With the discovery of alloying (alloy meaning a mixture of two or more materials, especially metals) bronze was created. History of bronze technology dates back to 4500 B.C., when Chalcolithic man discovered (either by accident or experiment), that the addition of small amounts of another metal to copper strengthened the material, lowered the melting point, and made the molten material flow more easily into molds. Scholars believe the earliest bronzes were smelted in Susa (Iran) and some ancient sites in Luristan (Iran) and Mesopotamia (Iraq). Other scholars believe bronze was developed by the ancient Sumerians in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley around 3500 B.C.
Bronze is the ancient name for a broad range of alloys of copper, but usually with tin as the main additive. Due to limited access to the elements needed to produce bronze, it was initially used judiciously and primarily for decorative purposes. As the availability of tin and copper increased, the Bronze Age blossomed. Today with the ready supplies of tin and copper required to create the alloy, bronze is cast around the world for a multitude of products including bronze headstones. Bronze has proved its performance value under the most extreme temperature and climate conditions. Bronze was and still remains a highly prized alloy for its aesthetic qualities, thus making it an ideal material for headstones. Bronze artifacts are evidence of its enduring qualities, surviving the elements over thousands of years. For those who would like to learn more on the history of this elegant material, the History of Bronze Art is very informative.
The process of making bronze headstones can be broken down into four main steps. The first step is casting the bronze plaque. Initially, a bronze plaque is created, complete with lettering. During smelting, bronze bars (ingots) are heated to approximately 1742 degrees (compared to 1983 degrees for pure copper). Because of the lower viscosity, they can now easily be poured into the mold. Common bronze alloys (90% copper, 10% tin) often have the unusual and very desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling in the finest details of a mold.
Once the bronze has cooled, it shrinks slightly and is removed from the mold. The next step in creating a bronze headstone is chasing the plaque. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines chasing as “to decorate (metal) by engraving or embossing.” In making a bronze headstone, it refers to the sanding of the bronze to remove any undesirable marks and prepare the surface for the patina.
Patination is the third phase of creating a bronze headstone. The patina is the finished color. Arriving at this final color involves several steps. First, the bronze headstone plaque is applied with several coats of oxidation (paint). Excess oxidation will then be removed from the letters and sculpted designs using a special solvent to reveal the natural patina of the bronze. After completion, the leading bronze finish in the industry, Armor Guard (a lacquer coating), is applied to all bronze headstones purchased from Memorials.com.
Finally, the bronze headstone plaque is ready to be mounted to a granite base complete with brass hardware. Memorials.com offers over a dozen varieties of granite, six of which are standard and at a very small cost. Free of charge, is an emblem, epitaph, or terms of endearment on any adult memorial. Because bronze is a stronger and harder than any other common alloy except steel, it does not break under stress and is corrosion resistant. This lasting durability of bronze and classical elegance of granite, make purchasing a bronze headstone from Memorials.com a fitting choice in honoring a loved one. This article covers the basic process utilized for the creation of a beautiful bronze memorial. Those interested in the ordering process of a grave marker, the Headstones Purchasing Tips page will be very informative.
Why purchase a Bronze Headstone from Memorials.com?
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No Hidden Fees! While some companies charge extra for lettering and design, this cost is calculated in the price of the bronze headstone quoted from Memorials.com.
Memorials.com has many different types of granite base's to choose from, 6 of which are standard & many different bronze colors as well of which basic 7 bronze colors which are free of charge.
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