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bronze bars

Amazing Facts about Bronze Metal for Sale Most People Didn’t Know

 

 

Bronze is a very popular metal but most people would admit to knowing very little about it. All we know is that for a long time this metal has been used for making coins and sculptures. Those who have deeper understanding of history know that bronze was used for making armors and weapons, too. True enough, there’s more to bronze than what most of us have learned so far. Here’s to convince you that bronze metal for sale isn’t just your ordinary metal.

 

 

Properties That Set Bronze Apart from Other Metals

You may be wondering why, of all the metals out there, bronze, which isn’t really the most attractive, has gained that much attention. Well, there are a number of reasons. First, it has been around for over 5000 thousands years and extensively used for a vast range of applications. In fact, due to the immensity of bronze production and trade during the first few hundred years since its discovery, an entire era in history was named after it.

But that doesn’t really answer the question. The real secret to bronze’s prominence as a material lies within its molecular structure. An alloy of copper and tin, bronze possesses an amazing selection of properties, which are responsible for its many uses. Here are some of those distinct properties:

  • Ductility. Various grades of bronze bars can be produced by combining different amounts of copper and tin, and by adding a minute amount of other metals. Each grades comes with slight difference in properties. But one thing stays common among all types of bronze—they are all ductile. Meaning, they can be drawn into small wires without breaking.
  • Low Friction. Most metals heat up fast or even produce sparks when slid or rubbed against another metal. Bronze, however, does not. It exhibits low friction, which makes it the perfect material for machine parts.
  • Passive Oxidation. When exposed to oxygen or air, most metals, especially those that contain iron, start to corrode. Copper-based metals like bronze, however, react differently. They form a layer of copper oxide called patina. Later this layer becomes carbonate and serves as a protection against wear, and it looks stunning, too.
  • Machinability. Metals are dense and hard to wield. Even with proper manipulation, most metals wouldn’t be easy to machine. Bronze, on the other hand, has a unique ability to be shaped into sprockets, gears, and other detailed pieces.

Common Items that Are Made of Bronze 

Even though you don’t see a lot of bronze around you, this metal is actually more common that you think. They are everywhere, and you just don’t notice them because you have no idea they are bronze. So here are some examples of common items made of bronze that you probably encounter every day.

  • Church Bells. You hear them ringing every Sunday or when a wedding is taking place but did you know that church bells are actually made of bronze? It’s not an accident that this metal is used for making such humongous items. It’s just that bronze has the acoustic property necessary for such application. Its tin content prevents deformation in the molecules of bronze when hit with an object, and instead cause them to vibrate, producing a beautiful ringing sound as a result.
  • Springs. These are devices that are capable of storing mechanical energy. We have them within our mattresses, garage doors, and security doors. Our vehicles have springs within them, too. Some applications require springs that are made of bronze, particularly phosphor bronze. These include construction of marine fuel pumps, oil rigs, oil pipeline valves, and automotive shock absorbers and stabilizers.
  • Marine Architecture. It is only recently that certain types of bronze are resistant not just to water corrosion but also to saltwater corrosion. It is known for a fact that saltwater is about ten times more corrosive than freshwater. Modern-date watercrafts now have copper alloys incorporated in their designs to take advantage of this distinct property.
  • Strings of Musical Instruments. That’s right, the strings on your guitar are made of bronze, thanks to the same property that makes it well-suited for bells, and to its ductility, too. Not very many metals can be drawn into thin strings like that apart from bronze. It can maintain its density and strength even as you twist the turning pegs.
  • Plumbing and Carpentry Tools. When doing little repair work around the house, you need tools like hammer, mallet, and wrench. Be careful when using these tools near flammable gases and vapors. Especially if they are made from steel, they can create sparks that could ignite the gas and cause explosion. Thankfully, with bronze tools, you can avoid such as incident, because bronze doesn’t produce sparks, as discussed earlier.

Because bronze seems so elusive, you may think that bronze channels and bars are hard to find. In truth, they are quite abundant and can be bought from your nearby metal supply store. However, if you want high-quality bronze supplies, look for any of the country’s leading copper suppliers, such as Rotax Metals. They surely provide the best copper-based materials on the market.

Sources:

 

https://www.fictiv.com/hwg/design/types-of-springs-and-their-applications-an-overview
https://sciencing.com/characteristics-bronze-metals-8162597.html
https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/machinery-tools-supplies/how-are-springs-made

Patina: Bringing Out the Best in Bronze Bars and Tubes

Patina

Metals are the most abundant material on the planet. The Earth’s core, itself, is a gigantic ball of iron. You can find them in almost every building, vehicle, or machine, as well as most of the everyday items you use. They comprise 77 percent of the Periodic Table of Elements—and these are just the pure metals. The alloys produced by combining two or more of them are not yet included. Simply put, metals play a critical role in how the world runs, and yet a lot of people know very little about them.

There’s more to the metals that make up your doorknob and window frame than you probably know. If you take a closer look at them, you’ll find some fascinating facts that can make you understand how vital metals are to human life. One of the most interesting things about metals is their susceptibility to corrosion, a process that results from electrochemical reactions between materials and substances in their environment.

 

Understanding Corrosion

When a metal is placed in an unstable environment, its chemical composition changes, particularly when it makes contact with a reactant, a substance it reacts to. Different metals react to different substances and how they react varies according to their classification. Ferrous metals, for example, slowly transform into rust when exposed to oxygen.

Non-ferrous metals or those metals that do not contain iron, on the other hand, react by forming a protective outer layer called patina. The best example of a metal that undergoes this type of corrosion is copper and all its alloys. When exposed to oxygen, copper’s surface turns green over time.

Have you ever wondered why the Statue of Liberty has a green color despite lack of coating? That’s mainly because its cladding is made entirely of copper. After over 140 years of exposure to the elements, its copper covering has long reached the final stage of its transformation, which is colored green.

 

When You Don’t Always Want Green

While the green color of corroded copper looks appealing to some, it does not to others. If anything, they think the color doesn’t fit to certain decorative applications and they prefer dark brown, black, or anything in between. In that case, they prefer an alloy of copper where copper’s properties are not that prominent, so they choose bronze.

Bronze has been used for making statues, ornaments, and all kinds of accessories for thousands of years. Hundreds of bronze sculptures have been unearthed and displaced in many museums all over the world. It’s their thick layer of patina that preserved them for so long, some of them are still intact and need little polishing to look their best again.

Unfortunately, it might cost you a fortune to have any of these artifacts displayed in your own house. The good news is that these are not the only bronze sculptures available out there. There are bronze sculptures that, despite being created more recently, have almost the same distinct color and shade as those of the ancient artifacts. You may wonder how those who made them were able to achieve that. Well, the secret is to speed up corrosion.

 

How to Speed Up Bronze’s Corrosion

It’s actually no secret that bronze’s beautiful patina can be expedited. In fact, the technique called “intentional patination” became so popular that it has created a whole new industry. It involves exposing bronze to a variety of chemicals until the desired color and shade are achieved. The process is quite simple; anyone can try it at home if they don’t want to spend a lot on purchasing an already patinated bronze furniture or sculpture.

All you have to do is prepare your bronze sculpture by cleaning its surface and making sure it is free from any foreign elements that might get in the reactant’s way. Ferric nitrate is the safest and most cost-efficient choice for a reactant. However, direct application on bronze can cause rapid reaction, which is why it is advisable to apply an undercoat of bismuth nitrate.

The corrosion is usually aided by change in temperature, and so it is important to heat the bronze while applying the ferric nitrate. After covering the entire surface, start applying cupric nitrate to add complexity. Let the coating sit overnight and then wax the surface for finishing. The wax serves as a shield to preserve the color of the patina you’ve forced to come out.

 

Copper Supplies from the Right Supplier

If you are planning on a project that involves the use of copper alloys, particularly bronze bars, make sure you will get your materials from a trusted supplier, such as Rotax Metals. This is the only way to ensure that you will be able to achieve the right patina for your bronze. Whether it’s a simple bronze or a special one like Muntz metal, it helps you get it from the right source.

 

Sources:

The Artificial Patination of Bronze Sculpture, vam.ac.uk
What Is Patina?, thebalance.com
Patina Formulas for Brass, Bronze and Copper, sciencecompany.com

Bronze Bars and Brass Channels: The Evolution of Copper

evolution of copper

Copper is a major driver of trade, so much so that it has long been used to determine or predict the status of global economy. With telecommunication, transportation, and construction taking a new height, demand for copper is expected to go up as well. One apparent reason for this is that there’s no other metal that can substitute copper or any of its alloys. So it’s safe to say that the metal will not be obsolete anytime soon.

The term copper, when used for economic purposes, represents all products that has copper as the base material. In truth, there are quite many copper alloys that have established themselves well to a point of creating whole new industries. Each of these alloys come in a variety of types of their own and with a set of unique properties that are useful for so many applications. Copper in its pure form, however, has its own valuable properties and benefited industries to boot.

 

Copper

Archaeological finds have long proven that copper is the first metal discovered and utilized by man. Its first practical application dates back 10,000 years. After several millennia of experiment, ancient metallurgists found out about the many unique properties of copper and put them to good use. Some of these properties are malleability and ductility, which makes copper the staple material for weapon, jewelry, and cookware making.

Today, copper is utilized for many of its other properties. Electrical wires and most electronic components are made of copper thanks to the metal’s high electrical and thermal conductivity. It also exhibits antimicrobial properties, and so many water filtration and conveyance systems are made of copper as well.

 

Brass

When copper is combined with zinc, a gold-like metal called brass is produced. It’s resemblance with gold is so striking you can easily mistake it for the latter in any given situation. Those who are into gold-based interior design or architecture can save a significant amount of money by using brass instead of the real thing. Nonetheless, the color as well as the properties may change by increasing or reducing the amount of zinc in the alloy.

Perhaps the most popular application of brass is the manufacture of musical instruments. In fact, an entire family of musical instruments is named after it. Compared to other metals, it produces the best sound. Apart from having an amazing acoustic property, brass is also prized for its machinability, making it a good material for various types of machine parts.

 

Bronze

One of the most widely held metals in history, bronze is actually just an alloy of copper. It is produced by combining copper and tin. Like brass, this combination also results in a material that has a good acoustic property, although bronze is often used for making bells instead of other musical instruments. Other elements, such as arsenic, phosphorus, aluminum, and silicon, are sometimes added to produce other versions of bronze to be utilized for special applications.

Bronze plays a crucial role in the design and construction of heavy machinery. Because it exhibits low friction and does not spark when struck against other metals, it is suitable for making gear and bearing. Of course, sculptures all around the world relish bronze’s amazing ability to expand while solidifying from a liquid state. This makes the metal easy to carve and press.

Now that you have basic knowledge of copper and two of its best alloys, it will be much easier for you to shop around for the materials you need for your project. Whether you need bronze bars and brass channel suppliers, you can get the highest quality from a reputable supplier like Rotax Metals. They specialize in copper supplies.

 

Sources:

Copper: Preliminary Data for July 2017, ICSG.org
Learn About the Common Uses of Copper, TheBalance.com

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