Thursday, July 14, 2016

Knowing the Difference: Brass vs. Bronze

By Gretchen Sawatzki

Brass furniture knobs.
Image by Hannah Manning via
Materials Unlimited
Brass and bronze are often confused due to their similar look, but these two metals are quite different. Here's your quick guide to knowing the difference!

Brass is commonly found in all types of hardware including door knobs and furniture pulls. It is hard and has a bright yellow coloration that can darken and age over time. Its weight is lighter than bronze and is non-magnetic.

- Comprised of approximately 65% copper and 35% zinc
- Hard, but easily corrosive
- Light weight
- Bright yellow-gold in color
- Non-ferrous (non-magnetic)

Bronze is commonly found in all types of decorative items including hardware, light fixtures, candelabras, statuary and more. It is also hard and has a rose gold-like coloration that can darken over time. Bronze is also known for its greenish-blue patina that comes with its age. It is very heavy and is also non-magnetic.

- Comprised of approximately 80% copper, 10% tin, and 10% mixed metal
- Very hard, not very corrosive
- Heavy
- Yellow in color with rose undertones
- Non-ferrous (non-magnetic)

Bronze door knob set with greenish-blue patina. Image by Hannah Manning via Materials Unlimited

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1 comment:

  1. My boyfriend and I have tons of brass fixtures throughout our house and clean these on a weekly basis. You shouldn't be intimidated when it comes to cleaning brass. Just use a cloth soaked in warm water to clean any small smudges. If there is a tougher cleaning job, rub a thin coat of tomato sauce on the brass and let it sit for an hour. Then rub with a washcloth soaked in soap and hot water. This should get out any stain.

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