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Bronze - Cast Alloys Bronze - Wrought Alloys

Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive.  The word Bronze is borrowed from French:
bronze, itself borrowed from Italian: bronzo, whose origin is unclear.  There are many different bronze alloys but today's bronze is typically 88% copper and 12% tin.  Copper and Bronze Alloys have a huge variety of uses that reflect their versatile physical, mechanical, and chemical properties.  Some common examples are the high electrical conductivity of pure copper, the excellent deep drawing qualities of cartridge case brass, the low-friction properties of bearing bronze, the resonant qualities of bell bronze, and the resistance to corrosion by sea water of several bronze alloys.

Bronze Alloys are traditionally subdivided into (2) main categories. These categories denote how the material is made, they are:
  • Wrought Alloys - # series typically from C50000 to C70000
  • Cast Alloys - # series going from C80000 to C90000


Wrought Alloys under the Bronze products are generally available in sheet/ plate, rods, tubes or bar stock. These are typically the alloys that cover C51000, C544000, C63000, C632000, C65500 (just to name a few).  They are typically produced by rolling and extrusion mills or by a Forging Mill.  In either case the material starts out as a particular shape (i.e. Round or Square block or billet) and is then cast into the desired form by either "Extruding or Pushing" the material or by "Hammering or Forging" the material down into shape. Additionally some of our material is available in an "As cast and cold drawn condition".  This process involves casting the rod and then repeatedly cold drawing it to it's final dimension and annealing it during the process when necessary.

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Cast Alloys are typically identified as between the C80000 and C90000 series.  They are the most readily available or "off the shelf" group in the Bronze Alloys.  Cast Alloys can be manufactured in (3) main ways:

Sand Casting

Sand casting is probably the oldest method in practice. In this process the mold is prepared using sand or silica and the molten liquid metal is poured into it. The mold is made of two parts, the cope and the drag. A wooden pattern is placed between these two parts, called the mold cavity. The liquid metal enters here and casts itself. The shape of the mold cavity is similar to the final object after the refining. 


Centrifugal Casting

The Centrifugal casting process uses a mold which is fixed to a motor on an axis to rotate it at high speeds. The speed of rotation depends on the metal to be cast and the shape required. This method is mainly used for the production of cylindrical components like pipes. As the motor rotates, the metal gets pushed towards the outer walls of the cast and solidifies. The centrifugal process is unsuitable for making linear-shaped and dense objects.


Continuous Casting

Continuous casting, as the name implies, converts molten metal into a continuous moving ingot shape with a rectangular or round cross section. Time, energy, and labor are saved. Generally, a water-cooled mold is employed, receiving molten metal in one end and delivering a continuous solidified product out the other. The molds can be vibrating or moving, slow or fast.