bronze tube

Facts about Bronze Tube, Sheet, Plate, and Bar Products You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

There are 95 known metals in the Periodic Table of Elements, of which only a handful are utilized for basic practical applications. Copper is among the most extensively used ones, thanks to its many prized properties, including its incredible malleability, ductility, corrosion resistance, and electrical conductivity. It’s no wonder copper is present in most major and minor structural and industrial uses.

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Another thing about copper that enthralls manufacturers and metallurgists around the world is its ability to easily combine with other metals to form even more useful materials. The most famous of its many alloys is bronze, which is produced by combining copper with tin. Bronze is one of the first metals known to man and was used so far and wide after its discovery that it became the symbol of an entire era. Here are some trivia about bronze that might fascinate you, too.

  • The Egyptians were the first to discover and use bronze, and that marked the beginning of the Bronze Age. This era was only named after bronze because it was the only alloy at that time that exceeded the qualities of other existing metals. By the time iron was discovered, bronze had eventually lost its place.
  • Bronze is stronger than both its main constituents—copper and tin. It is also much more durable than copper, especially when exposed to moisture and other corrosive substances. Iron exceeds bronze in terms of hardness but it is far more susceptible to corrosion, which is also why it is less expensive than bronze.
  • Most electrical and electronic appliances in your house or workplace contain a little bit of bronze. More specifically, most pump parts, bearings, bells, electrical components, gears, and valves are made of bronze.
  • Bronze is cast and worked in a milling machine or lathe, and rarely hammered, probably because it isn’t as malleable as copper or perhaps because it is easy to work using other less effortful methods.

Bronze Alloys

Metallurgists have found that adding a minute amount of other metals into the original copper-tin mixture can make the alloy even stronger and useful for a broader range of applications. Today, you can easily identify the different types of bronze produced so far because they were named after the additional element they have, and is probably the reason for bronze metal price variations as well. Here are some of them:

  • Aluminum Bronze

    – Apparently, this is a type of bronze that contains a little bit of aluminum, about 5% of the metal’s overall weight. The inclusion of aluminum increases bronze’s strength and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for applications that involve constant exposure to moisture and other corrosive agents, such as water supply, structural retrofitting, and petrochemical transportation.

  • Leaded Bronze

    – Lead is known in metallurgy as the neutralizer. When added to an alloy, it helps increase that alloy’s machinability. It’s no wonder leaded bronze is the perfect material for items with intricate design and shape, such as wire and cable connectors, electrical plug type connectors, door knobs, screws and nuts, bushings for corrosion, rolling mill bearings, and many more.

  • Silicon Bronze

    – To produce a type of bronze that is easy to pour into cast and has appealing surface and superior corrosion resistant properties, silicon can be added. Even a miniscule amount of silicon can significantly change the physical properties of bronze. Silicon bronze is used for bearing cages, raceways, and spacers specifically made for the aerospace industry due to its self-lubricity.

  • Phosphor Bronze

    – Believe it or not, this type of bronze has hardly any phosphorous in it at all, just between 0.01% and 0.35%. The amount of tin was significantly adjusted, too, making the alloy almost completely made of copper. The effect of adding phosphorous, however, cannot be understated, as even this tiny amount can give the resulting alloy incredible strength, fine grain, durability, high fatigue resistance, and a low coefficient of friction, which is perfect for applications that involve exposure to corrosive substances.

Differentiating Bronze from Brass

Another prominent type of copper-based alloy that most people have heard of at least once is brass. It’s not as popular as bronze because during the time metallurgy was just taking off, it was nearly impossible to produce brass. That’s because zinc isn’t so abundant so it has to be created. Unfortunately, to create zinc, zinc oxide must be reduced significantly, which requires higher temperature than the main material used in the process can tolerate before it melts.

Then again, after the discovery of the technology necessary for artificially manufacturing zinc, mass production of brass finally became possible. And now that both bronze and brass share equal reverence, there’s a good chance of mistaking one for the other. Here are some of the common differences between bronze and brass that you should know in order to identify which one is the right material for your project.

Bronze has remained one of the most useful metals ever discovered. With new technology necessary to further explore its potential emerging, bronze will keep on surprising us with its new applications. Unfortunately, it takes first-rate manufacturing to produce high-quality bronze, which means if you want the bronze tube or bar you need for your project to be of high quality, you should purchase it from a trusted bronze material supplier like Rotax Metals.

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

facts about bronze

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.

Fascinating Facts about Bronze and Brass Extrusions and Other Types of Tubing

Types of Tubing

Tubes are among the most useful metal supplies on the market. They are used for a vast array of applications and benefit many different industries, including creative, construction, industrial, and manufacturing. In fact, in any manmade structure, you’ll see a tube or two installed to perform an integral role in the structure’s stability and functionality.

Tubes are not to be confused with pipes. Although they normally look the same, they are different types of material altogether. Generally, pipes are often used for conveying fluids and gases, whereas tubes are used for decorative and structural purposes. The ones inside your walls or underneath the sink are classified as pipes, while your curtain rods and stair railing are considered tubes. There are cases, though, when a tube also functions as a pipe and vice versa, but this is the general idea.

Applications of Tubes

As previously mentioned, tubes can be used for a range of applications. These may include precision tubes in vehicles, stands for tents, and frames for bed bases. Most machines and appliances have handles and other major components made of tube, too. The handles on your shovel and mop as well as the antenna on your old radio are all tubes. To give you a better idea of how vast tube applications are, here are some major uses of tubes that you rarely hear of but are actually very common.

  • Structural.

    You probably think of tubes as only suitable for small-scale applications, mostly for aesthetic purposes. In truth, tubes also have structural uses. Most of today’s buildings consist of tubular columns and beams. Builders prefer it to other materials because they are flexible and easy to install.

  • Mechanical.

    When you’re riding a bicycle and suddenly you need to stop and carry your bike down a stairway, did you notice how light it is? If the body of your bike is made of solid steel, you would have difficulty lifting it, let alone carry it down the stairs. Most bicycles have a body made of tubes, which explains why they are very light. The same goes for other types of vehicle.

  • Hydraulic.

    Any hydraulic system that handles large volumes of fluid at a quick rate to meet increasing levels of demand needs to have an accumulator to cope with extremes. This accumulator, together with a number of components of the hydraulic system itself, is made of tubes.

  • Extinguishing and Distribution.

    Many tubes are also used for making fire extinguishers, plumbing fixtures, and natural gas distribution systems. These tubes are usually made from the highest quality metals to ensure that they can tolerate extreme pressure and temperature.

Shapes and Materials

Tubes come in different shapes, sizes, and materials to serve different purposes. Those with circular cross-sections are the most common because they are suitable for virtually all kinds of applications. Some tubes have special shapes typically for decorative uses. Rectangular and triangular cross-sections are not preferred for structural applications because their shape may affect the distribution of load and pose a threat to the stability of the structure.

Most tubes with irregular cross-sections are used as standalone or as components of a decorative element. They can be manufactured through casting and rolling or through extrusion. Many manufacturers prefer the latter because it’s more efficient. Extrusion involves pressing a workpiece into a die with the desired cross-section, whereas in casting, the metal has to go through more than a few complex processes before the output is produced.

Two of the metals tube manufacturers commonly use are bronze and brass. Both alloys of copper, they exhibit qualities that are suitable for most applications of tubes. They are malleable as well as durable, and so they can last long and endure high pressures. If you need a brass or bronze tube to replace a missing fixture in your home, find one from a top metal supplier, such as Rotax Metals. Whether you need cast tubes or brass extrusions, they surely have it in their inventory.

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