Brass and bronze are two of the most common metal alloys used for various everyday purposes. Wholesale suppliers of metal, such as Rotax Metals, often find a good demand for these two for musical instruments, statues, sculptures, and home fixtures.
Brass and bronze differ in property, composition, and application. Brass is composed of copper and zinc, with a color similar to gold. Bronze, on the other hand, is composed of mainly copper, with other materials like tin, phosphorus, manganese, and aluminum mixed in. It has a reddish-brown shade.
Brass is more prone to breaking and corrosion while bronze could withstand decomposition. Brass is found in many decorative items and practical things like doorknobs, zippers, and plumbing materials. Being rock-like and heat-conducting, bronze is a staple in electrical wiring, sculptures, and musical instruments such as bells and cymbals. Skilled artisans could also fashion weapons from pieces of bronze bars.
Focus on bronze and tarnish
Essentially, bronze is greater in strength than brass but it tends to tarnish over time. The numerous materials used in the metal alloy cause a chemical reaction, resulting in dullness and discoloration. Other causes of tarnish include exposure to dust and acid from a person’s skin.
A bronze sculpture exposed to chloride could also damage the metal as the chemical contaminates the tarnish. Interestingly, artists regard tarnish as something positive because it somehow contributes to bronze’s overall visual appeal.
Preventing and removing tarnish
The development of tarnish may happen internally or externally. Owners of bronze items should wrap these objects in plastic and store them in spaces with low humidity, to keep them away from corrosives such as dust, paint, and fabrics. Since acids in the skin could also cause tarnish, people should avoid holding bronze sculptures or fixtures often with their bare hands.
Cleaning tarnished objects gently may improve their appearance. Keep in mind, however, that the wrong manner of cleaning could separate the metals so make sure you clean the items properly. The cleaning material depends on the size of tarnish, but soft cloths and soft-bristled toothbrushes are recommended.
Finding the right metal supplier
Manufacturers are constantly in search of quality raw materials for creating bronze and brass products. Finding the best supplier could be difficult, considering the standards for metal—such as the absence of tarnish—with which makers have to comply. Fortunately, a trusted copper sheet supplier like Rotax Metals understands customers’ needs, and provides metals and alloys with unique specifications that no one else in the industry carries.
(Source: Brass vs. Bronze, Diffen.com)