What the Bronze Smelting Process Actually Looks Like in Practice

When we think of the most useful metals today, we often think of gold or steel. Gold has immense monetary value, and steel provides high-quality everyday products.

But, in the ancient world, steel never would have entered people’s minds. Back then, the world revolved around bronze.

In those days, bronze was the metal of choice for armor, weaponry, and chariots. Armies waged war and built empires with this metal.

Although millennia have passed, we haven’t forgotten the uses of bronze. In fact, we still use bronze smelting processes in the fabrication industry.

So, how does this smelting process work? What techniques create the best bronze fabricator?

If those questions interest you, keep reading! We’ll explore how the smelting process works in the guide below.

What Is Smelting?

Despite the similarities in their sounds, smelting and melting have little to do with one another. Smelting refers to the ripping apart of a molecule that contains a metal. From there, smelters break the molecule into the elemental metal and another object.

Chemically speaking, this involves a reduction of the molecule. Usually, smelters reduce the molecule with a reducing agent to achieve this. A typical example of such an agent is carbon monoxide.

How does melting differ from smelting? Let’s use copper as an example.

Melting copper ore would produce a copper compound like cuprite. However, smelting ore creates the metal we know as copper. It also forms a residue of whatever other material was in the ore.

How Does Bronze Smelting Work?

Unlike gold and other noble metals, you can’t find bronze metal lying in a rock in a mine. Instead, bronze is one of several metal alloys used in the world for various tasks and materials.

What is a metal alloy, you ask? In short, a metal alloy mixes two or more types of metals to create a new material.

In bronze’s case, those two metals are copper and tin. Smiths in the ancient world discovered that they could heat these metals to their melting point and mix them together. This mixture created liquid bronze.

From there, they would cast the liquid bronze into clay or sand molds. These molds allowed the metal to cool until smiths could shape the metal into new products.

Smelters today use a similar process. They smelt copper and tin together to create strong and durable bronze. Then, as in ancient times, they can shape bronze into new materials.

What Is Bronze Used for Today?

These days, bronze finds use in several ways. The manufacturing industry often uses bronze to create industrial hinges and equipment.

Blacksmiths may use bronze to recreate ancient weapons and decorations. Artists may also use bronze to sculpt statues. For example, many statues on use bronze in their compositions.

Learning More About Different Types of Metals

The world of metal crafting is fascinating and full of science. If the bronze smelting process interests you, continue researching! Several other metals use similar processes to create the world you see today.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other content today.

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