Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Differences Between Copper and Bronze


There’s quite a bit of overlap in the qualities and uses of copper and bronze, but there are also some

significant differences you should be aware of if you’re choosing between the two metals for your

application. What’s the difference between copper and bronze? Which one is the best choice for

your needs? We answer these questions below.

Understanding Copper

Copper is one of the earliest metals used by human populations. Best known for its reddish hue, copper is the term used for both pure copper and any copper alloy that has at least a 99.3 percent copper content. You’ll find copper in sculptures, architecture, and fixtures, but behind the scenes, it’s also commonly used for heating and electrical applications because of its superior conductivity.


There are other reasons to choose copper for your application besides conductivity, though. Copper is resistant to corrosion and valued for its strength. It’s highly formable, which is likely why it was such a widely used material by early humans. Copper is antimicrobial, making it suitable for many healthcare and medical uses. Architects, sculptors, and other artists appreciate copper because it can be given different lusters and textures when it’s buffed and polished.

Understanding Bronze

Bronze is a metal alloy that is made mostly with copper, but not enough to be considered a copper alloy. In addition to copper, other metals like iron, zinc, and tin are added to impart different qualities on the resulting metal. Like copper, bronze is often used in statues, sculpture, and architecture. Its industrial uses include pump parts, bearings, gears, and valves because bronze is valued for its resistance to wear and low friction. Many musical instruments are also made with bronze.


Bronze cast alloys, like those available from Atlas Bronze, are manufactured in three different ways: sand casting, centrifugal casting, and continuous casting. Different casting methods are used for different types of products and parts.

Copper vs. Bronze: What Makes Them Different?

Here are some of the notable qualities of copper and bronze, and differences between the two metals.


  • Bronze is a dull gold in color, while copper is more of a reddish-orange.

  • Copper is more commonly used in wiring and pipes, while bronze is a popular choice for bushings and bearings.

  • Bronze alloys are resistant to corrosion and known for their strength, while copper is malleable and easily soldered.

  • Copper can be an alloy and also a natural element, while bronze is always an alloy.

  • Bronze has low friction, which makes it an excellent choice for moving parts.

  • Copper has antimicrobial properties, which makes it ideal for high-touch surfaces and healthcare settings.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Products

To learn more about ordering high-quality bronze products from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887. Our sales team offers unmatched customer support and industry knowledge, and we’re committed to working together with you to meet your needs. If you’re not sure whether you need bronze or a copper alloy for your application, we can listen to your requirements and suggest the best option for you.



 

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