Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Modern Items Commonly Made of Bronze

During the Bronze Age, the use of bronze was widespread because it was the hardest metal alloy available. Bronze artifacts dating back to this time period include tools, arrowheads and other weapons, building materials, and pieces of art. Once the use of iron became more prevalent, fewer everyday objects were made with bronze, but its continued use to this day attests to its durability and versatility. Today, we use bronze in a variety of applications, some of which are outlined below.

Art and Sculpture

Just like in ancient times, bronze is one of the preferred materials for sculpture and statues. Bronze is both easier to work with than other metals and also more durable. Public art pieces, such as statuary, are often made with bronze because of its longevity and resistance to the elements. Statuary bronze is usually made with 97 percent copper, two percent tin, and one percent zinc.

Musical Instruments

Bells and cymbals are often made with bronze; for bells, a special “bell metal” alloy is used, which is made with a high percentage of tin. Asian percussion instruments, like gongs and singing bowls, are also made with bronze in varying compositions.

Bronze is also used in string instruments, including the guitar, double bass, and piano, for the windings of steel and nylon strings. Bronze strings are used for tones with lower pitches, where they perform better than their high-tensile steel counterparts.

Coins and Medals

There is, of course, the bronze medal that is traditionally awarded for third place in a competition, but bronze is used to make a variety of medals and plaques for many different purposes. Commemorative coins may be made with bronze too, although coins used for currency are not typically made with bronze in modern times. During the 1800s, United States pennies were made with bronze, and in the United Kingdom, one and two pence coins were made with bronze until the early 1990s.

Architectural Bronze

Bronze has many architectural uses, ranging from everyday items like mailboxes, furniture, and stair railings, to more elaborate ornamental items like decorative cladding on doors and windows. Not only does bronze stand the test of time in these applications, but it comes in a range of colors that makes it desirable as well. Bronze used for architecture is an alloy made with 57 percent copper, 40 percent zinc, and three percent lead. 

Commercial Bronze

It’s difficult to find an industry where bronze isn’t used! We use items made with bronze daily without even thinking about it. Bearings, bushings, screws, valves, and countless other parts are made with bronze because of its strength, durability, resistance to corrosion, and ductility. Wrought alloys are available in sheets and plates, rods, tubes, or bar stock and are produced by rolling and extrusion mills or by a forging mill. In contrast, cast alloys are produced by sand casting, centrifugal casting, and continuous casting. They are the most readily available type of bronze alloy.

Contact Atlas Bronze

Our knowledgeable sales staff can help you determine what type of material is best for various bronze applications. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 or email to learn more or request a quote.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Understanding Naval Brass

Don’t let its name deceive you—naval brass is used for a variety of purposes on both land and at sea. As an alpha beta brass (also known as a duplex brass), naval brass is strong and hard, making it an ideal choice whenever durability is needed. It’s one of the numerous metal alloys we manufacture at Atlas Bronze and it’s a popular choice with many of our customers for a wide range of applications.

What Is Naval Brass?

Naval brass is a copper alloy that is typically comprised of around 70 percent copper, 29 percent zinc, and small amounts of lead and iron, although different manufacturers may have varying formulations. Many naval brass alloys also include tin.

What sets naval brass apart from other types of brass is its high corrosion resistance to seawater. It’s a top choice for marine atmosphere applications and it was originally developed for this purpose, but it’s also used in many other industries as well. Naval brass is prized for its higher tensile strength and resistance to wear and tear.

Naval brass has excellent hot workability and forgeability. It can be fabricated by blanking, drawing, bending, heading and upsetting, hot forging, and pressing.

Naval Brass Applications

Shipbuilders have been using naval brass for decades to ensure that vessels are seaworthy and that their components will stand the test of time. Naval brass can be used to fabricate metal parts located anywhere on a watercraft, from port to starboard. This includes:

  • Propellers
  • Impellers 
  • Pumps 
  • Pump bodies 
  • Shafts 
  • Porthole rings 
  • Ornamental fixtures 
  • Submarine and torpedo parts 
  • Ship trimmings 
  • Marine hardware 
  • Rudders 
  • Marine engine parts 
  • Outboard motor components 

Naval brass is an obvious choice in these applications because of its resistance to corrosion in both saltwater as well as freshwater. Other uses for naval brass, both in the marine environment and on land, include:

  • Nuts
  • Bushings and bearings 
  • Clamps 
  • Valves 
  • Flanges 
  • Bolts 
  • Lock washers 
  • Screws 
  • Air pressure conveyor systems 
  • Soundproofing equipment 
  • Springs 
  • Chain 
  • Tubing 
  • Heat exchangers 
  • Wire screens 
  • Liners 
  • Power cylinders 
  • Aircraft turnbuckle barrels 
  • Dies 
  • Condenser plates 

Where to Purchase Naval Brass

Atlas Bronze carries naval brass in sheets, plates, and rounds and we provide bronze for marine replacement parts and repairs all over the world. Our solid bars of naval brass come in a wide range of diameters, and our sheets and plates come in a variety of thicknesses suitable for a number of different purposes. We can cut the material to the length you need and also have items made to your print.

Whether you’re purchasing for naval applications or another application in which durability and corrosion-resistance are a must, Atlas Bronze is a leader in the field and will meet your requirements and timelines.

Contact Atlas Bronze

Our experienced sales team can help you assess your business’s needs and determine whether naval brass is the best choice for your application. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 or email to learn more or request a quote.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Thrust Bearings: What You Should Know

Bearings are the unsung heroes of the machinery world, helping keep things running smoothly without anyone giving them a second thought. We use bearings every single day of our lives, but few of us even realize it. One type of bearing that’s particularly useful is the thrust bearing.

What Is a Thrust Bearing?

There are seemingly endless different types of bearings for use in all kinds of industrial applications, but the one thing they all have in common is that they bear loads and force to enable two or more moving parts of a machine to operate with minimal friction between them. Without bearings, these parts would be in direct contact with each other and the friction would eventually damage them beyond repair.

Thrust bearings are rotary bearings that are specifically designed to bear a predominantly axial load. All rotary bearings function by allowing two or more parts to rotate, but it is only a thrust bearing that can perform this function while also supporting axial loads of varying sizes.

Thrust bearings are comprised of two raceways, or washers, and rolling elements or bearing balls. Different types of thrust bearings have different designs, but the overall function remains the same.

Thrust Bearing Materials

Chrome steel, stainless steel, bronze, and brass are common materials used in the manufacturing of thrust bearings. Stamped sheet-metal is sometimes used as well. Ceramics and ceramic hybrids are used in some types of thrust bearings too. These typically have metal raceways and ceramic rolling elements. 

When Are Thrust Bearings Used

Thrust bearings are used in turbines, motors, and pumps. They’re also found in generators and compressors. Whenever there is an application that requires oil lubrication and that operates at high speeds, thrust bearings are a potential option. For this reason, they are commonly used in aerospace, marine, and automotive manufacturing. An example of thrust bearing in use is in the gearbox of a car.

Types of Thrust Bearings

Two of the most common types of thrust bearings are ball thrust bearings and roller thrust bearings. Ball thrust bearings cannot bear as much axial load as other types of thrust bearings, while roller thrust bearings can work in situations with a higher axial load. Ball thrust bearings are made of several ball bearings held between two raceways, which may have grooves or be flat. Roller thrust bearings have cylindrical rolling elements rather than ball bearings; the cylindrical surface gives them more contact area, which is why they can carry higher axial loads.

Other types of thrust bearings include cylindrical thrust roller bearings, tapered roller thrust bearings, fluid bearings, and magnetic bearings.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Thrust Bearing

To find out more about Atlas Bronze thrust bearings, contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of our sales representatives about our offerings. We’ll help you through the process of choosing the right bearings for your application to make sure your project is a success. Our team looks forward to working with you.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Applications for Flange Bearings

At Atlas Bronze, bearings are one of our specialities. Whenever there are two or more moving parts in a machine, bearings are there to reduce the friction between them by bearing the force and load. Bearings keep us from having to frequently replace worn out parts and there are different types of bearings for all different kinds of applications. Below, we’ll take an in-depth look into one specific type of bearing that we manufacture at Atlas Bronze: the flange bearing.

What Is a Flange Bearing?

Flange bearings, also sometimes known as flanged bearings, differ from other types of bearings in one simple way: there is a flange (or lip) on one end. The purpose of the flange is to help keep the bearing in place without slipping, falling, or shifting, particularly when there is axial push or load being applied to the bearing. Without the flange, the bearing would fall out of place and the machinery would stop working. The flange on a bearing may seem like a small detail, but it makes a significant difference in how a machine operates.

For a visual, see this example of flanged bearing, made with sintered bronze.

Types of Flange Bearings

Flange bearings are usually no more than three inches in diameter, and can be mounted in place with two bolts, three bolts, or four bolts in the case of heavy duty applications. Flange bearings with four bolts are typically round or square, while three-bolt flange bearings are triangular, and two-bolt flange bearings come in a diamond shape.

Like other bearings, flange bearings come in many different types. There are flanged ball bearings, flanged plain bearings, flanged needle roller bearings, and flanged roller bearings. Bronze, steel, plastic, composite material, metal-polymer, and other metals and alloys are used to manufacture flange bearings.

Some flange bearings come with oil-impregnated options, which mean that they release oil while under pressure and absorb the oil back into small pores once the pressure is released. Other flange bearings may be maintenance free, requiring no grease or oil to operate, or require only occasional oiling to work properly.

How Are Flange Bearings Used?

In addition to being used in situations where there are large axial loads, flange bearings are well-suited for high vibration applications because they are designed to stay in place.

Flange bearings are often used in vehicles for this reason––automotive engines are a high vibration environment, so flange bearings are ideal. The other reason flange bearings are used in engines is because they can withstand high temperatures and stay in place despite thermal expansion.

Flange bearings are also used in industrial applications like food processing, textile manufacturing, airport baggage systems, HVAC belt drives, hay balers, combines, and conveyors.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Flange Bearings

To find out more about Atlas Bronze flange bearings, contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of our sales representatives about our offerings. Our highly skilled team will help you through the process of choosing the right flange bearings for your application to make sure your project is a success.