How to Distinguish Genuine Bronze from Faux?—Tips from Bronze Sheet Metal Suppliers

Whether you are casting a machine part or sculpting a statue, bronze is the perfect material to use. Its malleability and low-friction property makes it well-suited for these and many other applications. The problem is, bronze materials come in a range of qualities, and some are even faux. You have to be able to distinguish genuine bronze from faux if you want a superior output in your project. You have to know where to buy bronze sheet metal as well to ensure you’ll get the best quality. Here’s how you can test for bronze.

Strike with another Metal

One of the best ways to determine whether or not a bronze piece is genuine is by listening to the sound it creates when hit with a hard object. A genuine bronze usually creates a lovely ringing sound that lasts for a few seconds, while a fake one creates a dull, heavy sound that disappears fast. The thing that makes this possible is bonze’s tin content. Tin atoms that are well placed within the molecules of copper provide stability, allowing for the transfer and reverberation of sound instead of absorption.

Carry It

Bronze in its purest form is quite heavy. Of course, a lot of other metals are heavy but bronze is unique. It’s harder and denser than most commercially available metals. Those that are harder and denser than bronze are often found in science laboratories and bank vaults. In other words, you can easily identify a fake bronze when you see one by simply lifting it. Unfortunately, unlike other fake products that could get manufacturers into trouble with the law, faux bronze is well-accepted on the market. It’s a mix of resin and bronze powder that looks and feels just like bronze except weighs lighter. That is not the kind of material you would want in most of your projects.

Color and Patina

Bronze sheet metal for sale are available in a variety of shades primarily because of content variation. Bronzes with more tin usually have a lighter shade. Other metals, such as aluminum, manganese, and nickel, mixed with the original alloy also have an effect on the color of the finished product. These shades are hard to mimic. Also, bronze is usually quick to tarnish as a precursor to patination, the process of forming patina on the surface, which is unique in copper alloys. That’s hard to mimic as well. So if the metal you bought suspiciously stays shiny for many days or weeks, that’s probably fake.

Chisel It

Have you ever wondered why a lot of metal sculptures and monuments are made of bronze? That’s most likely because bronze has an unusual property of expanding a small amount when solidifying from a liquid into a solid. For sculpture casting, this is desirable, as it helps to fill a mold. It is also capable of maintaining its physical feature and won’t easily crack when chiseled. To know if it’s really bronze, try to chisel on a particular surface and see what happens.

These are only four of the methods for identifying genuine bronze. Of course, if you want to avoid all the trouble, simply go to reputable bronze sheet metal suppliers like Rotax Metals. With a reputation built on product quality and excellent customer service, they won’t risk offering you faux products.





Characteristics that Set Bronze Square Tube, Bar, or Sheet Apart from Other Products

Choosing a metal for your project is not as easy now as it was centuries ago. With a new alloy being discovered almost every year, you definitely have a lot more choices now. It can get quite confusing, especially if you have no idea how to identify the metal you need.

In case you are looking for bronze, you have to be able to set it apart from other metals so you won’t end up buying a metal that isn’t suitable for your project. Not only is it wasteful, but it’s also dangerous to use a metal that doesn’t have the necessary properties for its supposed application. To help you choose, here are some of the characteristics that set bronze square tube, bar, or sheet supplies apart from other metal products.

It Is Copper-Colored

While this is pretty obvious, considering that bronze’s base metal is copper, you still have to keep in mind that its color is almost similar to that of copper. The reason for this is that copper alloys vary in appearances. Some have lighter tone while others don’t have the physical characteristics of copper at all. So when you go looking for bronze, you can immediately narrow your choices by simply eliminating anything that doesn’t look brownish.

It Is Heavy

Have you ever tried lifting a bronze statue before? If you have, then you must have been caught off guard by its sheer weight. Although most metals are heavy, bronze is quite special, because you can distinguish it from faux bronze by its weight. There’s a certain material called “bonded bronze” that is particularly popular in sculpture. It’s a mix of resin and bronze powder and definitely makes a good sculpting material. The only problem is that it’s not pure bronze. You can tell because it’s three times lighter than genuine bronze.

Tougher than Copper but More Flexible than Brass

Sometimes, even when your choices are just copper, brass, and bronze, there’s a chance you can still be confused as to which one is bronze. In this case, you might want to check their toughness. Go pick a sheet or plate of each metal and try to bend them. You will notice that the most pliable one is copper and the toughest is brass. Bronze is neither too soft nor too hard, which is why it makes a perfect sculpting material.

A Ringing Sound

Like buying any other product, you need to be vigilant when it comes to the quality of your bronze. Avoiding fake bronze is one thing, but avoiding low-quality bronze is another. Bronze can be considered high-quality if it was properly cast, doesn’t have impurities, and has a perfect mixture of copper and tin. You can actually determine this by listening to the sound it makes when hit with another object. A genuine bronze should create a beautiful ringing sound, much like what you hear from a bronze bell.

To make sure that the material you are purchasing is bronze and is genuine bronze at that, it would be best to go to a trusted metal supplier, especially one that specializes in copper alloys, such as Rotax Metals. You can discuss with them the specifications of your project so that they can lead you to the right grade and quantity. Also, you don’t have to worry about quality because for sure all of their bronze tube stock and other products are from the best sources.



Interesting Facts about Bronze the Country’s Top Bronze Tubing Suppliers Want You to Know

Bronze is one of those metals that most people have heard of at least once. It’s very popular, much like gold and silver. Despite its popularity, bronze is quite elusive to most people, and that’s mainly because they don’t get to see objects made of bronze on a regular basis. In fact, bells of old churches and statues in museums are probably the only things that they can imagine when thinking of bronze. It turns out, there’s more to bronze than most people know. If you want to learn more about bronze—maybe you are thinking of using bronze tube, bar, or sheet for your own project—check out the interesting facts below.

It Isn’t Mined

All metallic elements are extracted from the earth through mining. Although bronze is undoubtedly metallic, it’s not an element. Rather, it’s a compound of two elements—copper and tin—which, unlike bronze, are mined. Those two elements are mixed together by smelting in a foundry to produce bronze. In other words, bronze is a manufactured metal. Sometimes, to improve the properties of bronze, a miniscule amount of other metals, such as aluminum, manganese, nickel or metalloids, such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon, is added.

It Is Not Magnetic

One of the biggest misconceptions about metals is that all of them can be attracted to magnets. Bronze is one of those that cannot. So if you want to check whether or not a certain piece of furniture is genuine bronze, you can simply try to stick a magnet on its surface. If the magnet sticks, then it’s probably made of iron or nickel coated with bronze-colored paint. Many scrap yards do the same when segregating all the metals they can recycle.

It Doesn’t Rust

As an alloy of two metals that don’t rust, it’s pretty obvious that bronze doesn’t rust as well. But this doesn’t mean it doesn’t react to oxygen, which is the primary catalyst of rust. It does react but in a much different way from how iron and ferrous metals react. Instead of forming rust, it forms a patina on its surface. This is a layer of material that grows thicker over time, further improving bronze’s protection against the elements.

It’s Hard to Melt

If there’s one weakness you would want to improve in metals, it’s their low resistance to heat, thanks to their high conductivity. But some metals like bronze don’t heat up fast. Bronze’s melting point is about 950 °Celsius (1,742 °Fahrenheit), which makes it a great material for applications that involve extremely high temperatures. It also has a property that allows it to slowly expand while cooling down, which is helpful for sculpting.

It Can Be Welded

Those who are new to metalworking and are looking for the right metal to use in their projects are reluctant to opt for bronze. They keep asking, “Can bronze be welded?” Well, it can’t be welded using standard brazing techniques. Special brazing, which involves the use of dedicated filler bronze rods, is needed to connect bronze surfaces. The process is similar, though—melting the surface a bit to allow it to weld with another surface as it cools down.

There are many other facts about bronze that you should know before opting to use it for any of your projects. Knowing a thing or two about the metal you are planning to use could help in finding the right grade and amount. Copper alloy experts and bronze tubing suppliers like Rotax Metals can help you find the perfect materials, and they have a large inventory that can supply you with as much metals as you need.



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