Thursday, March 8, 2018

Round Vs. Square Brass Tube, Why Use the Different Shapes

There is no denying the versatility and strength of brass tube. The debate on these tubes isn’t whether they should be used; it is which shape is better suited for the job. Tubes made of brass come in all shapes and sizes. Common shapes range from the typical round and square, while other suppliers can make custom-made shapes upon a client’s request. All of this is because brass tubes have a lot of applications both in practicality and design.

When it comes to the round and square tubes, many still debate on which one is better. Here is a quick comparison of both shapes:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How to Differentiate Copper from Brass Sheet Metal

Copper and brass sheet metal are used for a number of different applications. The sheets can be used as a part of architectural detail or sometimes for added aesthetic flare. The tricky thing about copper and brass is that sometimes they can look too similar. This can be problematic when someone is looking for specific properties of either copper or brass.

Using the wrong type of sheet metal can have disastrous effects, especially when the sheets are required to hold any form of structural integrity. Before using any sheet metals for your next projects, try these tricks to differentiate brass from copper:

Friday, March 2, 2018

Property Check: Bronze and Brass Channel, Bar, and Other Supply Types

More than three-quarters of the periodic table of elements are metal. Unless you’re a chemistry professor, however, surely not all of them will sound familiar. Some are more popular than others because they are utilized for many different practical applications thanks to their unique properties. There are even those that can easily be combined with other elements and produce even more durable materials.

One good example is copper. It can be combined with almost all kinds of metal and produce outstanding alloys. The most popular copper alloys are bronze (copper-tin) and brass (copper-zinc). These metals are even more widely used than over half the family of metals. Here are some facts about bronze and brass that you need to know before you start considering them for your projects.   


Density is the degree of compactness of a material. This property usually represents a bunch of other properties, such as malleability and strength. Brass has a density of 8.3 to 8.7 g/cm3, while bronze’s density starts at 7.5 g/cm3. This means in most cases, brass is more malleable and stronger than bronze. There are several factors that affect metal’s density, including content and alloying process. Although zinc is less dense than tin, it binds well with copper, making the resulting alloy (brass) more compact.

Melting Point

It would take 927 degrees Celsius of heat to melt brass, a little higher than bronze’s melting point of 913 degrees Celsius. It is important for metalworkers or suppliers to give out this information to the consumers as it helps in creating safety nets for their projects. This heat tolerance, however, is already higher than that of most metals, which is why bronze and brass are preferred for a lot of applications that involve heat.

Moh’s Hardness

Metal’s hardness is measured by its scratch resistance. Basically, a metal that is able to scratch another metal is the harder one. This easy yet effective qualitative ordinal scale was invented by German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, hence the name. Both brass and bronze have a Moh’s hardness of 3, exceeding those of their base metals, copper, zinc, and tin. Of course, there are other minerals that are much harder than them, but this hardness rate can already do a lot in many applications. 


Both bronze and brass are malleable metals. They can easily deform with pressure. To better understand their malleability, try to look into their crystal structure. Copper in its pure form is very malleable because there isn’t another element that prevents the atomic planes of its crystal structure from slipping. Adding atoms of zinc or tin will inhibit slippage, thus making copper stronger and harder, except it’s no longer just copper, but a new material called bronze or brass.

Learning all of these properties will help you choose the right metal for your project. It takes guidance from a true metal expert from reputable suppliers like Rotax Metals to find the best copper alloys. Whether you need a brass channel to complete your furniture project or a bronze wire for your circuitry work, you should not hesitate to consult with an expert supplier.

About Rotax Metals: Rotax Metals has been providing high-grade copper, brass, and bronze supplies to designers, builders, artisans, and even other metal suppliers in North America. We’ve been around since 1947. Our commitment to excellence has put us right over the top of the list of metal suppliers the consumers trust. Get in touch with us today and let us find the best solutions for your projects.


Material Density Data,
The Mohs Scale of Hardness for Metals: Why It Is Important,

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Malleability, the Property that Makes Bronze Sheet Metal Manufacturing a Breeze

Every metal has a certain degree of malleability, the ability to deform under compressive stress without breaking. This property is critical because it allows metals to be utilized for various applications, including surface protection, ornament, architectural design, and machine parts.

Some metals are more malleable than others. In fact, there are metals whose malleability is too negligible to be utilized. Among the many malleable metals out there, copper is arguably the most extensively used. This is because it can be easily alloyed with other metals to form even stronger and more durable materials.

Even after alloying, copper retains its malleability, making the new material pliable as well. Bronze is an example of alloy that inherits the malleability of copper. Although not as malleable as other prominent metals, such as gold, silver, and aluminium, bronze sure is very easy to work with, especially to be flattened into usable sheets of varying thicknesses.

Understanding the Malleability of Bronze

Bronze is not really the best example to use when explaining malleability, but it does go flat when hammered, pressed, or rolled. It can only tolerate so much pressure before finally breaking. In fact, regular bronzes have the tendency to become brittle when applied with an abrupt force.

Bronze’s malleability depends on the amount of copper and tin and the crystal structure of their molecules. Most bronzes have a little over 80 percent copper and 12 percent tin. The rest consists of additional elements in miniscule amounts, such as aluminium, manganese, nickel or zinc, which also affect bronze’s malleability.

If you look at bronze’s molecular structure through an electron microscope, you’ll notice that those bronzes that have almost symmetrical arrangement of copper and tin molecules are most tolerant to pressure. They neither deform nor break easily even if bronze is naturally brittle.

Plus, a good crystal structure also contributes to bronze’s ability to resist vibrations. The tin atom placed in a strategic spot within a uniformly arranged cluster of copper atoms in the composition prevents the atomic plain from slipping freely, keeping it in place regardless of the kind of force applied to it. 

Quality Bronze from an Experienced Supplier

Of course, the perfect mix of copper and tin in bronze does not occur by chance. It is with the expert skill of metalworkers that a seamless crystal structure can be achieved. Unfortunately, not all suppliers have this kind of skill. It takes decades of experience in metallurgy to create bronzes of the most desirable compositions.

Metal suppliers, such as Rotax Metals, that have been providing the highest quality bronze sheet metal products to builders and suppliers for decades are the best place to turn to for materials for your projects. Not only do these suppliers have a huge arsenal of products that you can choose from, but they also have a wide network that they can rely on when you can’t find what you need from them.

About Rotax Metals: Rotax Metals is you one-stop shop for the most desirable metal supplies on the market. We provide high-quality copper, brass, and bronze supplies that could work for any kind of project. Whether you are looking for the perfect decorative element for your fa├žade or a durable backsplash material, we can deliver.


What is Malleability in Metallurgy?,
Malleability in Chemistry Explained With Appropriate Examples,

Monday, February 26, 2018

Properties that Make Bronze Bars and Sheets Sought-After Materials

When man learned that metals can be mixed together to form stronger and more durable materials, they began searching for the perfect combination, and never stopped for the next 7000 years. The first metals they tried to combine were copper and tin. The resulting metal—bronze—turned out to be so popular an entire era was named after it. Until now, metallurgists are still experimenting on copper-tin alloy to produce strong and durable bronzes. Here are some other facts about bronze that might interest you.

It Contains Other Metals Apart from Copper and Tin

In the past, almost all bronzes contain only copper and tin. When metalworkers realized adding other metals can improve its properties, the original copper-tin mix became obsolete. In fact, you can hardly find bronze materials these days that do not have extra elements in them, such as aluminum, manganese, nickel or zinc. Sometimes, non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon are also added.

You may wonder why it’s still called bronze despite the presence of other elements. Well, that’s because only a miniscule amount of those elements are added. Most bronzes still contain about 86 percent copper and 12 percent tin. The remaining 2 percent consists of the additional elements. The properties and quality of bronze depend greatly on its tin content.

It Has Amazing Properties

There’s more to bronze than its rustic beauty. It has a set of properties that are useful for myriads of applications. Bronze is both ductile and malleable. This means it can be hammer into thin sheets or drawn into wires. It also exhibits low friction against other metals, which is why it is ideal for making machine bearings. When solidifying from a liquid state, bronze expands a small amount, a property that is considered desirable in sculpture casting, particularly in filling a mold.

Aside from being low-friction, bronze also does not generate sparks when stroke against a hard surface. Such property is particularly useful for applications that involve the use of flammable substances. Special types of bronze are also resistant to saltwater corrosion. These bronzes are used for making propellers and other ship parts that are constantly exposed to seawater.

Good Oxidation

Oxidation is the most formidable enemy of most metals, especially the ferrous ones. When exposed to moisture, the molecules of these metals combine with oxygen to form another substance. In most cases, these substance is rust. Bronze, however, reacts differently. Instead of forming rust, it develops a greenish layer of material called patina. This layer serves as a protection to the metal, allowing it to last for thousands of years.

Apart from giving protection, patina is also responsible for giving bronze its distinctive antique appearance. A lot of people would pay high price for a beautifully patinated bronze item. In fact, there are actual methods that speed up patination to achieve the most desirable look of bronze.

When looking for bronze items, it is best to go to a trusted supplier like Rotax Metals. Don’t settle for anything less than high-quality bronze bars and sheets for your project. You should also be careful when choosing a type of bronze to ensure that it suits your project’s specifications.

About Rotax Metals: When it comes to metals, no other supplier can meet your specifications than Rotax Metals. We are a one-stop shop for high-grade copper, brass, and bronze supplies in North America. Whether you are an artisan, an architect, or a metal supplier yourself, we are your best source of materials. Let us help you make your project successful. Get in touch with us today and we will be more than glad to assist you.


Few Interesting Facts Of Bronze,
What Is Bronze? Definition, Composition and Properties,