Brass vs Bronze: What to Know

You may not immediately notice a stark difference between brass and bronze. Despite the fact that sheet metal in itself currently accounts for about $30 billion in American revenue, much of that sheet metal is made up of bronze and brass. Aesthetically, they look quite similar, and they can potentially be used for similar purposes. But of course, we should know what separates brass from bronze, and what would be best to use under certain circumstances.

With that being said, we’re delving into what brass and bronze are made of, what separates the two of them, and what makes each one the right material for certain projects.

What Are They Made Of?

Firstly, let’s look into what brass is made of. Brass is made up of copper and zinc, which is why you’ll sometimes hear it referred to as copper brass. It has that distinct coppery look, but it’s stronger and more useful than copper. Brass is an alloy (a combination of multiple metal materials), as is bronze.

Bronze is also has a base of copper, but it’s made up of copper and tin. Phosphorous and aluminum have been added in with that cooper as well. The copper base of both brass and bronze is why they look so similar, but they function very differently.

What Is The History Behind Them?

Copper brass and bronze have both been in existence for quite some time. It’s estimated that copper brass was first created around 500 B.C.E., and at that time it was largely used for decorative purposes. Bronze is actually even older, dating back to 3,500 B.C.E. This product was actually used to create sculptures, some of which still exist to this day, which attests to the strength of the metal. Right now, brass and bronze are used for everything from plumbing to ammunition.

What’s Better, Bronze Or Brass?

There isn’t a particular advantage to using brass or bronze. It depends on the project you’re undertaking. Bronze is harder and therefore has often been used on ships and fittings. However, it’s more brittle. Brass is more malleable, on the other hand, and more easily manipulated, which is why it serves as decorative projects better. You can look at bronze being better in terms of durability, and brass being better in terms of its creative qualities.

Know the difference between bronze and brass to make sure you know what you’re using. If you want to learn more about these metals or others, contact us today!

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