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Bronze


Bronze is an alloy of copper contains elements of silicon and manganese etc. which may or may not have zinc. In other words bronze is an alloy consisting of copper with tin as main additive. Bronze is a combination of 88% copper (Cu) and 12% tin (Sn). Bronze was made up of copper and arsenic to form arsenic bronze. Tin bronze was superior to arsenic bronze in the form of the alloy that was stronger and easy to cast.

Types of Bronze:

There are various types of bronze and these are as follows:

  • Architectural Bronze: Architectural bronze consists 57% copper (Cu), 3% lead (Pb) and 40% zinc (Zn).
  • Statuary Bronze: Statuary bronze consists 97% copper (Cu), 2% tin (Sn) and 1% zinc (Zn).
  • Commercial Bronze: Commercial bronze consists 90% copper (Cu) and 10% zinc (Zn).
  • Aluminium Bronze: Aluminium is the main alloying metal which is added to copper. This type of bronzes is most commonly used in those applications where resistance to corrosion makes them preferable to other materials. These applications include landing gear components and plain bearings, engine components.

Properties

  • Bronze metals are generally strong as they are alloys.
  • These are malleable and durable.
  • Bronze metals are melts at 950 centigrade.
  • Metal fatigue of bronze is more than steel.
  • The resonance of bronze makes it ideal for use in casting bells.

Uses of Bronze

  • It is widely used for cast bronze sculpture. Some bronze alloys are unusual and have very desirable property for expanding slightly just before they set.
  • Phosphor bronze is used for precision-grade bearing clips, electrical connectors and springs and also used for guitar and piano strings.
  • It is the preferred metal for top-quality bells.
  • It is used for bronze wool for woodworking applications.
  • Architectural bronze is used for rails, door and window frames and furniture hardware.

Natural Problems

Corrosion: The existence of chlorine, sulfur and nitrogen oxides chemicals in the presence of moisture is the main cause of bronze deterioration.

Advantages of Bronze

  • Most of the copper alloys resist many corrosive environments by forming a protective surface film.
  • Many families of bronze alloys work well in elevated temperature environments.
  • Copper alloys are easy to machine compared to steel.
  • Copper alloys are well as compared to steel and used in various bearing and gear components.

Disadvantages of Bronze

  • More expansive as compared to steel.
  • It is a heavy metal.
  • It is susceptible to “Bronze Disease” which is one of the most serious hazards of bronze.
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