Bronze is a well-known copper alloy that has a variety of uses. For external architectural purposes, its application is limited to decorative fixings such as statues or ornamental fittings.
Solid bronze will corrode, but it will not rust. This is because rust, or iron oxide, depending on the iron content within the metal to react with oxygen to form iron oxide. There are only trace amounts of iron in Bronze, so it does not rust.
Bronze Pinto is a 316 Grade stainless steel, which undergoes a linishing process to allow the bronze content to be applied giving the solid bronze appearance.
This results in a finish that equals solid bronze in terms of corrosion resistance, since the stainless-steel base material does not rust. Also, 316 grade is the highest grade of stainless steel used for architectural purposes giving you additional peace of mind.
Although it will not rust, in an outdoor environment, it will naturally weather by going a darker colour just like solid Bronze would. By applying a clear coat, you can safely protect the unweathered Pinto appearance.
For more information on Pinto, read our blog here.
The crucial advantage Pinto has it that the price point is much lower. This is actually why Pinto was first introduced – because all specified Bronze components were just getting value engineered out of projects in favour of bronze-colour powder coated mild steel.
Powder coated mild steel with a Bronze shade of RAL colour powder coating looks exactly what it is – cheap. Pinto is in between powder coated mild steel and solid Bronze in terms of price. However, the beauty of Pinto is that few members of the public would be able to distinguish Pinto from solid Bronze, but it is much more cost effective.
The appearance of both materials is virtually identical.
Another advantage for Pinto, particularly relevant to installers is that Bronze is a very hard metal to work with. This makes Bronze difficult to shape, especially for complex objects, so it can cause increased project install costs and time.
More often than not, there is not a choice between Pinto and Bronze because Bronze is simply so expensive.
If the choice was between a bronze colour powder coated finish and Pinto, then we would recommend Pinto because it has a more authentic appearance (thanks to the incorporation of bronze elements) and superior corrosion resistance.