Metalworkers have used bronze for millennia. From the time when civilizations first cast bronze tools around 3000 BCE through today when manufacturers produce high-performance components for vehicles, industrial equipment, and electrical systems, this alloy has offered many advantageous characteristics as compared to other metals..
By combining copper and tin with different materials like aluminum, silicon, and phosphorous, malleable bronze alloys imbue products with long-lasting strength, resistance capabilities, and thermal and electrical conductivity, all with a beautiful surface finish. Learn more about the properties of bronze, how diverse industries use it, and the bronze alloy types that are available.
By alloying copper and other metals, bronze takes on the beneficial properties of multiple materials. Some key characteristics that make bronze a popular material choice are:
- Improved tensile strength through alloying
- Resistance to wear, corrosion, and stress
- Ductility and malleability for easy forming and ability to hold shapes
- Thermal and electrical conductivity for heat transfer and electrical projects
- Pleasing aesthetic with attractive coloring, soft shine, and patina development over time
Bronze Applications in the Architectural Industry
Architectural professionals value bronze for its versatility, as its benefits address a structure’s function as well as its form.
Bronze is both strong and durable enough to use for structural components. This includes building cladding, facades, and domes or roofs. Builders can also restore historical buildings, utilizing bronze to create windows and doors that preserve authenticity, as well as erect plaques or monuments to honor designated locations and people.
Bronze has a warm color and naturally develops a beautiful and protective patina on its surface that resists corrosion. Architects and designers use it for ornamental fixtures and hardware, in addition to more artistic elements like statuary and sculptures.
Bronze Applications in the Industry
Industrial organizations incorporate bronze into their machinery and tools, among other applications.
Manufacturing Equipment Components
Parts within manufacturing equipment often have a bronze composition. Manufacturers use bronze to make couplings, bushings, bearings, gears and wear surfaces.
Tooling & Machining
When manufacturers produce tooling, they’ll utilize bronze for its strength, wear resistance, and formability. It has applications in cutting and shaping tools, dies, and molds.
Marine & Offshore Applications
Because of its corrosion resistance, manufacturers can use bronze to create durable ship parts like shafts and propellers.
Bronze Applications in the Agricultural Industry
The agricultural industry also relies on bronze to create heavy-duty equipment and system components.
Irrigation systems often include bronze fittings, valves, sprinkler parts, pump housings, and more. Bronze can withstand exposure to the elements, water, and pressure.
Farming Equipment Components
In addition to parts for irrigation systems, bronze components are frequently used in harvesting equipment because they offer dependable strength even in such rugged applications.
Bronze Applications in the Automotive Industry
Vehicle designs commonly feature bronze components for internal systems.
Engines rely on precise, heat-resistant metal components for reliable operation. Manufacturers use bronze to produce durable valve guides, bushing, and bearings.
Bronze is electrically conductive, making it a good option for connectors, relays, switches, and terminal components in vehicles.
Suspension & Steering
Bronze components in suspension and steering systems include control arms, tie rods, bushings, bearings, and more. Bronze can last for a long time in such applications without incurring wear.
Bronze is primarily composed of copper and tin, but it also includes amounts of aluminum, silicon, phosphorous, and other elements. The properties of a bronze product depend on the composition of the alloy, including the type and proportion of the alloying metals. Some common bronze alloys include:
- Aluminum bronze. This bronze alloy is particularly strong and resists corrosion.
- Silicon bronze. Manufacturers use silicon bronze for its optimal weldability.
- Phosphor bronze. This alloy is electrically conductive and has excellent physical spring characteristics.
Bronze From Sequoia Brass & Copper Inc.
At Sequoia Brass & Copper, we’ve specialized in high-quality nonferrous metals and alloys since 1983. We serve the metal fabrication industry, carrying solid and cored bar bronze shapes as well as bar, sheet, and plate forms of materials like copper and brass.
Our team can cut each of our bronze products to order to best fit your unique needs and close tolerance requirements, offering on-demand custom cutting services in-house. To begin your project, fill out our online form and request a quote today.