Patented in 1832 by Englishman George F. Muntz, Muntz metal, also called yellow metal, was developed as a way to make copper more cost-efficiently. Though it was just as strong as copper, its manufacture was only 2/3 the cost of pure copper at the time of Muntz's invention. The metal is prized for its strength, ability to resist corrosion, and honey color. Here are some basic facts about this interesting alloy.
Muntz metal is primarily made of copper, but zinc is added to prevent corrosion
and make the metal stronger. The finished product is 60 percent copper, 40
percent zinc, and contains trace amounts of iron. It is made by adding
different metals to the mixture at different times. First, the copper is
melted, and then the zinc is infused. The molten metal is mixed and then poured
into ingot molds before being shaped into sheets or formed into its final
shape. It is then bathed in a mixture of water and sulfuric acid to be made
ready for use.
When first introduced to the market, Muntz metal was used frequently in the
hulls of ships and to wrap the bases of piers because of its corrosion
resistance. Today, Muntz metal is a manufacturing staple due to its corrosion
resistance and superior strength. Needless to say, Muntz metal is utilized to
make corrosion-resistant parts, bolts, signs, condenser plates, and
architectural details or accents.