An alloy of copper and tin sometimes containing small amounts of zinc, lead, silver, aluminum, or phosphorus. Bronze artifacts have been discovered in Thailand dating from 3600 BCE, while Chinese and Middle Eastern bronzes have been dated as early as 2000 BCE. Bronze is stronger, harder, and more durable than brass or iron. It was used for weapons, tools, vases, household goods, coinage, jewelry, and cast sculptures. US standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin and 3% zinc. Ancient bronze alloys sometimes contained up to 14% tin. Bronzes are usually a yellowish gold in color unless the copper concentrations are greater than 95% then they tend to be reddish. Bronzes with high tin concentrations (20-25%) are hard, brittle, and steel-colored.
Synonyms and Related Terms
lattin; maslin; tang (Chin.); brons (Ned., Sven.); bronze (Fr., Port.); Bronze (Deut.); bronzo (It.); bronce (Esp.)
Hazards and Safety
May contains small amounts of lead. Skin contact may cause allergic reactions in some people.
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