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Bronze, Cast Iron, and Cast Aluminum: Properties, Preservation, and Performance.

Historical Arts Hand Finishing

Available On-Demand

Learning Units: 1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Speaker: Robert Baird, Historical Arts and Casting, West Jordan, UT

The industrial revolution in Europe paved the way for the use of cast metals as a viable building material in the 19th century. James Bogardus's patent for the use of cast iron in building facades revolutionized construction in the US. What previously had been carved in stone could now be cast, replicated, and transported in abundance. Wealth along with the vision of the City Beautiful movement, and a hunger for sharing artistic detail was within the grasp of private property owners and government buildings at all levels resulting in more beautiful buildings and landscapes.

This course will explore the properties of architectural cast metals including; Cast Iron, Bronze and Aluminum and each of their benefits and advantages. Manufacturing technology, the sources of deterioration; maintenance, conservation and restoration methods will be covered referencing completed projects and practical applications.

Learning Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast the properties of cast iron, bronze and cast aluminum and the benefits and advantages of each material.
  • Discuss the manufacturing technology behind producing architectural cast metal products along with the appropriate finishes for each.
  • Explain the problems caused by electrolytic action on metals and recommend corrective action.
  • List maintenance, conservation and repair techniques to keep cast metal ornament in service on historic buildings.