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[Source] Bronze Sheet


#1

I just read a project in Jewelry Artist that is fold-formed bronze. I
like the idea of trying it with my students, as well as the
possibility of adding another metal/color to my repertoire, but
cannot locate bronze sheet. Metalliferous has what they call bronze,
but it is really brass-- zinc, not tin (the article specifies tin).
Anyone know where to get bronze sheet? I am not willing to buy
casting grain, pour an ingot, and roll my own, so please don’t
suggest it. We can work with copper, of course, I just liked the idea
of trying bronze.

Noel


#2

I have bought silicon bronze sheet in a thickness like you would
want from:

http://www.atlasmetal.com/siliconbronze.html

They have 22 gauge .025" a standard sheet is 24" by 120". I had it
sheared into 3 each 8 " strips. I have a 12 "shear so this is
convenient stock size for me I believe they will sell a 1/2 sheet
minimum ??? There are other places but they have been a good
supplier for me. Chicago is a place to find everything so you may
find it easily there-- I have been gone from there too long to
recommend a supplier.

jesse


#3

First bronze and brass really are fairly meaningless terms in trying
to define an alloy, they all are copper alloys. To really define them
you need the trade name or alloy number there are many "bronze"
alloys that contain no tin. I did not see the article but I wonder
if the author is truly working tin bronze sheet. Tin bronze is great
for casting or even machining but is not terribly ductile. It tends
to be springy and stiff. Not the kind of thing you would want to use
for fold forming.Why did the author suggest that it had to be tin
bronze? It is likely they are using commercial bronze (C220) which
is a copper zinc alloy that is very ductile and nice to work with a
nice color.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#4

I’m looking for bronze sheet, too. I haven’t purchased any yet, but
I did find some here: http://www.hagstoz.com


#5

Hi Noel,

I just read a project in Jewelry Artist that is fold-formed
bronze. I like the idea of trying it with my students, as well as
the possibility of adding another metal/color to my repertoire, but
cannot locate bronze sheet. 

Why not do the obvious & contact the author of the article, Helen I
Driggs. She’s the managing editor of the magazine.

Dave


#6

Noel,

Last week I bought some silicon bronze from Alaskan Copper and
Bronze in Seattle, their web site is. Mine is 1/8 x 2 inch for making
some hardware pieces.

Good luck.
Dr. Mac


#7

Hi Trish,

I'm looking for bronze sheet, too. I haven't purchased any yet,
but I did find some heRe: http://www.hagstoz.com 

Not picking on you or Hagstoz but I hate it when metal suppliers are
not specific about what alloy they are selling. So it is bronze but
which alloy is it? Silicon Bronze? Aluminum Bronze? Phosphor Bronze?
Commercial Bronze? Each has very different mechanical properties.
All the above alloys with the exception of commercial bronze are
springy and tough and hard to do much with in the way of fold forming
or really any hand forming.

Some rough definitions for copper alloys:

Coppers and High Copper alloys are greater than 98% and 95% copper
respectively. Brasses are copper alloys that have zinc as the largest
percentage alloying element. Unless it contains nickel then it is a
Nickel Silver if the copper content is less than 75% or a Copper
Nickel if it is greater than 75% copper. Everything else is a Bronze,
which can have aluminum, silver,tin, titanium, or zinc as the major
alloying element and most have several elements in the mix.

The only wrought bronze alloys that have significant amounts of tin
in them and are sometimes referred to as tin bonze are the phosphor
bronze alloys.

From copper.org

  Phosphor Bronzes, or tin bronzes, are alloys containing
  copper, tin and phosphorous. The phosphor bronzes contain
  between 0.5 and 11% tin and 0.01 to 0.35 % phosphorous. The
  addition of tin increases the corrosion resistance and strength
  of the alloy. The phosphorous increases the wear resistance and
  stiffness of the alloy. The phosphor bronzes have superb spring
  qualities, high fatigue resistance,excellent formability and
  solderability, and high corrosion resistance.

The excellent formability they are referring to is in press or other
mechanical forming work as the characteristics of stiffness and
superb spring qualities make it difficult to hand form. Just ask
someone who has tried to raise a vessel from phosphor bronze, it is
tough stuff.

So unless your project needs to be strong and stiff use commercial
bronze (Cu90, Zn10) which is nice to work but is a brass.

The fuzziness of the terms brass and bronze are nothing new, the
word bronze is derived from the ancient Persian word for brass :slight_smile:

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#8

This is another example of the what is “bronze” issue. It is
probable that the author (and editor) didn’t know what was actually
used Classic bronze is copper and tin and no zinc. Brasses are copper
and zinc. Bronze today should probably be copper and something else
but not zinc Hagstoz sells “bronze”, but is it bronze or is it really
brass-- they don’t identify the alloy and it is very likely
commercial bronze which is really brass (90% copper, 10% zinc) also
sometimes called gilding metal which is 95% copper, 5% zinc. Another
non bronze" bronze" is jewelry bronze 87.5% 12.5% zinc a brass.
There is also (spring) bronze which is a tin bronze with a little
phosphorus… I will call Hagstoz Monday and see what they tell me –
Their info contact system doesn’t work.

I have a good source for small quantities of phosphor bronze sheet,
but lets see what Hagstoz says first.

jesse


#9
Why not do the obvious & contact the author of the article,
Helen I Driggs. She's the managing editor of the magazine. 

Sounds reasonable, but the magazine’s web site has a box saying
(paraphrased) “Having trouble finding bronze? Forgettaboutit! Use
brass!”

Noel


#10
I'm looking for bronze sheet, too. I haven't purchased any yet,
but I did find some heRe: http://www.hagstoz.com 

Unfortunately, as Jim and Jesse have made clear, the designation
"bronze" without alloy number or composition is pretty much useless.
Other than cost, it is like selling “gold” without specifying karat
or color.

Noel


#11
Why did the author suggest that it had to be tin bronze? It is
likely they are using commercial bronze (C220) which is a copper
zinc alloy that is very ductile and nice to work with a nice color. 

Fooey, wish I’d known this a day sooner-- Metalliferous carries
"commercial bronze" and I just sent them an order for other stuff
yesterday!

All the copper/zinc material I’ve used (“brass”, in my limited
experience) has been yellow. The material in the two "bronze"
articles seemed more pink. Is commercial bronze, well,
brass-colored? Maybe the pieces in the articles were pink because of
the copper plating that always seems to end up on brass after
heating if you don’t use pickle/peroxide “bright dip” to remove it.

This kind of brouhaha doesn’t inspire confidence in our magazines!

Noel


#12

Noel,

I use nu-gold for foldforming and it works very well. Nu-gold is a
copper brass and either tin or zinc, I’m not sure which. It handles
great for student work and then the transition to precious metal is
no problem.

Susan
www.ThorntonStudioJewelry.com


#13

The pink color shows up when you pickle - this removes a little zinc
from the surface leaving a copper rich color- it won’t last long.
Copper alloys loose the copper color quickly as the second metal
increases in the alloy. Copper zinc keeps the color thru 5% (gilding
metal-old us one cent pieces then its always yellowish. Causes grief
trying to match a brazed or soldered joint to a copper color.
Getting less than a mill run of gilding metal seems impossible today
in the US and even in the UK.

jesse


#14
the magazine's web site has a box saying (paraphrased) "Having
trouble finding bronze? Forgettaboutit! Use brass!" 

Finding it is not a problem mcmaster.com has both commercial bronze
(Alloy 220) and a phosphor tin bronze (Alloy 510) in sheet form in a
variety of gages and 12"x12" sheet. Try both but I can just about
guarantee you will not like working with the phosphor tin bronze and
will probably love the commercial bronze.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#15
Is commercial bronze, well, brass-colored? 

Commercial bronze when it is scrubbed freshly clean it is close to
freshly cleaned copper in color but with a slight yellow cast to it,
you could definitely call it red or pink. As it oxidizes it darkens
to a more “bronze” tone. It patinas to a different shade from copper
with liver of sulfur and all in all I love it as a material. It is
much nicer to work with than yellow brass or cartridge brass.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#16

Hi Noel…

All the copper/zinc material I've used ("brass", in my limited
experience) has been yellow. The material in the two "bronze"
articles seemed more pink. Is commercial bronze, well,
brass-colored? 

I have used the commercial bronze from Metalliferous and it is
definitely pinkish in color. Not yellow like brass. In fact, in
leans more towards looking like copper than brass. I usually oxidize
it and then lightly polish it, and it has a great, rich pinkish-brown
color.

Hope that helps!
Beth


#17

I am interested in using sheet bronze for forming and fabrication. I
found that T.B. Hagstoz and Son in Philadelphia carries bronze
sheet. I spoke with someone there today who told me that their bronze
is 85% copper and 15% tin. He said that it has the same malleability
as pure copper, and has a color closer gold than brass. I was
wondering if any of you Orchidians have experience with their bronze
and have any input about working with it.

Thanks! Jeanie


#18

I haven’t seen the article, but I’ve seen something referred to as
"banker’s brass" that has a pink cast to it. Could this be it?

Lindsay


#19

Jeanie,

I am interested in using sheet bronze for forming and fabrication.
I found that T.B. Hagstoz and Son in Philadelphia carries bronze
sheet. I spoke with someone there today who told me that their
bronze is 85% copper and 15% tin. He said that it has the same
malleability as pure copper, and has a color closer gold than
brass. I was wondering if any of you Orchidians have experience
with their bronze and have any input about working with it. 

I believe there must be some confusion there somewhere. Tin is added
to copper to make it harder. There are no commercial alloys of
wrought bronze listed with 15% tin the highest is 13.9% in the leaded
phosphor bronze. If it is not a commercial alloy then I doubt they
have it as I cannot believe they would cast and mill their own copper
alloys. I think what they are referring to is red brass that is 15%
zinc and it is a very workable alloy. Not as malleable as copper but
still not bad.

Ask them what the alloy number is or the commercial name and I can
tell you what the content is.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#20

jeanie i have used their material, it is under the commercial name
Nu gold, which is a copper alloy, I am not sure how accurate that
percentages were that they gave you. it is fairly nice not as soft
as commercial bronze but works much better then any yellow brass.
unless they got some new stock alloy in,this what they have been
carrying for the bronze that they sell. they are a good company to
deal with, have been around the century now. it is at least 3rd
generation family owned buisness.

good luck
Hratch Babikian