Monday, November 23, 2015
How Sheets of Bronze Are Made
What is Bronze?
Bronze and brass might sound similar, but they have two distinctly different compositions. Both bronze and brass contain a high amount of approximately 90% copper. Copper is a very soft metal though, so a metal alloy is made to strengthen it. When zinc is added to copper, brass is made. When tin is added to copper, bronze is made.
Benefits of Bronze
Bronze is much stronger than copper, and it is less brittle than other metals are. Because of its strength and easy conduction of heat, it doesn't distort as other metals do. For this reason, it has been frequently used for canons and weapons through out the ages. Many household items and architectural pieces are made from it because of its beautiful color. It is also resistant to salt water as well.
To make bronze, the copper and tin must be heated together in an oven at temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes, other metals might be added in during the melting process to strengthen the alloy, such as aluminum or phosphorous. Once the bronze is melted completely, it is poured in to square molds. After cooling completely, it is reheated and put through steel rollers which flatten it. This process is repeated several more times to decrease the thickness of the bronze and press it into malleable sheets. The repeated heating, cooling, and pressing of the metal strengthens it significantly. These bronze sheets are used industrially, architecturally, and also for artwork.