Highly appreciated for its warm reddish brown hues, bronze is the alloy of choice for sculptors and craftsmen. But aside from the metal’s attractive finish, this copper alloy can prove itself worthy in terms of versatility, workability, and structural integrity. Be it statues, plaques, posts, or decorative household items, bronze can truly make any creation a standout.
Denoted by its unified numbering system (UNS) name of C22000, commercial bronze contains around 10% zinc and 90% copper. It can be available as bronze bars, sheets, channels, and more.
In terms of workability, this alloy fares excellently in projects that require soldering or brazing. C22000 is also great for cold working, a process that strengthens and hardens metals. This alloy is used on doorknobs, hinges, rotors, and some electrical parts.
The UNS name of this alloy is C38500, and it has a significantly lower copper composition and a higher zinc content than its counterpart. However, what makes architectural bronze stronger and more machinable is the lead content, which may be between 2 to 3%. Though not ideal for cold working, C38500 is excellent for hot pressing, forging, and similar processes. This type of bronze is used on trims and extrusions, as well as marine applications.
There are other great features of these metals that fabricators truly appreciate. More corrosion resistant than pure copper, bronze can withstand outdoor exposure to the elements for many years. When caring for structures and fixtures made of bronze, cleaning with mildly acidic solutions is enough to restore the alloy’s warm glow.