The Uses of Bronze

Bronze is a metallic alloy that has played a major role in human history. So much so, that there is an era called the Bronze Age. Mostly consisting of copper, bronze is 12-15% tin and depending on the application sometimes contains traces of other metals such as nickel, aluminum, zinc, or manganese. 

Uses of Bronze

During its namesake historical period, bronze was the hardest known metal and was widely used. To this day, bronze has many uses as in various metalworking projects Los Banos CA. Bronze is a popular metal for sculptures. In addition to the beauty it imparts to a finished statue, bronze is unique in that it expands slightly when it sets. This fills every area of a mold and brings fine detail to the work.

As percussionists know, bronze is the preferred metal for cymbals, using a variation that is about 23% tin. The metal produces an excellent timbre when struck and also makes for a durable instrument. Bronze is also used in the strings of many instruments, particularly the lowest notes of the piano.

Bronze coins were common throughout history. In fact, many coins labeled as copper, actually contain 4% tin and 1% zinc, technically making them bronze.

Olympic Medals

Perhaps the best-known use of bronze is at the Olympic Games. Everyone knows about the first place gold medal, second place silver, and third place bronze. Although not the winners, bronze medalists are still happy with their beautiful award. A 1995 study found that bronze medalists were generally significantly happier than silver medalists who just missed the top spot.

Bronze has a long history of creating a variety of objects. Its use continues today, as many industries and artists use bronze for many different applications. Think of how many attics have a pair or two of bronzed baby shoes tucked away.