What is meant by tin
Bronze is a certain mixture of copper with another metal. Such a mixture of two metals is called an alloy. What is usually meant is a mixture of copper and tin. You usually take a tenth of a tin for this. Bronze is harder than copper and doesn't bend as quickly. Plus, you don't have to heat it up too much if you want to water it. However, bronze is much softer than iron. Tools made of bronze therefore dull faster.
There was a period in prehistory when bronze was the best metal people could work with. Because of this, they made many items out of bronze. This is why this section is called the Bronze Age. It lasted in Europe from about 2200-800 BC.
Bronze is often used today when an object made of metal should not rust. It doesn't wear out that quickly either. Almost all bells for churches are cast from bronze. It is the same with still images. Iron and steel, on the other hand, are used for tools that would otherwise be too fragile.
There are different types of bronze. An alloy made of nine parts of copper with one part of tin is meant without a specific description. But there is also aluminum bronze, which is copper with aluminum. Or lead bronze, phosphor bronze and a few others.
How is an object made of bronze?
There are three different techniques: You can hammer an object, much like the blacksmith does. This technique is called "drift". It is suitable for belt buckles, for example. Or you can use one of the two casting techniques for knives, bells and similar objects.
The easiest way is to drive a sheet of bronze. For example, you can shape a belt buckle or a flat bowl. You need a hollow shape made of wood. The bronze sheet is placed there and carefully pounded on it with a round hammer until the bronze sheet clings to the wooden mold. You don't even have to heat the bronze sheet for this. It works even better with sheet gold or sheet silver. Numerous grave goods have been found that were made in this way.
Thicker objects are poured. There are two different techniques for doing this. The simpler one goes like this: You carve the finished object from a block of beeswax, for example a knife or a candlestick. This is then carefully wrapped in clay. When the liquid bronze is poured into the mold, the wax melts. The bronze is heavier and fills the shape from below. The wax flows out of the top. After cooling, the clay mold must be destroyed and the knife or candlestick will appear. At school you sometimes do that with tin, you don't have to make it hot.
More complex molds are required for bells. They were chiseled out of softer stone, such as sandstone or soapstone, as early as the Bronze Age. You can then pour your object into an open mold or tie two stones together to form a mold. These forms are not lost. You can pour the same object almost as often as you like. This technique is still used today, only the molds are made of steel or high-quality plastic that does not melt itself.
Bronze bells have the most beautiful sound.
A belt buckle made of bronze
A singing bowl with a clapper
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