Wednesday, March 15, 2023

How to Preserve Bronze Plates

Bronze plates are found in so many different applications. They can be used in architectural and ornamental design, as well as machining projects and marine applications. 

While this metal alloy knows how to get the job done well, that does not mean you should just use it and forget about it. There are a few things you should know about preserving bronze plates to get the best use of them in their most beautiful state for years and years to come. 

A Little About Bronze Plates

It is always a good idea to get to know your metal before you begin working with it. In this case, you should get yourself familiar with bronze. 

Bronze is an alloy that can have a varied composition. However, its composition will always be primarily made up of copper (roughly 88%) and tin with a mixture of other elements. And it has some pretty incredible characteristics, including that it is: 

  • Highly ductile

  • A conductor of electricity and heat

  • Highly resistant to corrosion - even in saltwater

  • Unable to create sparks

  • Very durable

  • A metal with a moderate melting point - and it expands as it cools

It is worth noting that there are bronze plates and sintered bronze plates. Sintering uses powder metallurgy, meaning the bronze is ground down into a powder. It is then put into a mold and fused together to create the finished plate. As a result, sintered bronze is very porous and strong with a long lifespan. 

Bronze Plate Dangers

Bronze plates may come with some notable traits, but it is not invincible. If you want to preserve it, then you need to know what the danger is. 

Because of its high-copper composition, bronze plates, like copper, may turn green as time goes by. The reason for this is that when the metal is exposed to air, it forms a protective layer known as patina. 

Patina may take away from the nice bronze color, but it is also doing its job to protect the metal from any further damage from the air it has been exposed to. 

Unfortunately, patina does not appear or help in applications involving ocean water. It is the chlorides that can penetrate the metal and cause it to corrode. Though, this doesn’t always happen nor does it happen quickly, especially if the bronze plate is preserved. 

Preserving Bronze Plates

The best way to preserve bronze plates is to make sure that a protective coating has been applied to keep elements from accessing the metal itself. Of course, choosing the right type of bronze plates for your application will help, too. For instance, opting for diamond-cut naval brass which has high corrosion resistance to seawater is a great option. 

If you find that your bronze has begun to develop a patina, you can find many different cleaning methods online that will help you to remove the green layer and return it to its normal shine. Just be sure to re-seal the metal with a good protective coating in order to preserve it from future issues. 

Atlas Bronze for Your Bronze Metal Needs

In need of bronze plates? Or sintered bronze plates? 

If you are looking for bronze - or any other metal - to meet the metal needs of your next project, Atlas Bronze has just what you are looking for. Our team of highly-skilled experts is available to help you with your purchase and answer any questions you may have. 

Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

How To Tell If A Bronze Bearing Is Worn


Many different metals are used to make modern machine equipment, but one of the most popular options for the modern world is bronze. Bronze is affordable and easier to find and work with compared to many metals, while also providing great resilience for heavy loads, high temperatures, and long term corrosion. As a result, many metalworking manufacturers and machines use bronze as a base alloy for bearings.

Nothing will last forever, and overtime  bronze bearings will wear out. Do you find your bronze bearings wear out more quickly than expected? Unsure when it’s time to replace your bronze bearings, or don’t know why you should? Is your bronze bearing worn? Here are the key things you should know when it comes to maintaining and replacing worn out bronze bearings.

Why it is vital to maintain bronze bearings

Bearings serve an essential role in machine and metalworking design. It is a component that restricts the movement of moving parts, ensuring that they don’t get dislodged during use. Furthermore, they also reduce friction between parts, increasing the longevity of machines and protecting sensitive or key components, even at extremely high temperatures or speeds.

There are many different types of bearings, including many different types of bronze bearings, but they all serve similar purposes of machine support. The end result is usually the same when a bearing is missing or fails to perform its purpose. Moving parts can get dislodged from mechanical systems, and the increased fiction will wear down components more quickly. Failing to maintain and replace bronze bearings will lead to greater machine failure with time.

As a result, maintaining bearings is important to get the most use and value of essential machine equipment.


What causes bronze bearings to get worn out and prevention

Ordinary wear and tear is often the main reason why bronze bearings get worn out. Bearings are designed specifically to reduce the pressure, strain, and friction that other essential machine components experience during operation. As a result, components like bronze bearings are often what gets worn out the fastest on machines, and depending on how often you operate key machinery is a part you will have to regularly switch out.

A few tips to prevent accelerated wear and tear on your bronze bearings include:

  • Pick the right bronze alloy. There are many bronze alloy bearings to choose from. Different alloys have different characteristics that make them better suited for certain types of machines and environments. Make sure you carefully match the right alloy for your intended machine use.
  • Choose the right bearing size. Picking a bearing that is too big for intended use will cause additional friction and even machine jamming. Picking a bearing that is too small quickly accelerates the wear and tear on the bearing, or even causes machine failure. Carefully get your bearings sized properly before installing them in machines.
  • Regularly lubricate bronze alloys. Many bronze alloy bearings require lubrication to maintain proper machine performance. Failure to lubricate will accelerate how fast your bronze bearing gets worn out, and can also lead to improper machine performance. Be careful to avoid over lubrication, which can cause accelerated corrosion and jamming.

Signs of worn out bronze bearings

There are several different signs to look out for that may indicate it is time to replace your worn out bronze bearing. The top symptoms and indicators include:

  • Squealing, squeaking, or unusually sounding equipment during use
  • Smoking, burning, or otherwise hot metal during machine operation
  • Needing to constantly correct misalignment, especially after a short period of use
  • Unusual, uneven, or accelerated wear and tear on metal surfaces
  • Shafts, bearings, and bushings that feel unusual when you touch them
  • Metal components that no longer hold grease, lubrication, or liquid as well as the past
  • Machines that do not perform at their usual level or fail to perform at all

If you experience any of the above issues, it is highly recommended that you check out the bronze bearings in the affected areas. Also, take the time to keep careful records of when parts were last installed, replaced, and serviced, especially for vital and expensive machinery. Doing so can help you monitor when it’s time to examine and replace bearings and other machine components as they near the end of their expected service life.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Which Bronze Alloy Is Commonly Used As A Bearing Alloy?


Bearings are essential for maintaining proper movement in rotating machinery. Whether it be a ball or roller bearing, or just a simple casing, bearings keep moving parts from going off track while also reducing the friction and wear and tear. Despite their often small size, maintaining and regularly replacing bearings as they get worn out is an effective way to preserve machinery.

Whilere bearings are made from many different metals, one of the most popular bearing alloy metals is bronze. Bronze alloys are highly affordable, while also having the key characteristics required to properly improve and maintain performance in machine bearing support. Unsure which bronze alloy is the best fit for your needs?

Here are some of the key traits and characteristics of the most popular bronze bearing alloys:

The most common bearing alloy: Leaded Bronze

Leaded bronze bearings are one of the most common bronze alloys used for machine bearings. Typically, a small amount of tin, zinc, or nickel is mixed in with the bronze and copper base. The result is that leaded bronze alloy bearings have greater strength, fatigue resistance, load capacity, and overall longevity compared to ordinary copper and bronze alloy bearings. 

Due to these properties, leaded bronze alloy bearings are very popular in many common household and ordinary business tools and machines. However, leaded bronze isn’t a good fit for very heavy loads, high temperature environments, or highly corrosive environments. For machines in more extreme environments, consider one of these other bronze alloy alternatives.

A great high pressure bearing alloy: Aluminum Bronze

Aluminum bronze is a very popular option for machines that need to maximize bearing strength under high pressure or in heavy load situations. As a result, aluminum bronze bearings are very popular for larvae machines, including expectation equipment, aircraft parts, ship propellers, and similar metal equipment.

Aluminum bronze is also a general upgrade over leaded bronze when it comes to general corrosion resistance and structural resistance at high temperatures. Due to the metal composition, aluminum bronze bearings can be very expensive, and their extreme rigidity can make them a poor fit for constantly moving or rotating parts. Instead, the next best option to consider would be manganese bronze.

Top bearing alloy for high speed movement: Manganese Bronze

Manganese bronze alloy bearings are some of the best bearings for supporting constantly moving machine components. As such, manganese bronze is a popular bearing alloy for gears, piston heads, cams, and key components in bikes, cars, and other transportation vehicles. Due to the great durability and long lasting nature of manganese, it is also seen as a great in-between metal bearing alloy when neither lead bronze nor aluminum bronze are a good fit.

The one major note when it comes to relying on manganese bronze bearings is that they require greasing and lubrication more than the average bronze alloy bearing. As a result, manganese bronze isn’t a good fit for machines where bearings are hard to reach and lubricate, or for high water environments. Instead, you’ll want to consider phosphor bronze alloys instead.

High corrosion resistance bearing alloy: Phosphor Bronze

Phosphor bronze bearings fall in and out of popularity due to the smaller supply of phosphor bronze alloy metal, but it is one of the best bronze alloy options for wet and corrosive chemical environments. A mixture of bronze, tin, copper, and phosphorus, the bronze alloy produces a bearing that is also resilient, with great wear and fatigue resistance.

In terms of application, phosphor bronze alloys are also a great option for highly electrical machine equipment. Due to the materials required to manufacture, just be aware that phosphor bronze bearings can greatly range in price and availability. Depending on the kind of bearing, they often take more time to manufacture and deliver compared to other bronze alloy bearings.

Need bronze bearings? Check out Atlas Bronze

Whether you need a lead, aluminum, manganese, phosphor, or some other kind of bronze alloy bearing, you can find what you need here at Atlas Bronze. Founded in 1994, we have since grown our company to become one of the lead distributors in bronze, copper, brass, iron, and other metalworking and manufacturing producers in the United States.

Need to get in touch with a metalworking expert to help you find the products you need? Contact us by phone or email today and reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about bronze alloy bearings, and help you find the best metalworking tools and parts you need at low, affordable prices you won’t find anywhere else.

For all things metalworking and manufacturing, make sure you partner with us here at Atlas Bronze.