Bronze has surprisingly almost limitless uses in modern industry. Metal craftsmen have used bronze to create both highly decorative and utilitarian objects for service from architectural structures to beautiful public artworks, and from electronics to various industrial applications.
Bronze with a composition primarily of copper, can be shaped or extruded into bronze bars, tubes, or sheet metals, and, and in turn, are smelted into a variety of objects, tools, component parts, and other applications. Bronze is one of the few metals in the world with characteristics that make the material ideal for applications in the arts, commerce and industry. Here are some of the reasons why bronze is the quintessential metal to work with.
Copper alloys like bronze are used in open environments where they can withstand exposure to various elements. This is because bronze is highly resistant to corrosion, unlike other metals such as steel. It doesn’t rust as much in extreme water conditions, or when exposed to organic chemicals. That is why you’ll still see that many ancient metal works made of bronze still standing today.
Low Melting Point
Compared to other sturdy metals, bronze has a lower melting point, which depends on how much tin or copper is present in the alloy mix. The melting point falls between 450 degrees Fahrenheit to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on which of the two metals is more dominant in the bronze. This unique characteristic allows metal workers to easily melt bronze and later mold them into any form.
Bronze is one of copper’s many alloys. In itself, copper is relatively malleable and soft but with the addition of a few essential elements, it takes the sturdier form of other metal alloys like bronze. Bronze, on the other hand, is capable of tensile strength of up to 85,000 pounds per square inch, for standard bronze. Still, despite its strength, bronze remains a pliable material. When subjected to a proportionate amount of force, it can still be bent, stretched, and manipulated to any desired shape.
One surprising characteristic of bronze is that it is antimicrobial. Centuries ago, Egyptians used copper containers to store and transport clean water for drinking. The Greek doctor Hippocrates and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder used copper to treat certain conditions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), copper alloys like bronze can kill 99.9 percent of some microbial organisms.
For these reasons, bronze is one of the most sought-after metal type in modern industries, used and desired by sculptors, furniture manufacturers, construction workers, architects, and many other metal workers, craftsmen, designers, and other professionals. Companies like Rotax Metals make quality bronze products like high-grade bronze sheet metal and bronze bars.
THE COPPER ADVANTAGE: A Guide to Working With Copper and Copper Alloys, Copper Development Association Inc.
The Characteristics of Bronze Metals, www.eHow.com
Bronze: Characteristics, Uses And Problems, U.S. General Services Administration