Introduction: White Bronze - Home Melting Techniques. High Leaded Bronze Production

In some old documentation I've found interesting bronze which was white and made of 40% of copper and 60% of lead. I had both metals, so I decided to make this bronze alloy. As a result, I was going to get high-leaded bronze.

Step 1: Making a Mold

Picture of Making a Mold

Preparing 40% of copper, 60% of lead and a mold.

Step 2: First Melting/casting Attempt

Picture of First Melting/casting Attempt

I melted copper and only after that added some lead. I got white alloy but the bottom was softer than the upper part. So, it wasn't mixed as good as it should be.

Step 3: Second Attempt

Picture of Second Attempt

I decided to melt bronze alloy again to get a better quality. I can't say that the second attempt was much better. Anyway, I've got white and enough soft leaded bronze alloy.

Step 4: Result

Picture of Result

After the bar had been processed on the lathe I saw, that in fact the result was very good. Alloy has a grate quality. It's white (with some shades of red), softer than copper but much harder than lead. I'll definitely use it for future projects.

Comments

tytower (author)2017-06-08

Mate its not bronze .

mrasmussen8 (author)tytower2017-06-08

I agree that, although it is neat, it's probably not bronze. It's not one of the recognized bronze alloys, like aluminum bronze..

DuralM (author)mrasmussen82017-06-08

Why do you think so? Now high-lead bronze usually contains not more than 30% of lead. But that's bronze: http://www.concast.com/alloys-high-leaded-tin-bronze.php That's just an example. I have documents about this particular 60/40 bronze but I don't have a translation, so I think it's no need to give the second link. :)

mrasmussen8 (author)DuralM2017-06-08

Well, as you mention, leaded bronze still contains tin. So it's basically a bronze alloy containing lead - same goes for aluminum bronze. But without tin I'm still not convinced it's technically bronze :)

DuralM (author)mrasmussen82017-06-10

My friend, please forget about tin :) There are thousands of metal grades. Producer make aluminum, brass, bronze and other alloys depend on a consumer requirements specification :) If you'd read all the links I mentioned above you'd understand that. I'm not specialist in colour metals (though got some knowledge and experience for my hobby) but I have an experience on working for pig iron and steel producer. I had to know a lot about chemical compositions. I spent several minutes and found one more short example for you. That's leaded bronze C31400: http://www.concast.com/c31400.php

It doesn't contain a lot of lead but considered LEADED BRONZE. And the most important it doesn't contain TIN at all. :) It consist of: Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Fe

DuralM (author)tytower2017-06-08

Guys there are thousands copper alloys (bronze). That's also a good material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_copper_alloys . In this table maximum amount of lead is 25%. But as I mentioned in the comment below now even 30% is used. I understand that it's strange to call the bronze metal which contains more lead than copper :) Anyway, it's not my idea, it's how this metal called :)

tytower (author)DuralM2017-06-08

No . Have another look at your wiki . Bronze contains tin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze

DuralM (author)tytower2017-06-08

I'm sorry but it's not right. You mean tin bronze. But there are hundreds and thousands bronzes which contain other elements. You can find this on your link: bismuth bronze, silicon bronze and many others. If we discuss BRASS than the second element is always zinc and also there could be other elements in addition. When we speak about BRONZE it's copper + any other metal than zinc (zinc also can be contained but the quantity should be less than second element). Let's say 70% copper, 20% aluminum and 10% of zinc - it's a sort of aluminum bronze!

BeachsideHank (author)2017-06-08

Looks like it;s a "White Metal" alloy"

The white metals are any of several
light-coloured alloys used as a base for plated silverware, ornaments or
novelties, as well as any of several lead-based or tin-based alloys
used for things like bearings, jewellery, miniature figures, fusible plugs, some medals and metal type.

DuralM (author)BeachsideHank2017-06-08

Yes, you're right :) Before making this bronze I searched how much lead I should add and where this bronze was usually used. I've found that this particular grade 60/40 % was used as bearing liners and as some others parts of diesel locomotives engines. Anyway, it disappeared from State Standards long time ago. I think it was changed on some better grades (maybe not so soft). :)

BeachsideHank (author)DuralM2017-06-08

I think some of these old time recopies are cool, but why they became discarded is open to speculation- maybe because it can reanimate the dead? ☺

DuralM (author)BeachsideHank2017-06-08

:):):) Or this alloy was a crap and they decided to use something with better physico-technical characteristics :)

Mugsy Knuckles (author)DuralM2017-06-08

One might make the case that certain qualities aren't good or bad independent of application.
Soft metal is great for certain things and awful for others.

DuralM (author)Mugsy Knuckles2017-06-08

Thanks for your comment Mugsy Knuckles. I like the result I've got. I knew before casting that it'll be soft metal. That wasn't a surprise for me :) I'll make something from this bronze. We discussed that this grade disappeared from production. As I remember the last time it was in State Standards was in 60s or 70s. I checked several websites before casting. Now usually such alloys contain no more that 30%