Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What Metal Is The Best Conductor of Electricity?


Heading all the way back to middle school science, you may remember learning about electrons. In metals, these electrons are electronically charged particles that move about. When an electric charge comes in contact with that metal, the electrons move and allow the electricity to pass right on through. 

Knowing this, determining what metals work well for conducting electricity would point to those with high electron mobility. With so many metals available - and some more conductive than others - which one is the best? 


Hands down, the best conductor of electricity is pure silver. It contains the highest level of electrons, allowing electricity to easily pass through. And the greater the level of electrons, the greater its conductivity. Yet, silver is not often used in everyday applications. Why is that? 

First, pure silver is expensive. In creating everyday household appliances and keeping them affordable, this metal just isn’t the most viable option. Second, silver tarnishes. When it comes to high frequency currents, the appearance of tarnish can negatively impact the metal’s conductivity level. 

While pure silver may be the best conductor of electricity, it isn’t widely used except for specialized equipment or situations.  


Just because a metal doesn’t rank #1 for electric conductivity doesn’t mean it isn’t a solid choice. There are a few runners-up that work well in all sorts of scenarios. For instance, copper. 


Copper is one of the most commonly used metals for conducting electricity. It, too, has a high number of free electrons that can get the job done at high levels. It is much more affordable than copper and is found throughout households. When high levels of conductive metals are needed, copper holds up well to soldering and being wrapped into thicker wires. Unfortunately, copper can corrode over time, which will reduce its effectiveness in this role. 


Aluminum is another option. It works as well as copper at times. And, it is more affordable. While it is used for certain products, it isn’t always the best option. The reason is that it forms an oxidized surface that is resistant to the electrical connection, often causing the connection to overheat. 


Gold is another great option. It works well to conduct electricity and it doesn’t tarnish as pure silver does. Though you can probably guess why gold isn’t used very often for this role - it’s expensive!

Steel and Brass

Steel and brass are two more runners-up that work well as conductors of electricity. As an alloy of iron, steel is incredibly durable - so much so that it isn't very flexible at all. This makes it not an ideal solution for everyday products requiring electrical conductivity. However, it does work well for larger structures.

Finally, another alloy, brass, easily bends and molds to fit smaller machines and tiny parts. It doesn’t corrode as easily as some other metals, it is highly conductive, cheap to purchase, and always retains its value.  


Believe it or not, certain factors can determine just how well a metal will conduct electricity. 

  • Temperature. The conductivity of many metals will be impacted by temperature, often slowing down in colder temperatures. 

  • Impurities. Oxidization, rust, corrosion, and more will reduce the ability of a metal to conduct electricity. 

  • Processed level. Pure metals will be better conductors than those that have been highly processed. 

When determining the best choice for your mind, you will want to take into consideration the characteristics of the metal and how it will react in your application. 


Regardless of what you are creating, Atlas Bronze has a wide selection of metals and made-to-order products to meet your needs. And we have a variety of different types of metals. 

Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always available to answer any questions you have or assist you with your purchase. Call Atlas Bronze today at (800) 478-0887. Or contact us online.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

How to Determine What Metal Shape and Size You Need

 Metals are not a one-size-fits-all material. They come in a variety of different types and different forms, such as bars, beams, plates, and rods. When it comes to finding the right metal shape and size for your design project, you need to make the right selection. After all, it can mean the difference between having a successful finished product - and a lousy one. 

Let’s take a look at the different shape options you may encounter, as well as sizes. 

The Different Metal Shapes

Metals can be manipulated into various shapes as they go through different processes. The finished metal will be the perfect fitting for your design projects. Here are a few ways these metal shapes take form: 

Joining and Assembly. Sometimes you may need pieces of metal to come together and connect to form a brand new shape. This is often done through processes such as welding, soldering, brazing, and more. 

Casting. Using molds, metal can be melted down and poured into the cavity to create any particular shape you need. 

Heat Treating. If you need to change the strength, hardness, or formability of a particular metal, you can do this through heat-treating which uses processes like annealing, quenching, and tempering. 

Material Removal. Sometimes you don’t need all the metal, but rather need to remove some to achieve the shape you need. Abrasive machining, lasers, and electron beams get this done. 

Finishing.  For those projects that require a specific texture or surface finish, there are finishing processes such as polishing, galvanizing, plating, and more. 

Understanding Metal Sizes

One you have your shape in order, it is time to talk about sizing. Metals don’t all come in the same size. But they are generally referred to by their thickness and their size using the imperial system of measurement, i.e. inches. 

The dimensions for your metal includes things such as overall thickness, gauge thickness, width or outer diameter, secondary width, overall length, and inner diameter. 

Gauge refers to a metal's thickness. As the gauge increases, the thickness of the metal decreases. Gauges can vary based on whether a metal is ferrous or non-ferrous - which means it is a good idea to speak to an expert before taking the next step. 

As far as sizes in inches, this one is fairly self-explanatory, coming in handy when ordering sheet metal and other similar metals. 

How To Determine What’s Right For Your Metal

To determine what metal shape and size is right for you, it is important that you have an engineered drawing of your finished product. This will state any details pertaining to the metals used and give you a good idea of what you are looking for. 

If you are unsure of which size or shape you will need, it is important to speak to the professionals who can help guide you in the right direction. 

Learn More About Finding the Right Metal at Atlas Bronze

When it comes to choosing the right metal for your project, you need to have an understanding of the right size and shape to get the job done right. 

If you would like to find out more about metals and alloys and how to purchase the right one, contact Atlas Bronze at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of your sales representatives about our selection. Our time of experts can answer any questions you may have.

What Is Bronze Welding & When Do You Need It

 Metals are reactive to heat which makes them hard to work with as a welder. With the right amount of heat focus (and the right technique), you can transform an entire piece of metal without much effort at all. 

Welding is a technique that fuses two metals together using heat. And while there are many different metals and various techniques to use, let’s take a look at bronze welding. 

What is Bronze Welding?

Bronze welding is sometimes referred to as braze welding. The two terms are interchangeable, but it should be noted that braze welding and brazing are two slightly different things. This welding is a type of MIG/MAG welding with processes that are almost identical to conventional welding. 

Bronze welding involves the melting and joining of two metals together by heating them to a melting point, resulting in strong joints. Though bronze welding is not just limited to bronze. It can also be used for building strong joints and can be used with a variety of metals, including cast iron, copper, steel, and other copper-based alloys.

The difference between bronze welding and regular welding is that it uses a different melting point due to the bronze filler wires. The lower temperature is due to a much lower melting point that works with the filler material, rather than working with the high-temperature melting of the parent material. 

When You Need Bronze Welding

Bronze welding can be used at any time. However, it is best to use it when you are joining together two different metals. Conventional welding requires high temperatures and the melting of the metals to bring them together. As you know, though, each metal has a different melting point. So combining two types using general welding practices may prove to be a little tricky. 

Bronze welding uses a filler material (also known as filler bronze rods) that connects the two pieces together at lower temperatures without worrying about actually melting the metal. So whether you are welding cast iron to steel, stainless steel to steel, copper to steel, and so forth - you can do so successfully by using a bronze filler. 

What You Should Know About Bronze Welding

Here are a few tidbits of knowledge about bronze welding that you may find useful going forward. 

  • When done right, bronze welding, although done at a much lower temperature and using filler material, often results in a much stronger joint than others. 

  • Since the metal itself isn’t melted, it will keep most of its physical properties - which is great news for bronze enthusiasts

  • Because you aren’t melting the metal, you can create a significantly strong joint between two metals that have different melting points when using bronze welding. 

Knowing that there are different types of welding techniques available and knowing when to use each can help you choose the best option for your metals. 

Atlas Bronze for All Your Bronze Needs

Atlas Bronze is a leader in the distribution of bronze and other metals in the United States - and has a team of skilled and professional staff members who can help you with all of your bronze needs. 

Whether you have questions about bronze welding or anything else, contact Atlas Bronze today at (800) 478-0887. We’ve got you covered for quality material at competitive prices.

5 Uses For Copper Welding

man welding with copper

 Copper is one of those metals that is part of our everyday lives - and no, we are not just talking about pennies. This metal has been incredibly beneficial to us in ways you may never have imagined. The fact that it has been around for at least 10,000 years means it has had a lot of time to make an impact. 

What is copper used for? And how does it find its way into our daily lives?

Types of Copper Welding

We may use copper in many ways (we will get to those in a minute), but copper just doesn’t appear to us precisely in the manner we intend to use it. Instead, we have to take steps to make copper more adaptable for our everyday use. One of the ways we do that is through different forms of welding. 

Soldering. Soldering is a way to join metal using a filler wire or filler material that melts and brings the metals together. This is a simple process that can be done to do small jobs around the house. Though plumbers commonly use it for repairing copper pipes and fittings. 

Brazing. Brazing also uses filler material like soldering. However, the temperatures used in the brazing process are often much higher than soldering. Extensive metalwork and dealing with those of varying thickness often use brazing. It is definitely not something just anyone would use at their house. 

Welding. Welding requires different techniques, training, and generally some skill. Some welding uses shielding gases such as argon and helium. Using various types of mixtures can lead to different outcomes when welding copper. Thicker pieces may require more helium, for example, while argon is a better choice when the copper is quite thin. Other welding types don’t require gas at all. Copper welding uses are plenty, but they are better left to the professionals. 

With the use of any of these types of welding, you will find yourself with some pretty useful copper products.

Uses for Copper Welding

Did you know that there are so many things in our daily lives that we come in contact with that are

made of copper? Like we said initially, the first thing people think of is copper pennies. But copper

extends well beyond that. And most of these metal things are the result of copper welding.

1. Copper Cookware

Believe it or not, copper cookware is more common than you think. These pots and pans are found in

kitchens around the world. And those who have them, love them - thanks to their intense heat


2. Jewelry

Many people may not realize it, but copper is often found in jewelry. It tends to improve elasticity,

flexibility, hardness, and corrosion resistance. Gold is a very common alloyed metal when it comes to

copper. Most forms of 18k gold and sterling silver contain copper. 

3. Railings

Copper keeps you safe on stairs, balconies, etc. Most railings that are used as protective barriers or

are there for you to grab hold of are made of copper. Since copper has antimicrobial properties and

they are highly-trafficked surfaces, it's a great choice.

4. Door Knobs and Handles

Like railings, doorknobs and handles are often touched a lot. To keep them lasting a long time and not

maintain germ breeding grounds, doorknobs and handles do well when designed with copper. You’d

be surprised that nearly every knob you have touched in your lifetime has some level of copper in it.

5. Wires and Pipes

Whether you have seen it or not, there are a lot of wires and pipes winding through your house. Your

plumbing, electrical wiring, and so forth all have copper. This is, again, thanks to its antimicrobial

property and its ability to conduct electricity with high efficiency.

Learn More About Copper Uses at Atlas Bronze

Whether we realize it or not, copper is one of those metals that play an important role in our lives every

single day. From plumbing pipes to jewelry and everything in between, there is likely going to come a

time when you need it. And when you do, Atlas Bronze is here. 

Contact our professional team today at (800) 478-0887. They are standing by to answer all your

questions about copper welding uses.

What to Know About Metal Corrosion & How to Protect Your Metal


large rusty pipes

While metals like red brass alloys, naval brass, and sintered bronze may be highly resistant, many metals still find corrosion to be an ever-present issue they face. And that means machinery, buildings, equipment, and more will encounter the possibility of corrosion every year. Since so many things - and people - rely on the durability and long-lasting use of metals, having an understanding of what causes metal corrosion and how to keep it from happening can be incredibly beneficial. 

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is what happens when oxidation occurs. It is a chemical reaction. In other words, when

metals come in contact with certain oxidizing agents in their environment, corrosion can occur. With

the well-known oxidizing agents being air and water, metals are almost always vulnerable. Some of

the most common metals - bronze, brass, and copper - begin to corrode with continuous exposure to

these elements in their environment. 

It is important to keep in mind that all metals are different. They have different properties that become affected in different environments. For instance, some metals may be less bothered by air and water and more affected by things like saltwater, excessive heat, sulfur, acidic compounds, or ammonia. 

When metals begin to corrode, their protective outer layer has been breached. Those that contain iron will rust. But in those that are free of iron, oxidation often develop a colorful layer of greens, browns, blacks, blues, and reds. This beautiful layer is called a patina coating. And while it may appear as though the metal is ruined, it is really just a protected covering. With a little attention, you can return your metal back to its original state. 

Protecting Your Metal 

To protect your metal from corrosion, you need to keep it safe from the elements that can cause it,

such as air and water. By removing these elements or blocking them from reaching your metal, you

can easily protect it. The method in which you do this will vary greatly based on where your metal is

being used. For instance, there are some metals that are used in water -- so you can’t remove the

water, but you can protect the metal better with, say, a strong sealant. 

Below are a few tips for protecting your metal. 

Seal Your Metal. Sometimes, the easiest thing you can do is make sure your metal has a sealed

coating that offers protection. This layer keeps air and moisture, as well as other oxidizing agents,

from ever reaching the metal. Note that this barrier will wear down with use and needs to be replaced


Keep Your Metal Clean. Dust and debris can hold in moisture. When there is a buildup on the pipes, this sitting moisture can lead to corrosion rather quickly. Keep your metal clean by wiping it down regularly. You may want to avoid using any harsh or abrasive cleaners. 

Reduce Moisture. If you store your metal tools or equipment in a certain area, consider adding a dehumidifier to the room. This will help to remove the moisture present and lessen the chance of corrosion. After all, moisture in the air can be just as corrosive over time as running water. 

Atlas Bronze For All Your Metal Needs

When it comes to understanding how to care for and protect your metals, Atlas Bronze has you covered. It’s what we do. So, whether you have questions about a specific metal or you just would like to discuss metals in general, contact Atlas Bronze today.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

6 Tips To Understand The Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

Rolls of sheet metal on industrial equipment

 Those who work in sheet metal fabrication know that there is a lot that goes into transforming a thin piece of metal into something entirely different. From small nuts and bolts needed for larger items to things like cans for canned goods, household appliances, door handles, handrails, cutlery, faucets, and everything in between - sheet metal fabrication is a huge part of our lives whether we realize it or not. 

How this metal is created into something new is a process many can’t fathom. Here are 6 tips to understand the sheet metal fabrication process. 

1. Industries of all Types Rely on the Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

It is easy to think that sheet metal fabrication is used by businesses that deal in construction or the like, but really there are industries of all types that rely on it. This is just a sample: 

  • Hardware manufacturing 

  • Cutlery manufacturing

  • HVAC manufacturing

  • Farm tool manufacturing

  • Hand tool manufacturing

The aerospace industry and automobile industry also rely heavily on sheet metal fabrication to create their respective forms of travel. 

There is no limit to who can benefit from this process -- and how it can impact your life. 

2. Many Different Metals are Used in Sheet Metal Fabrication

The process of transforming metal doesn’t work with just one kind, but rather a bunch of different metals, including: 

  • Aluminum

  • Copper

  • Galvanized steel

  • Stainless steel

  • Titanium

  • Carbon steel

  • Aluminized metal

This means that sheet metal fabrication can be used to meet a wide variety of needs without limitations. 

3. Sheet Metal Offers High-Precision and Detail

Regardless of the project or need, precision and detail are two key capabilities found in sheet metal fabrication. 

Just like a construction project requires blueprints to create a new home or building, the sheet metal fabrication process requires blueprints, too. These engineered drawings allow the manufacturer to create the finished product. A lot of analysis and intricate calculations are involved in getting them just right. 

Computerized machines then work the metal down to the exact calculation - leaving you with the perfect end product. 

4. Custom Built Designs with Blueprints 

There are many different types of processes that can be used to create a product. That means not all use the same method. Cutting, welding, burning, folding, stamping, and shearing are just a few ways that metal can be fabricated. The blueprints will guide the fabricator to the proper methods that need to be used. 

The ability to pick and choose which methods of sheet metal fabrication will work best with a design is what welcomes wide customizability in this process. 

5. Keep Production Moving Quickly in the Fabrication Process

It may take time for fabricators to analyze the engineered blueprints and determine the best way to approach the project. But, once the initial prototype is created and approved, production can be ramped up and handle heavy demand in a short amount of time.

6. Finishing Touches Seal the Deal

Metal isn’t just fabricated to create some magnificent things in this process. It also includes sealing, surface finishing, sand-blasting, coating, brushing, or any other desired finishes to get the desired aesthetic look, too.

Atlas Bronze for Your Metal Needs

Atlas Bronze is a local brass bronze metal supplier that manufactures made-to-order forgings, plates, and castings. And, even though we don’t supply sheet metal, we understand just how important it is in our world. 

At Atlas Bronze, we have great pricing, quality, fast delivery, and over 25 years of excellence! If you would like to discuss your metal needs, contact us today.

What is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

piles of formed metal parts made from sheet metal

We depend on metal - and our world is full of it. Just take a look at all the things around you -

everywhere you go, metal has been used. It is used in the building and creation of large construction

projects and heavy machinery down to small household appliances and kids’ toys. 

How that metal transforms from big, flat sheets to tiny parts and components is all part of the sheet

metal fabrication process. Let’s take a closer look. 

Sheet Metal Fabrication: Defined

To fabricate something means to invent or manufacture it. Sheet metal fabrication, therefore, means

taking sheets of metal and creating a finished, usable product. It starts with a design and works its

way through a process that turns that design into a reality. 

Developing an Idea

The first step in sheet metal fabrication is developing an idea. What are you trying to create? What will

it look like? What will be required? Your design needs to be realistic and contain the ideas for any

metal components. Addressing the needs of the component, such as its thickness, ways it will bend,

markings and holes, etc. will be done within the initial idea. 

Creating the Blueprints

To put the sheet metal fabrication into motion, an engineer puts together certified drawings that act as

a roadmap for the manufacturer. These blueprints state all the details and specifications of sheet

metal required for the fabrication. 

Once the drawings are complete, they will be reviewed by the manufacturer to ensure that the design

can be manufactured. 

Developing the Prototype

Manufacturing companies will develop a prototype using different methods of sheet metal fabrication.

Finding the right method to obtain the desired outcome - including functionality and aesthetics - comes

with developing the prototype. 

Production Mode

Once the prototype has been tested and meets the requirements of the design, it will be sent into full

production mode. 

Sheet Metal Fabrication Techniques

Not all sheet metal fabrication methods are the same. Different techniques yield different results - and

the desired method will be based on the design. Sometimes when developing prototypes, more than

one technique may be used to find the best result. 

Below are five of the most common sheet metal fabrication techniques used. 


Most sheet metal comes in a large, rectangular-shaped piece. So to get it down to the desired size

listed in the blueprints, it needs to be cut. There are many different tools and ways in which this cutting



As its name suggests, bending sheet metal means just that - bending it. Some designs will require

simple bends while others may be complex. This process in sheet metal fabrication can be rather

difficult due to the metal's determination to return to its flat state. Bending takes skill. 


There is a high chance with all sheet metal fabrication processes that two pieces of metal, or two ends

of the same piece of metal, will have to come together. Welding joins metal together using heat. 


Stamping is a method that creates shapes and designs and textures on flat sheet metal. Using

pressure and various techniques, this stage will vary greatly from one project to the next based on



Punching holes in the metal or indenting it may be a part of the blueprints. If so, force is used to

perforate the metal to create the hole. 

The Finished Product

Sheet metal fabrication doesn’t end with the formation of the metal. For instance, there are different

surface finishes and design styles that can be used based on what you are seeking. 

Metal is one of the most widely-used products due to its ability to be fabricated into nearly anything -

as long as the right skill is involved. 

Atlas Bronze for Your Metal Needs

Though we do not supply sheet metal, we understand how important sheet metal fabrication is to the

world around us. Atlas Bronze is a local brass bronze metal supplier that manufactures made-to-order

forgings, plates, and castings. 

At Atlas Bronze, we have great pricing, quality, fast delivery, and over 25 years of excellence! If you would like to discuss your metal needs, contact us today.