Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Flexible Applications and Functions of Bronze

Bronze is an alloy mostly comprised of copper. Throughout history, several cultures worldwide had used this highly adaptable and versatile material in sculptures, cannons, mirrors, musical instruments, and others. With technology, it has become sturdier yet still pliable for a much wider range of applications.

Unlike iron, bronze is less brittle than iron and oxidizes only on the outside layer, making it resistant to corrosion. It is generally about 10 percent heavier than steel, though may be less dense when mixed with aluminum or silicon. Since it’s softer and more malleable than steel, it’s very useful in making components like springs for industrial applications.

Furthermore, it holds well against seawater weathering and metal fatigue, making it a great ship-making material. Bronze also conducts heat and electricity better than most types of steel. The cost of copper-based bronze is generally higher but significantly less than nickel-based alloys like stainless steel.

With its versatile properties, bronze is often applied in equipment components that need high electrical conductivity, low friction, and high-pressure endurance. Bronze alloys like brass are also used to make musical instruments such as tubular bells, cymbals, and piano and guitar strings. Those with machines that need low-friction bearings, cylinders, and pumps can count on bronze materials like bars to be flame-resistant.

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