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.