Bronze is a metal alloy that is ornamentally used for variety of uses. There are many artists that use bronze for sculpture castings and builders usually request ornamental railings and other architectural designs since bronze has lustrous and rich finish that can provide any structure with a more refined appearance. There are certain qualities of bronze that make it superior to steel or iron.
Bronze is a mixture of copper and other metals like tin. Copper is not a strong metal meant for functional use and if it is combined with other metals, it becomes bronze which is an alloy that has greater strength known to last for several years. Generally, bronze is 80 percent copper and between 5 to 20 percent tin with other metals being added. Bronze is much less brittle compared to steel or iron, allowing it to be worked in various shapes. It can stand exposure to environments with saltwater and will not rust. Rather, it produces oxidized surface coating protecting inner material and at the same time giving aged patina.
Bronze is manufactured in factories that are using cutting edge technologies but the process tends to remain the same. Still, the copper is melted into a temperature with 1000 degrees F or more. The other compounds are incorporated to add it with strength and other important qualities. For instance, tin provides it with strength. Then, phosphorus can be added to increase even more the strength. To make it hard or non-corrosive, aluminum can be combined. Then for red gold luster which is usually used for artwork, silicon can be added. The material is poured into the lubricated molds, and then they are cooled down and removed.
Most commonly, the bronze structures are sandblasted in order for the mold material to be removed and finished with patina. There are a lot of the exquisite statues found today that are made by lost wax casting wherein the artist would create a piece to be made into wax mold. Then the mold will be used to form the shape of the molten bronze that will then be discarded.