushing can be complicated. But we can help.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Flange Bearings


To find out more about Atlas Bronze flanged bronze bushings, contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of our representatives about our selection. Our knowledgeable sales team will help you through the process of choosing the right flange bearings for your application.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Which Sleeve Bearing Is the Best?


















Bearings are one of our specialties at Atlas Bronze. We manufacture a wide variety of bearings for seemingly endless applications, but one type of bearing that’s particularly popular with our customers is the sleeve bearing. Because there are a few different sleeve bearing options, our team is often tasked with answering: which is the best sleeve bearing for my application?

About Sleeve Bearings


Like all bearings, the function of sleeve bearings (sometimes also known as bushings) is to allow for smoother movement by reducing friction between two or more moving parts. Sleeve bearings can be made with plastic, metal, or a fiber-reinforced composite material—as you might guess from the name, they are manufactured in the form of sleeves that slide between two moving parts. Not only do they absorb friction, they also reduce vibration and noise.

A metal sleeve bearing can be made from steel, graphite, or brass, but we offer bronze sleeve bearings at Atlas Bronze. The advantage of using bronze is that it is durable and resistant to high temperature and corrosion. When friction needs to be minimal, an oil-impregnated bronze sleeve bearing can be used, a solution that involves small pores in the bearing that are infused with lubricant. This lubricant is released under pressure then reabsorbed when the pressure is removed.

Sleeve bearings are affordable, simple to install, and easy to maintain. They have a high load capacity because of their large contact area.

Types of Sleeve Bearings


The first step in determining the best sleeve bearing for your application is knowing the different types of sleeve bearings:

  • Cylindrical Bearings are straight cylinders with the same diameter at each end. They are flush inside the housing.
  • Lined Bearings have a lining on the bearing surface that is made from a different material than the rest of the bearing. 

In choosing the right bearing for your purpose, you’ll have to determine the clearance, the inside and outside diameter, length, rotating speed, loading, and PV value needed. Also think about operating temperatures, humidity, and environment.

So which sleeve bearing is best? Well, there’s not really an answer to that question. The best sleeve bearing is the one that meets your needs—and every application has its own unique requirements. There’s no one-size-fits-all best sleeve bearing that meets everyone’s needs. If there was, our sales team would be out of a job! You’ll need to take a close look at what you need sleeve bearings for and determine which qualities are most important to you.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Sleeve Bearings


To learn more about ordering high-quality sleeve bearings from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887. Our sales team offers customers unparalleled support and knowledge, and we’re committed to working together to find the best products for your needs. If you’re not sure where to start in your search for sleeve bearings, we can listen to your specifications and suggest the best solutions for you.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Which Is Stronger Bronze or Copper?















Colloquially, the terms “bronze” and “copper” are often used to mean the same thing, but technically speaking, the two metals are quite different. In order to understand which is stronger in the matchup between copper vs. bronze, it’s first important to understand the relationship between the two.

What Is Copper?


Copper refers to pure copper or to a copper alloy with 99.3 percent copper content. Known for its reddish hue, copper is one of the earliest used metals by humans and it remains popular today in electrical and heating applications because of its conductivity. It’s also beautiful, making it a common choice for architecture, fixtures, and sculpture.

In addition to its conductivity, copper is valued for its strength, corrosion resistance, antimicrobial properties, and formability. It can be soldered and brazed and some copper alloys can be welded through a number of different methods. When polished and buffed, copper can take on many different lusters and textures.

What Is Bronze?


Bronze is a metal alloy that’s made primarily with copper—although not as much copper as a copper alloy. Other metals used to make bronze include iron, tin, and zinc. Bronze copper alloys are used for valves, gears, bearings, and pump parts because the metal is resistant to wear and has low friction, but it’s also used to produce musical instruments and for statues and sculptures.

Copper vs. Bronze: Which Is Stronger?


To answer the question of which is stronger, copper or bronze, we have to define what we mean by strength. Some people searching for the strongest metal are looking for one that’s the hardest. Others use the term “strong” when they mean resistant to corrosion. Still others may define strength as the ability to bend without breaking, or ductility.

By adding other metals to copper in order to create bronze, we create a metal that is much harder than copper in its pure form, so in terms of hardness, bronze is the winner here. On the other hand, copper is more ductile, so if you’re looking for a metal that is less brittle, copper is a better choice. Bronze is typically more resistant to corrosion, so it comes out on top here as well.

When we create an alloy—whether it’s a copper alloy, bronze, or brass—we can combine the desirable elements from two or more different metals in order to create an end-product that is superior to each of these metals alone. We can use different proportions and different additions to the alloy in order to give it different characteristics, too. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a metal alloy suited to your needs.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Products


To learn more about ordering high-quality bronze products from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887. Our sales team offers customers unparalleled support and knowledge, and we’re committed to working together to find the best products for your applications. If you’re not sure where to start in your search for copper alloys or bronze, we can listen to your specifications and suggest the right solutions for you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Which Thrust Bearing Is Best?

thrust bearing

















At Atlas Bronze, bearings are one of our specialties. Ball thrust bearings are a type of bearing made with two washers (known as raceways) and several ball bearings housed between them. Thrust bearings are a type of rotary bearing and their strength is in bearing axial loads—they are not designed for handling radial loads. While all rotary bearings function by facilitating the rotation of two or more parts, thrust bearings are unique in that they can perform this function while supporting axial loads in a wide range of sizes.

Choosing Thrust Bearings


One of the first variables involved in choosing the right thrust bearings for your application is the size. Thrust bearing assemblies include two thrust washers and a ball retainer in a wide range of sizes. If readymade sizes do not work for your application, we can also fabricate custom-made thrust bearing washers tailored to your needs.

Next, you’ll need to choose which material you’d like your thrust bearings to be made from. While nylon retainers are available, metal retainers offer superior strength. When it comes to the ball bearings and thrust washers, think about the application you’re purchasing thrust bearings for and the environment. Is corrosion-resistance important? Does the material need to be safe for food and beverage processing? Is strength a high priority? There are different types of thrust bearings for different purposes. Chrome steel, stainless steel, sintered bronze, and brass are some of the most common materials used to manufacture thrust bearings, although ceramic and combinations of ceramic and metal are sometimes used as well for certain types of applications.

At Atlas Bronze, we manufacture thrust bearing washers with sintered bronze. Sintered bronze thrust washers are rigid, temperature-resistant, and strong. They’re resistant to wear and they can be made self-lubricating by using oil impregnation. With their self-dampening features, sintered bronze thrust washers operate quietly. The military chooses sintered bronze thrust bearings for use in weapons and aircraft because of their reliability.

If you’re not sure which material is best for your ball thrust bearings, we’re happy to help you. Our sales team has experience working with customers from a wide range of industries and we can explain the pros and cons of each of the materials and help you decide if sintered bronze is right for your application.

Applications for Thrust Bearings


Thrust bearings are commonly used in food and beverage processing, point of purchase displays, automation, medical instruments, aerospace, marine and automotive applications. Thrust bearings are often used in applications that operate at high speeds and that require lubrication, like turbines, motors, generators, compressors, and pumps. (Want to learn more? Here’s what to know about thrust bearings.)

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Thrust Bearings


To find out more about sintered bronze thrust bearings from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of our knowledgeable sales representatives about our selection. We’ll ask you questions about your application and listen to your needs and concerns. From there, we can help you decide the right types of thrust bearings for your purposes. We look forward to working with you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Brass vs. Copper: Which Is Stronger? | Atlas Bronze




















We manufacture metal components for a variety of uses, so we often work with our customers to help them decide which type of material is best for their particular application. Sometimes the goal is to find a metal alloy that offers the best resistance to corrosion; other times our customers are looking for a particular color or conductivity.

One of the most common qualities our clients are after, though, is strength—they want the strongest possible metal for the best durability. If you’re deciding between copper and brass, the answer to the question “which is stronger?” is a bit complicated. Here’s why.

What Is Brass?


To understand whether copper or brass is stronger, it’s important to remember that brass is actually made of copper. Brass is not an elemental metal—you can’t mine it, you can only create it. In its most basic form, brass is made with copper and varying amounts of zinc. Other elements, like lead, tin, aluminum, manganese, and iron, can be added as well to give brass different characteristics and colors. At the highest strength, brasses have the highest levels of zinc—typically at least 39 percent.

(Here’s an article on how brass is made if you’re curious.)

What Is Copper?


What is the difference between copper and brass? Unlike brass, copper is an elemental metal. That said, when used for industrial and commercial purposes, copper is usually alloyed with other metals to enhance or change its natural qualities. Copper is often chosen because it is antibacterial, provides good thermal and electrical conductivity, is strong enough for many applications, and resists corrosion.

Copper and copper alloys are commonly used for jewelry and sculpture, but because of its conductivity, one of the most popular uses of copper is in electrical components. Copper is also used in construction and architecture, plumbing, and heat exchangers.

Answering the Question: Which Is Stronger, Brass vs. Copper?


Is brass stronger than copper? Because brass is an alloy and copper too is often used in alloyed form, it’s more appropriate to compare specific alloys, as different compositions have different characteristics, including strength. That said, generally speaking, brass is stronger than elemental copper, but copper is less vulnerable to stress cracking.

This brings up another interesting question: how do you define strong? If you’re looking for the hardest material, that’s very different from the material that has the best ability to bend without breaking—in fact, these are opposite qualities, but you may consider both to be strength. The advantage of working with Atlas Bronze is that we’re metal experts. We’ll listen to what you’re looking for, take the time to learn about your application, and then help you understand the qualities you need in a metal and which of our alloys meet these specifications.

Learn More About Copper and Brass


Are you deciding between copper, brass, or another alloy for your application? Do you need help understanding the differences between these options? Our team is here to help you with all of your purchasing decisions. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak with one of our experts and get started.