Q:

What is bronze made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Bronze is an alloy composed of copper and tin, though sometimes other substances, such as arsenic, are substituted for the tin. Bronze is harder than pure copper, making it a more durable material for weapons, hardware and sculpture.

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Full Answer

In addition to having increased durability, bronze has a lower melting point than copper, making it easier for smiths to melt and shape. At first, ancient smiths used arsenic to make bronze, however, bronze made with tin became the dominant form of the metal by the end of the third millennium B.C., due to its increased strength. Also, as arsenic is poisonous, over time its fumes proved debilitating, which made it less attractive as a metallurgical component.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Does bronze rust?

    A:

    Bronze does not rust. The term "rust" refers strictly to the oxidation of iron and its alloys. Bronze is made primarily from copper and tin, with no iron added.

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  • Q:

    What are the properties of bronze?

    A:

    Bronze is an alloy made of 88 percent copper and 12 percent tin. Other metals, such as aluminum, zinc, lead and silicon, are added to it frequently. It is malleable, ductile, lustrous, hard, golden brown in color, and a good conductor of heat and electricity.

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  • Q:

    What is the chemical formula for bronze?

    A:

    Bronze is not a compound but a mixture of copper and another metal, and therefore has no chemical formula. Bronze commonly contains about 88 percent copper and 12 percent tin. Metal mixtures such as bronze are known as alloys.

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  • Q:

    How do you test the difference between bronze and brass?

    A:

    Bronze and brass are metal alloys, or a mixture of two different metals. The main difference between bronze and brass, therefore, is found in the mixture of metals used to form them. Brass is formed by combining copper with zinc, while bronze is formed by combining copper mostly with tin and sometimes with other elements, such as manganese, phosphorus, silicon or aluminum.

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