Thursday, February 15, 2024

A Guide to Understanding Bronze Alloys and Their Applications

Bronze is a timeless metal alloy that has left its mark throughout history. It has been used in the creation of tools, machines, weapons, art, technology, and so much more. And it is still a huge part of our world today. 

The thing about bronze, however, is that it comes in many different compositions. While it is primarily copper and tin, other metals can be included in it, creating a new set of unique properties. 

Its ability to adapt in so many situations is perhaps why it is such a widely-sought metal yesterday and today. 

Here is a closer look at bronze alloys and where you can find them. 

Why Bronze? 

There are many reasons why bronze can be found in so many different applications from artwork to technology and so much more — such as marine, antimicrobial, and industrial applications. Bronze is often used as component parts like bearings and bushings, gears, gibs, nuts, piston rings, pins, and fasteners. 

It is its incredible properties that make it shine, including: 

  • Strength. Bronze does well under heavy and harsh conditions. This makes it a great option for applications that require durability. 

  • Hardness. Its high hardness level means it maintains a long lifespan without needing to be replaced due to wear and tear. 

  • Melting Point. Bronze has a high melting point making it perfect for high-heat situations. 

  • Ductility. With a high ductility, it can be manipulated to create any type of shape for any form of artistic expression, architecture, or any other application. 

  • Conductivity. Bronze has a high thermal conductivity. 

  • Corrosion-Resistance. This metal alloy is very resistant to corrosion, even when placed in salt water. It’s no surprise that it often finds its place in marine applications. 

Types of Bronze Alloys

While bronze is a metal alloy that has a composition of mostly copper and tin, various other elements are often added to the mix to create different properties. A few common bronze alloys are: 

  • Aluminum bronze

  • Manganese bronze

  • Silicon bronze

  • Phosphor bronze

  • Nickel silver

Let’s take a closer look at each.                                 

Aluminum Bronze

Copper, tin, and aluminum create the alloy aluminum bronze. It is even more strong and corrosion- and tarnish-resistant than regular bronze. It is often used in water due to its capabilities, especially in marine applications, water pumps, and the oil industry. It is also a great option for gears, bearings, propellers, valves, and the like. 

Manganese Bronze

By adding manganese to bronze, it is very resistant to corrosion which is why it is one of the most ideal options for saltwater applications like boat propellers. This alloy is shock-resistant and is less likely to break than it is to deform. Many heavy-duty applications make use of manganese bronze, such as gears, valves, fittings, shafts, brackets, and more. 

Silicon Bronze

Another type of bronze, silicon bronze has a composition of copper, zinc, and silicon. It is strong and corrosion-resistant while remaining aesthetically pleasing. What’s more is that it is self-lubricating, too. This alloy is often used for bushings, bearings, valves, and pumps in various applications.  

Phosphor Bronze

This bronze is a combination of copper, tin, and phosphorus. The addition of the latter boosts its hardness, making it less likely to succumb to wear and tear. It is a popular option for electrical applications, such as connectors, as well as springs, washers, and bellows.  

Nickel Silver

While its name doesn’t specify bronze, nickel silver is still a bronze. It is made up of copper, tin, and, of course, nickel. This gives it a silver color, hence its name. You can find nickel silver used in all types of applications, including zippers and keys, musical instruments, heating coils, and even silverware. It is also commonly used as valves, fittings, and rings in turbines. 

Need a Bronze Alloy For Your Application? 

Atlas Bronze offers many different bronze alloys to meet the needs of your application. If you aren’t sure what would be the best option or you have questions, contact us today. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff will help you find exactly what you need. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

What Oil Is Best For Bronze Bushings?


Choosing the right bushing for your application is so important. After all, everything you do going forward will rest on the fact that you chose the perfect part. This means making sure that your bushing is made of the most ideal metal and that it is just the right size, too. But did you know that selecting the right bushing is only half the battle? For your bronze bushing to continue to be effective in your application, it has to be properly cared for and maintained. And this means ensuring that they are properly lubricated.

The Importance of Lubricating Bronze Bushings

Bushings are components that are designed to reduce the friction between two surfaces — and bronze is one of the best metals to do this. Bronze bushings are strong and can maintain their shape even after heavy use. They even work well at high temperatures without deforming or breaking. This is why you will find them in all types of applications across many different industries. Lubricating them, however, is necessary for the bushings to continue to operate optimally. They are dependent on this to work effectively as the lubrication:
  • Prevents corrosion
  • Reduces friction
  • Improves overall function
  • Minimizes wear
Without it, you will find that your bushings are not functioning as intended. They will begin to wear down — and may even become damaged. This will reduce their performance and may even cause the application to fail, leaving you with a costly situation.

How to Lubricate Bronze Bushings

Many turn to oil to lubricate their bronze bushings while many others insist on using grease. Both are effective options for keeping the bushing lubricated. It is up to you to choose the best option for your application based on the load, speed, and temperature. For many everyday uses, any light machine oil should work. However, for heavy-duty applications, sometimes grease is the best option. To effectively lubricate your bronze bushing, you will want to apply it evenly to the surface, ensuring that all areas are covered.

When Should You Lubricate Bronze Bushings?

Regular inspection of your bushings is important for maintaining them. Any signs of wear should be addressed before it leads to a bigger issue. The frequency at which you should lubricate your bronze bushing will depend on the application. Those who see heavier use will require attention more frequently — and this is why routine inspections are so important.

Oil-Impregnated Bronze Bushings

Self-lubricating bronze bushings may be a better solution for those who are not interested in this part of maintenance. Known as oil-impregnated bushings, the oil is infused into the metal. Then, as it works, the oil comes through the pores and coats the surface for optimal function. No further lubrication is necessary. Many find these to be an ideal solution.

Find Bronze Bushings at Atlas Bronze

If bronze bushings are a good fit for your application, then knowing where to find them is key. At Atlas Bronze, we offer a long list of bushings that can provide you with the perfect fit. To learn more about them or if you aren’t sure about what you need, our team of experts is here for you. Contact us today at (800) 478-0887.