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  #1  
Old 11-29-2008, 07:21 AM
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iowasculptor iowasculptor is offline
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Question Silicon bronze sheet?

Does anyone know what the going rate for 1/4" silicon bronze sheet is? 4'X8' or 4'X10'
thanks
Matt
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2008, 07:54 AM
wolff wolff is offline
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

My first thought would be to contact Atlas Metal.

From their website:

http://www.atlasmetal.com/
1.800.662.0143
jsimms@atlasmetal.com


Bill
www.billwolff.com
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2009, 09:00 PM
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Question Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Older thread, but does anyone know of a distributor for sil. bronze sheet that does NOT require a minimum order?
I received a quote from Atlas, but they require that I purchase far more material than I need.
.
.
.
.
...Anyone?

Last edited by obseq : 11-18-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2009, 08:50 AM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Trying here again.

I can't believe how difficult getting a simple quote from distributors can be...And communicating that I don't need $600+ worth of stock



I could really use a good lead that doesn't require minimum orders if you got 'em.
Thanks, again.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2009, 02:05 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

There are very few sources nationwide.
This is a material that is not used much, so the few suppliers can call their own shots, and frequently do.

Besides Atlas, the main copper/copper alloy suppliers are:

http://www.copperandbrass.com/public...html/home.html
http://www.farmers-copper.com/
http://www.alaskancopper.com/

each has different areas of specialization- not all may carry silicon bronze sheet. each has different minimums.
none are cheap.

maybe there is another sculptor who has scrap they would sell you- I am not sure where you would find em, though.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2009, 10:30 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

I appreciate the links, Ries-- Thanks! I wasn't aware that bronze plate/sheet is a scarcely-used material.

It seems that c6550 is the standard alloy number for most silicon bronze...
I've come across a few stock lists using a different alloy number altogether for silicon bronze and was confused about the standard.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2009, 11:19 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Try Alaskan Copper. I bought a very small amount - a 2' x 10' sheet of 11 gauge (if I remember correctly), had them cut it in half (for 2 2'x5' pieces) and UPS delivered it. Easy. It is seriously beautiful stuff. I've also bought rod from them.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2009, 12:18 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Scarcely used is a relative term.

USA steel consumption is around 100 million tons a year.
Hence, most sizes and shapes of steel are available almost anywhere.

USA aluminum consumption is around 3 million tons a year.

Total copper alloy consumption, of every one of the 200 or so commercial alloys of copper, bronze, and brass, is well below that of aluminum. Probably around 2 million tons a year, total.
That includes ALL the copper wire, brass sheet, and round bars of bronze used for every application.

My guess would be that as a market percentage, silicon bronze in total was below ten percent of the total, probably well below. And a lot of silicon bronze is made in round bars- it is much easier to find round silicon bronze than sheet.
Probably, in the whole USA, fewer than ten distributors actually stock any silly bronze sheet. Maybe only five.

I do a fair amount of forging with odd bronze alloys, and it is not uncommon for me to find that only ONE company in the entire United States would stock, say, square bar in naval bronze.
Prices, as you can guess, are up to the seller to set, when virtual monopolies exist.
Bronze products can easily run 3 to 10 times per pound what copper costs, depending on size and shape.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:52 AM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Heard back from two outfits, but have yet to receive a final quote with shipping from either, (or confirmation that the stated costs include shipping).

One of them doesn't stock sil. bronze plate, but offers:

C93200
C95400
C95900


...in stock, offering no minimum orders.

Any idea on what these alloys are like, and specifically, how well they take a detailed patina? I've only worked with sil. bronze in my own castings, so my familiarity ends there.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2009, 02:01 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

C93200 is a high leaded tin brass. With 7% lead, it will machine very nicely, weld terribly if at all, and probably be not much good for casting, as the zinc and lead tend to melt off before the copper is molten.

C95400 is aluminum bronze. Very hard, tough, and used mostly to make machined parts for bearings, gears, and other tough usage situations. Likely to be VERY expensive.

C95900 is not in my reference book, but should also be an aluminum bronze.

None of these would be very good for sculpture, if you are fabricating it by bending, rolling, and welding. Most likely matching welding filler rod or wire is not available, although you could try tig welding by using strips cut off from the plate itself as a filler rod. The C932 probably wont weld well, but the other two may be weldable. Not sure. I do know some blacksmiths have been able to forge some aluminum bronzes, but they were VERY good blacksmiths.

Silicon Bronze is a much better choice than any of these, unless you need a specific quality one of these has to offer- which it doesnt sound like you do.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:09 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

I buit a bronze chair several years agao.I ran low and Paul Fruent was nice enough to give me a section large enough to cap the seat.The chair was mixed alloys.scap yard /house collection so therer was no telling the alloy,but that silicon bronze welded and finshed out like butter.Back then it was over $600 for a sheet,I can only imagine now....Ever herd of Muntz metal,I scored three 4x8 sheets,but not sure what to do with it,won't tig worth a damn,as I am probally not using the right alloy or gas?

Reis I imagine you know what it is,throw me a bone brother...
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:49 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Muntz metal is a trade name, not an alloy name- so it can vary a bit from mill to mill, but generally its either

C365, which is 60% copper, .6 % lead, and 39.4% zinc

or its
C370, which is called "free machining" muntz, which is 60% copper, 1% lead, and 39% zinc.

Either way, its hell to weld.
The zinc and lead boil off, bubble, and release toxic fumes.

Best way to weld it is to tig weld with a silicon bronze filler rod- you wont get a great color match, and there will still be some porosity in the weld, but it will stick, structurally. You may be able to gas braze it with flux- never tried it, but it might work. Again, get it too hot, and the lead and zinc will drive you nuts.

It was never designed to be a weldable alloy- its for cold forming and machining. Maybe a bit of hot forming, at relatively low temps in big presses.
It is used for condensor tubes, screw machine parts, and other stuff that is mostly machined.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2009, 09:31 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Ries,

Thanks for all the details on those alloys--
I wont be welding or fabricating, but "printing" patinas on plate.

(What's the title of your alloy reference? Sounds like a great resource)

The last quote I received seemed decent except for the fact that the shipping fee, (not included in said quote) was nearly half the cost of the material, alone....Go figure.


IA,

I poked around regarding Muntz Metal, and like Ries mentioned, all of the distributors really point out its poor welding characteristics on their respective specs pages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iron ant View Post
Back then it was over $600 for a sheet,I can only imagine now....
It's about the same now. One of the distributors accidentally sent me a quote for a full sheet @ .063 gauge for about $650 for the stock alone.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2009, 12:31 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

The book I use for stuff like this is the Desk Edition of the ASM Metals Handbook.
It is a comprehensive reference book on all metals, including alloy contents, applications, and lots more.

New, its over $200.
http://www.amazon.com/Metals-Handboo...9515754&sr=8-3

I got mine at a used bookstore for $25, which was a helluva deal, but it does come up used on Abebooks.com and Amazon and Ebay from time to time for around a hundred, and thats still a great deal.

It covers things like heat treating of stainless steel, forgeability of titanium alloys, composition of bronzes, and just about any other metal question you could have.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:02 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Latest response I received:

(This website did not list any alloys, but only bronze sheet)
I sent a short email asking what bronze alloys they carry, (silicon/aluminum/phosphor/etc) and this was the response:

"The alloy of our bronze is 85% copper, 15% zinc."

The upside? They provided, by far, the quickest response...
The downside? They're selling brass...



*Thanks for that book title, Ries!

Last edited by obseq : 12-06-2009 at 10:33 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:43 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

I received my stock yesterday. I went with IMS, (Industrial Metal Supply)
and they were very helpful compared to several other distributors I contacted.
The only downside is that they are a pure distributor and don't perform any surface treatments like blasting.

(The last quote I received from a distributor was 5 times the price I paid from IMS!)
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  #17  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:48 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by obseq View Post
I received my stock yesterday. I went with IMS, (Industrial Metal Supply)
and they were very helpful compared to several other distributors I contacted.
The only downside is that they are a pure distributor and don't perform any surface treatments like blasting.

(The last quote I received from a distributor was 5 times the price I paid from IMS!)


So whats a 4 x 8 x 1/8 run? (out of curiosity, of course. I got no leads on any work with this stuff).

1000 bucks?
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2009, 07:07 AM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
So whats a 4 x 8 x 1/8 run? (out of curiosity, of course. I got no leads on any work with this stuff).

1000 bucks?
From that "5 times" company? Must be double that or something similarly nutty-- Especially at 1/8 gauge. (My quote was for .063)



*If anyone wants distributor names/links/etc., let me know*

Last edited by obseq : 12-17-2009 at 09:02 PM. Reason: adding note
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  #19  
Old 12-25-2009, 11:20 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

mostly whats mentioned here seems to be a brass rather than a purer bronze... too much zinc as Ries states is a bugger to weld but with gas braze, standard brass rod, small tip [mostly i use a 3-5]and an oxidizing flame, work hot as if tigging with a borax flux, careful not to lose it from over heating. this i have only used for castings, building up and hole filling rather than line joining but it seems to work where TIG dosnt.
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  #20  
Old 04-25-2010, 11:08 AM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Reis is right: the ASM handbook is a great resource. If you're working off a typical art budget then Amazon.com is kinda rich. Unsavory characters use a bittorrent program like Vuze, type in ASM handbook and get to share the latest updated handbook in pdf format.
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  #21  
Old 04-25-2010, 04:09 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Here's another place that lists it:

http://www.nbmmetals.com/c-236-c6510...-bronze-b.aspx

I haven't asked for a quote or enquired about minimum orders, but I'm somewhat curious about it as well.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com
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  #22  
Old 04-26-2010, 10:07 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Metal suppliers on line
I haven't used them but the research section has been a great help. Them seems to have a wide selection of metal dealers.
Since, I have only used it in small sized pieces, I get it from a local jewelry supplier in 12"x 12" and 12"x24" sheets
they don't have a web site.
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  #23  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:10 PM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Since the price of silicon bronze fluctuates, and it's been a while since anyone has posted a number, I'll ask the original question again: Does anyone know the going rate? The last time I checked with Atlas and Farmers a couple of years ago, it was about $11.50/#. Perhaps someone has more current info.(?)
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  #24  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:29 AM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

I am building a silicon bronze railing right now for a client, its a mix of pipe, flat bar, and round bar.
I bought quite a bit, and the average price is just over nine bucks a pound, but, including crating and freight, its really ten bucks a pound. This was for about a thousand pounds- I would imagine you pay more if you only buy a 100lbs or so.

However, silicon bronze weighs more than steel- so, for the same per pound price, you get LESS bronze.
For instance, 1/2" round steel is .668 lbs/ft.
the same thing in silly bronze is .726 lbs/ft.

So you get less running feet of bronze per pound than you do steel, AND you pay about 12 times the price. I just paid .61 a pound for steel yesterday- thats almost 17 times the price.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:38 AM
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Re: Silicon bronze sheet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ries View Post
So you get less running feet of bronze per pound than you do steel, AND you pay about 12 times the price. . . .
Yeah, the price is a bit shocking, but what a nice material . . . .

I recently completed my first fabricated silicon bronze piece. I designed the piece (in Rhino) to use practically all of a 2' x 10' x 1/8" sheet. There might have been 2 or 3 pounds of scrap left.

It is 69" tall, excluding the concrete base. For more pics: http://www.harrymcdaniel.com/works/Faun%20Dance.html
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