Bronze Forging Applications

bronze gear

Bronze is one of several copper forging alloys. It consists primarily of copper along with additives include tin, aluminum, phosphorus, zinc, silicon, and occasional arsenic.

The additives give the bronze forgings different characteristics. The limitless variation makes bronze one of the most versatile alloys. Some of the typical applications include:

  • Fluid systems
  • Pump housings
  • Musical instruments
  • Valves
  • Sprinklers
  • Fittings
  • Piping
  • Coins
  • Bushings
  • Bearings

There are many additional applications for bronze. The critical part of any project is choosing the proper preparation. Forging is a primary means of shaping bronze into useful configurations.

Optimal processing depends on the design intention for use of the bronze part. As an example, annealing, a form of heat treatment, alters the microstructure of a bronze forging, for mechanical or electrical purposes. Higher concentration of copper in bronze alloys, improves electrical conductivity.

The additions of 0.5% to 1% tin increase toughness and strength. Tin also lowers the coefficient of friction (CoE) while maintaining high fatigue resistance due to grain refinement. These characteristics make tin bronze an excellent fit for electrical products, washers, and springs. Phosphorous adds many of the same benefits, though additions as small as 0.01% to 0.35%.

Nickel is another common additive, thanks to its moderate strength and relatively high corrosion resistance. There are many marine applications for nickel bronze as it protects parts from salty seawater and marine biological damage. Some of the other nickel bronze applications include food and beverage equipment, optical equipment, and musical instruments.

Benefits of Bronze Forging

There are a handful of reasons to invest in bronze forging. For instance, the forged material has high dimensional accuracy, high density, and lustrous surface finishes. Some of the other benefits of forging bronze include the following items.

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength measures the maximum stress that materials can withstand during stretching or pulling. Brittle materials, like pure zinc, aluminum, or cast iron, have low tensile strength and crack relatively easily. Bronze, along with copper, brass and other forged alloys, have higher ductility and tensile strength.

Designing with forged bronze is one way to guarantee tensile strength superior to other materials. The forging process ensures proper grain flow, which enhances fatigue resistance. The same approach applies to forging copper and forging brass for increased mechanical properties.

Resistance to Corrosion

Bronze is ideal in industrial settings, particularly those with corrosive chemicals. OEMs specify bronze alloy forgings to address these hostile environments.  Additional advantages are self-lubricating, low CoE, and electrical conductivity.

Without any iron content, brass, bronze, and copper alloys are not subject to rusting.  A green patina of copper oxide, appears over time, which protects the structure from further damage.

Formability

Similar to other copper alloys, bronze can be forged to fine details and consistency with dimensional tolerances superior to other alloys such as steel.  Details in the tooling are more closely captured during forging of bronze and other copper alloys.

Conductivity

With the high concentration of copper, bronze alloys retain elevated and reliable conductivity.  Materials such as bronze retain highly desirable to meet these requirements compared to more expensive materials such as silver, or aluminum which is prone to dielectric corrosion.

Bronze Forging in Queen City Forging Company

Queen City Forging has been a leader in world-class forging since 1881. Our decades of experience are evident in our award-winning forging processes, cutting-edge research, and expert personnel. OEM design engineers, OEM design metallurgists, and OEM purchasing agents trust us when they need affordable and high-quality bronze parts.

Queen City Forging prides itself on an unparalleled commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. We match the right equipment and forging metallurgy to ensure you get the best manufacturing results every time. Whether you want forged bronze, copper, brass, or silicon alloys, we have what you need.

When you need bronze forging, Queen City Forging has you covered. Contact us today for all your bronze needs.

FAQs

Can brass be forged?

Yes, you can forge brass. The same applies to copper forgings. Manufacturers use hot, cold, and warm forging to prepare the alloys, depending on their final shape.

Hot forging is ideal for shaping the brass or copper into a specific configuration. These materials have high levels of forgeability; allowing them to be processed complex geometric shapes. Finished forgings often require little additional processing.

A limited number of brass and copper allows are use cold forged for special applications.  Cold forging can improve hardness to meet design requirements.   Cold forging may provide cost-savings, improved dimensional accuracy and an outstanding surface finish.

Regardless of what method manufacturers choose, forging brass is ideal for high workability and durability.  Polished brass can create a highly attractive aesthetic surface when cosmetic appearance is desired.

Can you forge aluminum bronze?

Yes, forging bronze with aluminum is possible. The final parts typically contain 90% to 95% copper based on the total weight. The addition of aluminum provides additional and alternate properties, making the alloy desirable in specific applications.

Can you temper bronze?

Yes and no. Some bronze alloys are successfully tempered, while others would be weakened by the process.  In general, alloys containing zinc are more likely to be designated for the tempering process.

What is silicon bronze?

Small amounts of silicon are added to some alloys to improve surface finish and enhance corrosion-resistance.  The addition of silicon improve surface hardness, which makes it suitable for bearing and load properties. It is especially useful for the spacers, raceways, and bearing cages used in the aerospace industry