Bronze is one of the oldest alloys and has been around since 2500 B.C. Its enduring popularity is because of its many useful properties. Here are three of them:
Malleability – Malleability allows certain metals to be pounded into either thin or flat sheets without tearing. Since bronze is an alloy mainly of copper and tin, it essentially has two of the most malleable metals there is. This is why bronze is a pretty popular art material, used by countless sculptors worldwide.
Durability – In terms of durability, bronze doesn’t necessarily flex as easily and safely as its base metal copper, but it is a durable metal nonetheless. Compared to metals such as iron, bronze is also much less brittle and has a lower melting point. Bronze’s durability also makes it a popular material to manufacture musical instruments with, including bells, horns and professional cymbals.
Hardness – This is defined as a metal’s resistance to plastic deformation, and can also refer to overall stiffness and/or temper, as well as the ability to resist scratching or cutting. Bronze’s hardness is enough to make it a popular choice for making small appliques such as bearings and other fittings, which are regularly subject to huge amounts of tension.
So the next time you catch wind of a new bronze sculpture being erected, a thousand-year-old bronze artifact being uncovered for the first time, or a conventional bronze tube being used to decorate a building’s interior, don’t be surprised. All these only serve to attest bronze’s innate qualities.