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 sales@atlasbronze.com to learn more or request a quote.

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