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The OnlineMetals Guide to Bronze
The term Bronze is applied to alloys of metal that are copper-based where tin is the main additive. This
is not a hard and fast rule, however - some bronzes have phosphorus, manganese, aluminum or silicon as the
main alloying ingredient.
The primary traits of Bronze alloys are that of toughness, strength, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity,
and thermal conductivity. Depending on the alloy, there is a bronze for just about every application.
OnlineMetals.com currently stocks four types of bronze in various shapes and sizes:
As the name implies, this is the most commonly used bronze in bushing and bearing applications. It is comparably easy to machine, and provides long life in applications where wear is a consideration.
Aluminum bronzes are most valued for their higher strength and corrosion resistance as compared to other bronze alloys. These alloys are tarnish-resistant and show low rates of corrosion in atmospheric conditions, low oxidation rates at high temperatures, and low reactivity with sulfurous compounds and other exhaust products of combustion. They are also resistant to corrosion in sea water. Finally, they prevent colonization by marine organisms including algae, barnacles, and mussels.
Aluminum bronzes are most commonly used in applications where their resistance to corrosion makes them preferable to other engineering materials.
Silicon Bronze is a high-strength, highly corrosion resistant material with nonmagnetic properties. It is generally as strong as steel. Because of its composition, it is more difficult to machine. However, it is excellent for use in general marine applications, as well as pumps and boilers.
Manganese Bronze is a high-strength bronze alloy primarily used in heavy-duty applications.