Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Should I Choose Bronze or Copper for My Application?


















When it’s time to choose a material for your application, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do you need a material that is conductive? One that is resistant to corrosion or can be easily worked? Taking a look at your own needs is the first step in the process; the next step involves understanding the metals you’re considering and examining their qualities.

Bronze vs. Copper: What’s the Difference?


It’s common for people to use the words bronze and copper to refer to the same type of metal, but technically speaking, there’s a difference.

Copper can be a pure metal that is mined from the earth, or it can refer to a copper alloy that has a copper content of 99.3 percent. Either way, copper is popular for a number of different applications and it was one of the first metals used by early humans, as evidenced by the Copper Age that began in the middle of the 5th millennium BC.

Bronze is a metal alloy, which means it’s always made from a combination of metals—there’s no such thing as pure bronze. Bronze is primarily made with copper, then other metals are added to impart different qualities on the resulting alloy. Some common metals used to make bronze are iron, zinc, and tin. Like copper, bronze is a metal that has been used since ancient times and the transition from copper tools to bronze is marked by the Bronze Age.

Properties of Bronze vs. Copper


Since bronze contains a large amount of copper, you might think it follows that bronze and copper have very similar properties, but slight changes in formulations can make a big difference in their qualities and characteristics.

Why Use Copper


Copper is commonly used in heating and electrical applications because it has exceptional conductivity. It’s also widely used in artwork, fixtures, and architecture because of its captivating reddish hue. The simple act of polishing and buffing copper can create a wide array of textures and lusters.

Copper has been in the news recently thanks to its antimicrobial properties, making it an increasingly popular material for everything from phone cases to face mask filters. Copper is also strong and resistant to corrosion. If you need a material that is formable, copper can be soldered, brazed, and welded.

Why Use Bronze


Like copper, bronze is a commonly used material for sculptures, statues, and other artwork, but its resistance to wear and low friction makes it a workhorse when it comes to industrial applications. You’ll find bronze in bearings, valves, pump parts, and gears. Many musical instruments are also made with bronze. If you’re looking for a metal that is hard and durable, bronze is a solid choice.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze


Of course, the best way to choose the right material for your application is to consult with one of our knowledgeable team members at Atlas Bronze. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 and we’ll work together with you to determine whether bronze or copper is best for your purposes. If you’re not sure where to start, we can get you on the right track and ensure a successful project.

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