Given the sheer number of applications metal has, it’s no surprise that different processes require specific forms of metal. Sheets, bars, billets, cubes, ingots and shot are all unique ways to form a metal, with ingots and shot being among the most popular. There are several reasons why having different shaped metal makes such an impact.
Smaller forms like brass shot, which are about the size and shape of a raindrop, are easier to handle and precisely measure for intricate designs. Bronze ingots will more easily fill large molds. Ingots are created by forming and freezing the metal to preserve its integrity for future processing. Having the proper quantities available is key to reducing time and financial cost as it limits waste and allows for more efficient production.
Which Is Better: Shot or Ingot?
Determining which form of brass or bronze is best for your situation begins with considering the end product and the scale of your operation. For example, an artist who works with large bronze statues won’t necessarily buy the same forms as an artist who focuses on smaller, more detailed pieces. Shot’s small form makes it ideal for precision builds and to help keep project budgets intact by letting you order the exact amount needed.
Ingots find better use in brass instruments. A single tuba can use anywhere from 45-60 lbs of brass and requires several different molds to be used. By leveraging different sizes of ingots, the quantity used in each step is made consistent to achieve the same outcome each production run. Ingots do have limited size and shape options compared to shot though, making pieces such as the valves and keys of the tuba a better fit for shot.
Shot also creates less waste when produced and is more easily stored compared to ingots as modern shot production has advanced significantly. Ingot production consistently produces bars that must be scrapped due to imperfections caused when the metal is under stress. The larger size of an ingot also leads to uneven melting with shot melting faster and more evenly, all while maintaining alloy composition.
Applications of Bronze and Brass
Due to their resemblance to gold when polished, both bronze and brass are used extensively in art to create pieces that are durable and eye-catching. The workability of brass and bronze have led to it being used as detail on larger pieces such as the lion’s head knocker on an old oak door. Brass and bronze are also considerably more economical compared to gold or silver, driving many smaller studios to embrace the alloys.
The same benefits reaped by artists also make bronze and brass a key metal in industrial settings. Its malleability and ductile nature make it easy to form into molds on an assembly line before the exterior is given a specific finish. Bronze and brass can be brushed to mimic other colors and metals, or a simple finish can be applied to keep the natural tone. The metal can also be brushed to apply
Belmont Metals and Metal Forms
While ingots will always have a spot in large-scale operations, brass and bronze shot are the more economical and user-friendly options in many cases. The best choice will ultimately come down to your unique application.
Are you in need of high-quality bronze or brass? Belmont has you covered. Contact us today to find the best product for your needs.