Thursday, February 15, 2024

A Guide to Understanding Bronze Alloys and Their Applications

Bronze is a timeless metal alloy that has left its mark throughout history. It has been used in the creation of tools, machines, weapons, art, technology, and so much more. And it is still a huge part of our world today. 

The thing about bronze, however, is that it comes in many different compositions. While it is primarily copper and tin, other metals can be included in it, creating a new set of unique properties. 

Its ability to adapt in so many situations is perhaps why it is such a widely-sought metal yesterday and today. 

Here is a closer look at bronze alloys and where you can find them. 

Why Bronze? 

There are many reasons why bronze can be found in so many different applications from artwork to technology and so much more — such as marine, antimicrobial, and industrial applications. Bronze is often used as component parts like bearings and bushings, gears, gibs, nuts, piston rings, pins, and fasteners. 

It is its incredible properties that make it shine, including: 

  • Strength. Bronze does well under heavy and harsh conditions. This makes it a great option for applications that require durability. 

  • Hardness. Its high hardness level means it maintains a long lifespan without needing to be replaced due to wear and tear. 

  • Melting Point. Bronze has a high melting point making it perfect for high-heat situations. 

  • Ductility. With a high ductility, it can be manipulated to create any type of shape for any form of artistic expression, architecture, or any other application. 

  • Conductivity. Bronze has a high thermal conductivity. 

  • Corrosion-Resistance. This metal alloy is very resistant to corrosion, even when placed in salt water. It’s no surprise that it often finds its place in marine applications. 

Types of Bronze Alloys

While bronze is a metal alloy that has a composition of mostly copper and tin, various other elements are often added to the mix to create different properties. A few common bronze alloys are: 

  • Aluminum bronze

  • Manganese bronze

  • Silicon bronze

  • Phosphor bronze

  • Nickel silver

Let’s take a closer look at each.                                 

Aluminum Bronze

Copper, tin, and aluminum create the alloy aluminum bronze. It is even more strong and corrosion- and tarnish-resistant than regular bronze. It is often used in water due to its capabilities, especially in marine applications, water pumps, and the oil industry. It is also a great option for gears, bearings, propellers, valves, and the like. 

Manganese Bronze

By adding manganese to bronze, it is very resistant to corrosion which is why it is one of the most ideal options for saltwater applications like boat propellers. This alloy is shock-resistant and is less likely to break than it is to deform. Many heavy-duty applications make use of manganese bronze, such as gears, valves, fittings, shafts, brackets, and more. 

Silicon Bronze

Another type of bronze, silicon bronze has a composition of copper, zinc, and silicon. It is strong and corrosion-resistant while remaining aesthetically pleasing. What’s more is that it is self-lubricating, too. This alloy is often used for bushings, bearings, valves, and pumps in various applications.  

Phosphor Bronze

This bronze is a combination of copper, tin, and phosphorus. The addition of the latter boosts its hardness, making it less likely to succumb to wear and tear. It is a popular option for electrical applications, such as connectors, as well as springs, washers, and bellows.  

Nickel Silver

While its name doesn’t specify bronze, nickel silver is still a bronze. It is made up of copper, tin, and, of course, nickel. This gives it a silver color, hence its name. You can find nickel silver used in all types of applications, including zippers and keys, musical instruments, heating coils, and even silverware. It is also commonly used as valves, fittings, and rings in turbines. 

Need a Bronze Alloy For Your Application? 

Atlas Bronze offers many different bronze alloys to meet the needs of your application. If you aren’t sure what would be the best option or you have questions, contact us today. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff will help you find exactly what you need. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

What Oil Is Best For Bronze Bushings?


Choosing the right bushing for your application is so important. After all, everything you do going forward will rest on the fact that you chose the perfect part. This means making sure that your bushing is made of the most ideal metal and that it is just the right size, too. But did you know that selecting the right bushing is only half the battle? For your bronze bushing to continue to be effective in your application, it has to be properly cared for and maintained. And this means ensuring that they are properly lubricated.

The Importance of Lubricating Bronze Bushings

Bushings are components that are designed to reduce the friction between two surfaces — and bronze is one of the best metals to do this. Bronze bushings are strong and can maintain their shape even after heavy use. They even work well at high temperatures without deforming or breaking. This is why you will find them in all types of applications across many different industries. Lubricating them, however, is necessary for the bushings to continue to operate optimally. They are dependent on this to work effectively as the lubrication:
  • Prevents corrosion
  • Reduces friction
  • Improves overall function
  • Minimizes wear
Without it, you will find that your bushings are not functioning as intended. They will begin to wear down — and may even become damaged. This will reduce their performance and may even cause the application to fail, leaving you with a costly situation.

How to Lubricate Bronze Bushings

Many turn to oil to lubricate their bronze bushings while many others insist on using grease. Both are effective options for keeping the bushing lubricated. It is up to you to choose the best option for your application based on the load, speed, and temperature. For many everyday uses, any light machine oil should work. However, for heavy-duty applications, sometimes grease is the best option. To effectively lubricate your bronze bushing, you will want to apply it evenly to the surface, ensuring that all areas are covered.

When Should You Lubricate Bronze Bushings?

Regular inspection of your bushings is important for maintaining them. Any signs of wear should be addressed before it leads to a bigger issue. The frequency at which you should lubricate your bronze bushing will depend on the application. Those who see heavier use will require attention more frequently — and this is why routine inspections are so important.

Oil-Impregnated Bronze Bushings

Self-lubricating bronze bushings may be a better solution for those who are not interested in this part of maintenance. Known as oil-impregnated bushings, the oil is infused into the metal. Then, as it works, the oil comes through the pores and coats the surface for optimal function. No further lubrication is necessary. Many find these to be an ideal solution.

Find Bronze Bushings at Atlas Bronze

If bronze bushings are a good fit for your application, then knowing where to find them is key. At Atlas Bronze, we offer a long list of bushings that can provide you with the perfect fit. To learn more about them or if you aren’t sure about what you need, our team of experts is here for you. Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Applications of Copper in Modern Electronics: A Comprehensive Review

If you look around, you may not see copper everywhere — but it is there. Thanks to its versatility and recyclability, it is one of the most widely sought and used metals. Many even agree that without copper, we wouldn’t likely have the advanced technology that we have today. From computers and mobile phones to televisions and electric cars, so much relies on this metal. Keep reading to gain a greater appreciation of copper and how it is used in the modern electronics we use every day.

Where Can You Find Copper?

You can find copper in just about anything, including:
  • Renewable energy creation
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Architecture
  • Marine environments
  • Water storage (copper is antimicrobial)
  • Wire and cables for telecommunications
In electronics, copper plays a large role in the creation of electric cars (electric motors), computers, appliances, amplifiers and radios, personal electronic devices, cell phones, batteries, and so much more. Copper is used in advanced technology in many forms, such as:
  • Electronic connectors
  • Microchips
  • Circuit boards
  • Wiring and cables
  • Semiconductors
  • Heat sinks
And more.

Why Copper Excels in Modern Electronics

Copper has traits that set it apart from many other metals, making it a better-suited choice when it comes to electronic applications. Here is a closer look at its properties.

Electrical Conductivity

Copper has one of the highest levels of electrical conductivity – even when paired against other popular metals used in electronics. This makes it very effective in thoroughly transmitting electrical signals. It’s no surprise that you will find copper used in important applications, such as cables that transmit high-speed data throughout communities.

Thermal Conductivity

In many electronic applications, keeping heat at bay is crucial to prevent overheating, damage, or degrading operation. The use of copper in computer systems and electric cars, for example, has been a game changer. It allows electronics to continue to be used without any ill effects caused by heat.

Resistance to Corrosion

Copper does not corrode. This alone makes it a great choice for many modern applications, but even more so due to its plethora of advantages. When used in less-than-ideal applications, such as transmission wires or those in harsh elements, they continue to work without fail. Keep in mind that this is without any additional coatings for protection.


To be used in modern electronics, copper has to adapt to any situation — while keeping its great list of characteristics intact. This metal can easily be used in so many applications because it is highly malleable. Copper can meet demanding circuit patterns and can be bent or twisted over and over without losing its qualities. Items we use every day, including cell phones, are made with copper. Yet we can always depend on them to work just as intended every time we pick it up. And, if we are being realistic, most of us use our cell phones a lot.

Sustainability and Recyclability

Copper can easily be recycled at most recycling facilities throughout the country. This makes it a very eco-friendly option when it comes to choosing a metal for manufacturing. What’s more, the process to recycle copper uses very little energy and produces minimal greenhouse gas emissions. By recycling copper, less will need to be gained through natural sources, reducing your carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment.

Need Copper For Your Application?

Don’t be fooled by our name — at Atlas Bronze, we have the copper you need for your project. And many other metals, too. Contact us today at (800) 478-0887 and speak to our knowledgeable team. Let us help you find the perfect fit.


Monday, November 27, 2023

How To Measure Bronze Bushings

Bronze bushings are resistant to corrosion and friction and are a long-lasting solution that won’t lose its shape over time. However, to reap all of these benefits and more, you are going to have to invest in bushings that are the right fit. 

Installing the wrong size bushing can be detrimental to your application. And, ordering the wrong size can halt production. Reduce your risk by knowing how to measure bronze bushings properly.  

Common Applications for Bronze Bushings

Bronze bushings can be found in all sorts of applications due to their many advantages – and their ease of use. This makes them a great solution for hydraulic cylinders, bicycles, surveillance systems, printer rollers, escalators, kitchen appliances, medical and dental tools, ATMs, engines, and so much more. 

If you believe that bronze bushings are the perfect fit for your project or if you currently have bushings you need to replace with bronze, how can you tell what size you need? How are bronze bushings measured? 

Measuring Bronze Bushings

Measuring bushings can be a bit confusing. Do you measure the interior ring or the exterior ring? And what happens if it is a flange bushing with an additional area to measure — does it count?

If you need to order bronze bushings, then you are going to need their precise size to ensure an accurate fit. That means you need to know how to properly measure it. So, let’s break it down. 

The inner diameter of a bronze bushing, generally referred to as ID, is measured from side to side using the inside walls. The outdoor diameter, or OD, is a measurement of the outer walls, straight across from the outside of each side. 

The overall length (OAL) of a bronze bushing refers to the length of the part from bottom to top when sitting flat on a surface. 

When it comes to flange bronze bushings, additional measurements are needed including the outer diameter and the thickness of the flange itself. These are referred to as the flange outer diameter (FLOD) and the flange thickness (FLTH), respectively. 

The unit of measurement for bronze bushings is inches. And they are referred to as “-ths of an inch.” Except, of course, the interior diameter or ID which is clearly broken down into four decimal points for precision purposes. 

When ordering your new bronze bushings you would use the sequence of ID, OD, OAL, and, if applicable, FLOD and FLTH. 

What Size Bronze Bushings You Need? 

If you are still not sure of how to properly measure the size of your bronze bushings, it is a good idea to get in contact with a knowledgeable professional within the industry. After all, getting the right part to complete your job is so important. Remember, you will need to know the exact size in order to be able to order the proper bronze bushings. 

Whether you know exactly what you want or you need some help with the calculations, the team at Atlas Bronze is here for you. We offer standard and made-to-order bushings for a perfect fit and can help you find exactly what you are looking for.  

Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

What is Naval Brass?


Brass is one of the most common alloys due to its strength, durability, and immense malleability. This makes it very beneficial in a number of applications. Naval brass, on the other hand, is a specific type of brass with a slightly different composition that is often found in marine applications - hence its name. It, too, is very strong though corrosion-resistant which makes it successful for a lifetime in salty water. Just what is naval brass? Let’s take a closer look.

Brass vs. Naval Brass: The Composition

The composition of a metal alloy matters. One small change in it can impact its strength in certain situations - and in certain applications. As mentioned, brass is a metal alloy that is made up of copper and zinc. This composition is often in the range of 55 to 90 percent of copper and 10 to 45 percent of zinc. It does contain trace amounts of others, too, like lead and tin. The makeup of naval brass is a bit different. Generally, it will have higher levels of copper than other brass alloys. A common ratio of the metals that build this alloy includes 59% copper, 40% zinc, and 1% tin. Even though the amount of tin found in naval brass is low, it is what gives this metal alloy great resistance to corrosion while housed in the harsh conditions found in seawater. Low levels of lead are sometimes found in brass alloys. And while it may seem like an insignificant addition, it should never be overlooked. The addition of lead is what helps with the metal’s machinability. When you have the perfect combination, the metal can be more workable and stronger than initially thought.

Key Characteristics of Naval Brass

Because of its design, naval brass does have a few key characteristics that set it apart from traditional brass - aside from its ability to succeed in extreme conditions underwater. For example, when compared to brass, naval brass is:
  • More durable
  • More costly
  • More corrosion resistant
  • Less machinable
Naval brass also has a higher melting point than brass - and is not recommended for high-temperature applications. This is what makes it so fitting for marine applications.

Applications for Naval Brass

Yes, naval brass is often used in seawater applications due to its ability to handle saltwater for long periods of time. In the early 1900s, brass tubes were used on ships only to end up experiencing dezincification. This condition happens when the zinc in the alloy erodes due to corrosion. To battle this, naval bass was created and is now one of the most commonly used alloys for ships. It can be found in both saltwater and freshwater situations, used as propeller shafts, decorative fittings, shafting, marine hardware, pumps, valves, and more on ships and other marine equipment. There is no set time frame for how long naval brass will last in one of these water-submerged applications. But it is safe to say that it will last for many years - and definitely longer than traditional brass alloy.

Learn More About Naval Brass at Atlas Bronze

Interested in naval brass for your underwater application? Atlas Bronze can help. Our experts can answer any questions you may have and can help guide you to the right solution for your needs. Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Surprising Role of Copper in Green Energy Solutions


The push for green energy sources has never been stronger, as scientific studies show real evidence of global warming and climate shift. Green energy, also referred to as renewable energy, is defined as any source of energy derived from nature, such as sun, wind, or water. In order to be considered green energy, it must not produce any form of pollution. What do green energy and copper have to do with each other? As it turns out, quite a bit. Read more to learn about the surprising role of copper in green energy solutions.

What is Copper?

Copper is an element derived from naturally occurring ores in the earth. It is a type of metal found on the periodic table of elements, abbreviated Cu. Copper is a soft, shiny metal that has an orange appearance when new, and over time it becomes brown and eventually green as it oxidizes. One of the most important qualities of copper is that it is a conductor of electricity, which largely defines how it is used and its value.

How is Copper Refined?

Copper ore is mined directly from the earth and refined through a multi-step process until it is purified. Then it can be made into a variety of copper products, such as electrical wiring, water pipes, cookware, auto parts, and even household hardware like doorknobs.

Green Benefits of Copper

Copper has many qualities that make it environmentally friendly:
  • Completely recyclable. Copper can be recycled without losing any of its properties. It is the same amount of copper before and after recycling.
  • Long lasting. Among the many types of metal, copper lasts just as long or longer than some others and is especially corrosion resistant when exposed to moisture, which is why copper pipes are used in plumbing.
  • Can be refined by bioleaching. One way that copper refining is lowering its impact on the environment is through the use of bioleaching, a process that uses bacteria to separate copper from ore.

The Connection Between Copper and Green Energy

When it comes to the role of copper in green energy solutions, the most valuable characteristic is its ability to conduct or transfer energy. Copper wiring is used to deliver the electrical energy that is created by harnessing the power of wind, water, and sunlight. The efficiency of copper as a conductor reduces carbon dioxide emissions and less energy is required overall to produce electricity. Renewable energy systems contain at least 6 times the amount of copper in other forms of energy production.

Are Green Energy and Renewable Energy the Same?

Green energy and renewable energy are similar, but not the same. A renewable energy source is something that comes from nature and can be replenished. For an energy source to be renewable and also green, it must not produce any emissions or pollutants that harm the environment. Green energy is the term reserved for the cleanest possible energy sources that have the lowest impact on the earth and its atmosphere.

Why Purchase Copper Products from Atlas Bronze?

Atlas Bronze is a leading manufacturer of copper alloy forgings. Our customers include a variety of industries from power generation to military to aerospace. If you’re in need of quality copper materials, Atlas Bronze is a manufacturer you can trust. Call 800-478-0887 or contact us today for more information or shop our online store.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Brazing vs. Welding: What’s the Difference?

Sparks fly as a gloved hand welds metal on a table

In manufacturing, there will almost always come a time when you have to bring two metals together and create a solid, sturdy connection. 

While many factors will help determine the best approach, it usually always comes down to brazing and welding. Which one is best for your application? How do you know which one to choose? And what is the difference between brazing and welding? 

Let’s take a closer look at each so that you can better identify the best option for your particular application. 

What is Brazing? 

Brazing is a process or technique used for joining together at least two pieces of metal. It works by using a filler material of your choice with a low melting point to hold the two pieces of metal together. 

The idea is that the heat used to melt the filler should not be enough to melt the base metal you are joining together, keeping its properties and integrity fully intact. 

What is Welding? 

Welding is another process or technique used to join together at least two pieces of metal. Instead of using a filler, you will melt the actual base metals so that they come together and harden as one. 

To keep the proper form of the metal, pressure may or may not be used with welding. 

Brazing vs. Welding: Which Do You Choose? 

How do you know which method of joining metals will work best for your project? As mentioned above, there are a few different factors that you can consider. Together, they can point you toward brazing or welding.

The Types of Metal Used

You have to consider the types of metal you are using. Are they both the same? Are they different? The metals you use in your application will play a role in determining the best way to join them. 

For instance, when using the same type of metal, welding often works just fine. However, because welding melts the metal, this can be tough when you have metals with two different melting points. 

If you find yourself in a situation with metals that have very different properties, brazing will be the ideal solution for creating the joint between them. This way you won’t have to worry about melting one metal too much while getting enough heat to melt the other. 

The Thickness of the Metal

Both brazing and welding work well for metals of different sizes — especially when it comes to thick metals. 

Working with thin metals, on the other hand, brazing is often the best option due to its delicate nature.

The Size of the Assembly

When you are working with large assemblies, you have to have power behind your heat so that you can secure both of them together. The heat needs to radiate through them and that is something that brazing just cannot succeed at. 

Welding works best in this situation. 

The Finished Appearance

When a joint is going to be visible, appearance often matters. So, even if both welding and brazing are suitable for a project, the one that gives the most desired finished appearance is often the go-to option. Between welding and brazing, choose brazing. 

Brazing or Welding? Find Your Metal at Atlas Bronze

At Atlas Bronze, we have the metals you are looking for to meet the needs of your application — from bronze alloys and iron alloys to sintered bars and made-to-order plates and castings, we have just what you need. 

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