Wednesday, November 27, 2019

How Bronze Is Made

Have you ever thought about how bronze is made? Or maybe you didn't even know it was made at all--maybe you thought it was an element, like silver or gold, and mined directly from the earth. It's a common misconception, but nope: like steel and brass, bronze is an alloy, which is a combination of two or more metals or non-metallic elements. Alloys are superior to pure metals because not only are they stronger, but they can also be more resistant to corrosion.

What Is Bronze Made From?

Now you know that bronze is a metal alloy made from a mixture of elements. But which elements are used to make bronze? We're glad you asked--we’re the experts in bronze products and we love to share our knowledge with our customers!

Bronze is most often made from copper and tin. Typically, modern bronze is made with 88% copper and 12% tin. That said, the exact composition can vary and other elements can be combined with copper to create bronze as well: zinc, lead, nickel, and aluminum are not uncommon when it comes to creating bronze alloys. Different combinations of elements are used for different purposes--bronze made with copper, lead, and tin, for example, is often used for architectural applications.

Who First Made Bronze?

You've undoubtedly heard of the Bronze Age before; indeed, the discovery of bronze marked an important milestone in human history. The creation of bronze allowed tools, weapons, and armor to be stronger than when they were made with stone and pure metals. The earliest bronze we can find is from Iran and dates back to the 5th millennium BC. Other early bronze artifacts have been found in Serbia, Egypt, China, India, and Iraq.

Bronze Creation Process

We can only guess how bronze was first discovered, but we do know how it was made during the Bronze Age: tin and copper were heated and mixed to form liquid bronze and then this liquid was poured into molds to create weapons, armor, tiles, and tools.

While the equipment used to make modern bronze in foundries is a little more advanced now, the basic process is the same, with copper and tin (or another metal) being melted in a large furnace and then cast into molds. Here at Atlas Bronze, we use three different types of casting: sand casting, centrifugal casting, and continuous casting.

Uses For Bronze

As we've already discussed, bronze was initially used for weapons like arrowheads and knives, tools, and decorative tiles. Bronze has historically been used to create coins, sculptures, and mirrors. In modern times, bronze is used to make musical instruments, bearings, boat fittings and propellers, electrical contacts, and some tools. Because bronze is a metal alloy, its strength and resistance to corrosion make it ideal for these purposes.

Where to Purchase High-Quality Bronze Plates, Castings and Forgings?

Atlas Bronze is a leading distributor of bronze forgings, plates, and castings in the United States. Contact us today if you need bronze parts for your business. You can also find out more about our wrought and copper alloys on our website or give us a call at 1-800-478-0887.

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