Craftsman of home cabinetry, doors, windows and other features require hardware finishings to add functionality and beauty to the room. Home hardware consists of a wide range of applications, including door knockers, knobs, handles, hinges, cabinet pulls, and even air register covers. These items are typically made of a solid metal such as brass and bronze materials. Both brass and bronze alloys have been used for generations in the hardware industry.
Hardware Manufacturing Using Brass and Bronze
Brass and bronze have been used for home hardware for 300 to 500 years. Solid brass hardware is an alloy typically consisting of copper and zinc with tin added. The copper content range may be up to 60 percent. It has a golden, brown color as the alloy can complement different types of interior designs. Solid bronze hardware also consists of both copper and tin, as the copper content is significantly higher than 60 percent. Bronze has a more reddish-brown hue although it can come in darker colors depending on the type of chemical finish that is added.
Manufacturers enjoy using brass and bronze for home hardware due to its malleability and workability. It can be bent, cast and molded into the desired shape. Due to these characteristics, intricate designs and workings can be placed into these metals. Another advantage is that solid brass and bronze can take on a finish that allows it to look like other materials or colors. It can have a smooth finish, or a brushed finish with distinct markings across the surface.
Properties of Brass and Bronze Hardware
Brass and bronze contain specific properties that make it ideal for hardware applications. A top benefit is that these alloys are corrosion resistant. While much of the hardware will be found in indoor applications, the materials will still be exposed to moisture in kitchen and bathroom areas. The metals are also resistant from corrosion that can be found in the oils and sweat from the human skin when a person uses the handle or knob. In addition, bronze also becomes more durable when it oxidizes as it will take on a patina over time.
Another characteristic present in brass and bronze is its antimicrobial properties. These alloys can kill viruses and help prevent the spread of bacteria. It is the reason why people often use brass and bronze for metal faucet handles and spouts.
Before selecting brass or bronze for home hardware manufacturing applications, be aware that these materials consist of very soft metals. They can be easily dented and dinged. So if the application will require rough handling or may experience impacts, it will show such markings over time. In addition, both of these alloys can be expensive to use. They will need constant cleaning if a person does not want the bronze appearance to change color when it develops its green patina across the surface.
Unwavering Popularity of Brass and Bronze Hardware
Brass and bronze alloys will continue to be the go-to metals when creating home hardware applications. Due to this unwavering trend, more manufacturers are turning to Belmont Metals for their nonferrous metals and alloys. We provide both brass and bronze materials, including 80/20 Brass Alloy, 70/30 Brass Alloy, Art Casters Brass and Herc-Alloy Silicon Bronze. Reach out to our metallurgists today to discuss your alloy needs and your applications.