Our 6 Step Process
Step 1 - Bronze Memorial Order
Our process begins with the receipt of your order. Your order includes all the necessary components of your bronze plaque (size, design, inscriptions, emblems, etc..). After your order is received and confirmed, we develop a scaled paper representation of the information provide. This representation called a proof, is sent to you for your approval before we initiate the manufacturing process. We provide one proof at no cost.
Step 2 - The Setup
Once your written approval is received, we begin the manufacturing process by creating a life-size replica (also called a pattern) of your bronze memorial. This pattern is set in wax by hand with all the components of your memorial (artwork, emblems, letters, etc..). Once the pattern is complete, two quality control persons meticulously compare the pattern to the approved proof to ensure all details have been translated accurately.
Step 3 - Mold Fabrication
Next the pattern is encased in a special form of slightly moist silica sand (made of 3-partphelonic resin) in a molding box. The sand is then compacted by a process called ramming, which rapidly vibrates the molding box. Once adequately compacted and dried, the pattern is removed, leaving a mold that resembles your bronze memorial in reverse.
Step 4 - Casting
Casting begins by melting the bronze into a molten form inside a furnace that can reach temperatures above 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, bronze is melted in a crucible, a container resembling bucket. When the temperature reaches a level ideal for casting, the crucible is removed from the furnace with a chain hoist. The chain hoist is then used to position the crucible so that the molten bronze can be carefully poured into the mold. Once the mold is filled with molten bronze, it is allowed to cool.
Step 5 - Tooling
After the bronze has cooled, the bronze plaque is removed from the holding box. The bronze plaque is then shot blasted and sanded to remove any excess bronze and smooth out the surface where needed. Next, we use several different rotary sanding and grinding detail tools to create the best surface possible without disturbing any of the necessary components (inscription, emblems, etc.).
Step 6 - Finishing
After your bronze plaque leaves tooling, our Artisans apply a color finish by hand to your bronze plaque. American Bronze Craft offers three different finish colors: dark brown, light brown or black.Using touch-screen infrared paint drying ovens, the paint is quickly dried and cured to insure a smooth and even finish. Once the paint is dry, your bronze plaque is buffed to remove paint from the raised portions, such as lettering, to reveal the bronze's golden color. This step creates a striking contrast to the background finish color and reveals all of the elements of your bronze memorial plaque (inscriptions, emblems, and design elements).
Before your plaque is complete, we apply a Valve spar clear protective coating to preserve the metal. This coating ensures that your memorial plaque will weather the elements and retain its original beauty and luster for years to come. Once your plaque is complete, our meticulous quality control personnel carefully examine every aspect to ensure the plaque is free from defects and irreqularities before it it is shipped.For information on our produce guarantees, please download a copy of our terms, conditions, and warranty (pdf). Want to learn more about our production process? Get the inside details with a factory tour. We welcome visitors! Contact us for more details or find out how to setup a group tour.