Aluminum Bronzes are a family of copper-based alloys offering a combination of mechanical and chemical properties unmatched by any other alloy series. This feature makes the Aluminum Bronze the first choice for demanding applications. No...I'm not on an Aluminum Bronze Campaign kick BUT I love to learn about an alloy family that outshines the rest. Well at least in some areas!
So what are the attributes that make Alumimum Bronzes so hot and in demand? Check these out:
Excellent Strength - in fact it is similar to that of low alloy steels.
factoid: Several common groupings of low-alloy steels, beginning with HY 80, HY 90, and HY 100 steels, are used for building ship hulls, submarines, bridges, and off-highway vehicles. These low-alloy steels contain nickel, molybdenum, and chromium, which add to the material's weldability, notch toughness, and yield strength. When welding these low-alloys steels, preheat and postheat treatments typically are not required.
Excellent Corrosion Resistance - especially in seawater and similar environments, where the alloys often outperform many stainless steels. Aluminum bronzes can be used in environments that are far more aggressive than are tolerated by most other metals. Like many copper alloys, aluminum bronzes also resist biofouling in both fresh and saline waters. Aluminum Bronze alloys may be considered for service with a wide variety of chemicals, particularly where is a combination of stress and erosion, but selection must take account of the anticipated temperature & other services conditions. Here is a sample of some chemicals: acetic acid, ammonia (dry), Brine, Bromine (dry), Chlorine (dry), Nitrogen, Sodium Carbonate, Phosphate and much more.
factoid: Stainless steels are known for there Corrosion Resistance properties. However stainless steel can be contaminated throughout the fabrication process and wind up being highly corrosive. Such as: iron dust landing on the stainless steel, water stains from resting water, scratches from carbon steel forklifts or carbon steel racks, gouges from improper handling, embedded iron in machine tooling used on carbon steel and not properly cleaned. Also welding stainless steels can be tricky. Mistakes in the welding process will result in a weld that is not as corrosion resistant as the base material.
Favorable High Temperature Properties - for short term or long term usage
Good resistance to Fatigue - ensuring a long service life.
factoid: Aluminum Bronzes happen to possess exceptional...yes, I said exceptional...resitance to fatigue. (Insert Sarcasm - "Gee, I wish I had an exceptional resistance to fatigue!") This is one of the most common causes of deterioration in marine engineering equipment. This property is why this material is most suitable for use as propellors and in pump applications.
Good resistance to Creep - making the alloys useful at elevated temperatures.
Oxidation Resistance - for exposure at elevated temperatures and in oxidizing environments.
Ease of Casting & Fabrication - when compared to materials used for similar purposes.
High Hardness & Wear Resistance - provides excellent bearing properties in arduous applications.
factoid: Aluminum Bronzes often provide excellent service in both cast & wrought forms. A the high end of the wear - and - abrasion - resistance spectrum are special aluminum bronze alloys containing up to 14% alumimum, whose applications include dies for deep drawing and molds for die casting, casting of glass bottles and pressing of vinyl records.
Ductility - which, like that for all copper alloys, is not diminised at low temperatures
Good Weldability - making fabrication economical
Readily Machined - when compared with other high-duty alloys
factoid: Here are some charts for machining purposes....
- Cutting tool Geometry for Machining Aluminum Bronzes
- Drill Geometry for Aluminum Bronzes
- Reaming Geometries for Aluminum Bronzes
- Recommeded Tap Geometry for Aluminum Bronzes
- Recommeded Milling Cutter Geometries for Alumnum Bronze
Low Magnetic susceptibility - useful for many special applications
Ready availability - in cast or wrought forms
factoid: This of course is the most helpful part of dealing with Aluminum Bronzes. The ability to have a product right off the shelf, cut and shipped within a day or so it extremely helpful. Atlas Bronze has a wide variety of stocked material....you can visit to see what we've got, http://www.atlasbronze.com/copper_alloys_product_sheet.html.