Along with granite headstones, aother popular type of headstone is bronze headstones. The material bronze is used for making strong and hard headstones that will not break easily and last for hundreds of years. The durability and elegance that can be seen on bronze headstones make it a perfect choice for honoring the life of a loved one. At the same time bronze headstones does not need too much maintenance and these headstones can be easily installed in a cemetery.
The material bronze was created with the discovery of the technique known as alloying. History of bronze technology is very old. It was made for the first time when a small amount of another metal was mixed to copper. Usually tin, copper, lead and zinc are mixed together to make bronze and soon it became popular in the market due to its durabilty and strength. A bronze headstone will not rust even after years of exposure to harsh climatic conditions.
Just like granite headstones, bronze headstones can also be personalized with the name of the deceased, dates of birth and death and at times even epitaphs. As bronze has been used for centuries for making headstones it has also helped historians and genealogists in their research works.
The manufacturing process of making a bronze headstone use age old techniques. The whole manufacturing process can be categorized into four different steps.
The four steps are:
Casting the bronze plaque
The first step starts with casting the bronze plaque where a mold is created complete with all the lettering. Then bronze is melted under high heat of around 200 degrees. The molted liquid is then poured into the molds and is then allowed to cool. With time the bronze shrinks a little and then only it is removed from the mold.
Chasing the bronze plaque
Next step starts with the chasing phase. Here workers grind the bronze headstones in order to remove any kind of imperfections that may have appeared during the first step. Workers use small grinders to remove the minor imperfections. Here the headstone is given the desire texture and shape. In case of imperfections, the first step is again repeated.
In the third stage of bronze headstone manufacturing process, several coats of dark brown paint known as oxidation are applied to the bronze plaque. Next all the traces of excess oxidation are removed from the designs with a special kind of solvent. Finally the headstone is coated with lacquer for maximum protection, durability and beauty.
Finally, the bronze headstone is ready for shipping where it will be mounted to a granite base. Usually a bronze headstone is secured to a 4” thick piece of granite with the help of brass hardware. As bronze and granite are two most durable materials available in the market, it is guaranteed that a bronze headstone will last for years to come. The headstone is then ready for shipping and customers can buy the headstones from funeral homes, online outlets or traditional shops.
To conclude, a bronze grave marker is an everlasting tribute to a loved one who has passed away. In the market, you can find these types of headstones in a wide variety of designs that can be personalized by adding emblem and epitaph. In fact, there are many cemeteries in the US where you can install bronze grave markers only.