There are three known major types of bronze, each with its own composition and intended use.
1. Statuary Bronze – This type of bronze is usually a composition of 97% copper, 2% tin, and 1% zinc. The finished material then treated with acidic chemicals in order to produce a dark brown color. This type of bronze is commonly used for statues and other bronze art figures and objects.
2. Architectural Bronze – usually made up of 57% copper, 40% zinc, and 3% lead, but can also incorporate other metals of varying percentages. Architectural bronze is known for its great tensile strength, and better resistance to corrosion which makes this type of bronze ideal for architectural needs. This type of bronze was already noted during the 18th century to be perfect for window casements and such.
3. Commercial Bronze – This is the widest used bronze type and can be used for almost all industry needs. It is commonly composed of 90% copper and varying levels of zinc, and other metals. Commercial bronze is usually hard-water resistant, and is noted to also have great tensile strength.
Knowing the right type of bronze for your needs will allow you to use the bronze type that will create the best quality of work for your industry. Using the wrong type of bronze may only cost you more money, or sub-standard results.