Bronze is one of the oldest metals known to man. It is defined as an alloy obtained by combining copper with other metals, usually tin. Bronze can also be made by combining copper with metals such as zinc, arsenic, silicon, phosphorus, aluminum, nickel, and manganese. Bronze is obtained as a golden, hard, and brittle metal. It exhibits properties such as high ductility, and low friction against other metals, which makes it highly desirable for combination with various metals, in a number of applications. Moreover, bronze is an ideal choice to use around flammable or explosive materials, as striking it against a hard surface doesn’t generate sparks. Furthermore, it offers high resistance to corrosion, and has a richer look than brass, due to a tinge of red color in it.
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Bronze is employed in a number of applications such as architectural infrastructure, bearings, musical instruments, electrical contacts, machine tools, and as bronze wool in woodworking. However, bronze is an expensive metal. It develops patina, a green film, as a result of long exposure to moisture. A major drawback of bronze is that it is susceptible to ’Bronze Disease’, which leads to the formation of small, rough, green corrosion spots on bronze due to the combined attack of chlorides and oxygen, in a damp environment. This disease forces the users of bronze to substitute it with the other metals, especially in architectural design applications, as the resulting green spots hamper the overall aesthetics of the architecture.
Based on the metals with which copper is combined to form bronze alloy, the market can be segmented into tin, phosphorus, aluminum, zinc, manganese, arsenic, and silicon. Currently, the market is dominated by tin, as a majority of bronze is manufactured using tin. The typical composition in bronze employing tin is 0.5% to 1% tin, 0.01% to 0.35% phosphorous, and majorly copper. It is also called as phosphor bronze. Tin bronze possesses high strength, high durability, high fatigue resistance, and low coefficient of friction. It is utilized in several applications such as anti-corrosive and electrical components. Tin bronze is anticipated to dominate the bronze market during the forecast period.
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Major players operating in the global bronze market include Lebronze Alloys, Ningbo Xingye Shengtai Group Co., Ltd., Ningbo Boway Alloy Material Co Ltd., Diehl Metall Stiftung & Co. KG, PMX Industries Inc., Wieland Metals Inc., KME Germany GMBH & Co. KG, National Bronze & Metals, Inc., LDM B.V., and Concast Metal Products Co.