What types of bronze products does Phoenix Foundry offer?
Our range of cast bronze products includes (but is not limited to):
How do I design my bronze product?
- Choose the product required from the listing under the Home Menu
- Use the information in Design Information to help choose how you would like your product to look
- Go the Order Enquiry section to choose from ordering on-line or choosing to contact Phoenix for help by a friendly staff member.
Rest assured that you will ALWAYS receive a proof from Phoenix Foundry before your order is finalised.
Do I always have to use only bronze for my product?
As a first choice, Phoenix Foundry always recommends the use of bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) for any plaque, sign, emblem or commemorative product. Apart from its appealing ‘golden’ colour post-casting, bronze is extremely durable and maintains an excellent standard of finish for generations.
However, there may be certain circumstances where other metals may need to be used. For example:
- Where a ‘silver’ colour is desired on parts of the plaque or sign, or special effects are required
- Where weight of the plaque or sign is an issue
- Where matching older style engraved plates is a priority
There are several other options that Phoenix Foundry can recommend to help you achieve the look or functionality that you require from your product:
Any plaque, sign, lettering or commemorative product can be made from aluminium. Aluminium can also be used for the raised sections of plaques or signs. It is important to note, though, that aluminium’s density (2700kg/m3) is only about one third of the density of bronze (8300kg/m3), and is cast in sand moulds at less heat than bronze. This means that aluminium does not have the durability and sustainability of bronze. The grade of aluminium used by Phoenix Foundry is DA601 aluminium, which is an alloy of 91% aluminium with silicon, iron and magnesium.
There are various other metals that Phoenix Foundry can work with such as stainless steel which can be used successfully for engraving or to achieve a particular ‘look’. Contact Phoenix Foundry if you’d like to discuss the options of using other metals for your selected product.
What size should I use? What size will look the best?
It is completely understandable that many customers are concerned about whether their product will look right in their desired location, whether it will be appropriate for the occasion, and whether their wording might look squashed or not quite right. Much of this concern is directly related to the size of the product.
Once you know what you are going to use the product for, and where the product will be going, you can then use the information provided on this website (or by contacting Phoenix Foundry directly) to help make your decision on size.
Sizes for Cemeteries
If you’re ordering a memorial or cremation plaque to go into a cemetery, then you’ll need to find out a) which cemetery it’s going to be placed in, and b) what the size, fixing and design specifications are for that particular cemetery. Many cemeteries have their own pricing structure which is dependent upon these plaque specifications. Some cemeteries also have their own additional charges. This information may then dictate the type of product that you can choose. Contact your Local Memorial Consultant for more information.
Sizes for Other Products
Remember that Phoenix Foundry staff have lots of experience in helping customers choose a size that is going to best suit their requirements. Please feel free to contact Phoenix directly to discuss your ideas over the phone or via email.
Do I have to consider copyright or permission for the use of emblems?
It is important to note that approval from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs is required for the use of any military badge.
Click here to download a form to request permission from Veterans’ Affairs. This form should be filled out and sent directly to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
There are a variety of Military badges which vary depending upon the time of service. In order to ensure that the correct badge is used, a copy of the Discharge Certificate or any service papers which prove service is required to be sent to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
If these papers are unavailable then the Veteran’s full name, date of birth, date of death, service under which the Veteran served and service number is required. This process may take some weeks.
Memorial and Other Motifs
Some motifs in the Phoenix Motif Library and database may be copyright protected. This means that permission from the owner of the Copyright is required before it is used on a plaque or sign. Permission is usually granted by the copyright owner for one off memorial use at no charge.
Memorial Plaques in Public Venues
All Memorial Plaques to be installed in public venues require permission from the local Council to ensure they meet standard requirements. These requirements may relate to any number of elements such as size, colour or fixing system, and will vary according to the type of memorial required (for example, burial, cremation or garden). Your Local Memorial Consultant will be able to advise you of these regulations and organise the design of your memorial plaque for you if you wish.
What happens if I need to make changes to my order AFTER signing off on the proof?
Phoenix Foundry or your Local Memorial Consultant will be able to advise you what charges (if any) apply when you make the request for changes. Please note, however, that charges may apply in the following circumstances:
- A request for your plaque, sign or other product to be completed in less than 10 working days (called an accelerated delivery surcharge)
- Any changes to your order once production of it has commenced (called a restart)
- Changes to individual letters (usually spelling or name changes) or numbers (usually dates) on a finished order
How long will my product take to manufacture and deliver?
Although the production process can sometimes vary according to the type and level of detail of the product ordered, most standard orders received by Phoenix Foundry have a 4-week turnaround time. (i.e. 4 weeks following approval of the proof and/or quote).
What happens during my product casting process?
Phoenix Foundry manufactures thousands of bronze plaques and associated products every month, each one individually handcrafted and cast. There are 8 stages within the production process:
- Plaque Design – The layout of the inscription, motifs and other design features are keyed up in computer programs from information provided by our customer.
- Negative Production – The requested plaque designs are transferred to a photographic negative in an image setter.
- Moulding – The patterns are placed in a mould box and covered with a thin layer of a blend of selected virgin sands. The remainder of the box is filled with a mix of silica sand and binder which hardens the sand after a short time interval. This mould is stripped from the box and assembled with other sections ready to receive the molten bronze.
- Pouring – Bronze ingots are melted in a gas-fired or induction crucible furnace to a temperature of around 1200°C. The molten bronze is poured into the mould and solidifies in the form of the finished plaque. On cooling, the mould is broken and the casting recovered.
- Fettling – This stage of the process involves cutting off excess bronze from around the plaque, water and sand blasting and edge linishing to prepare the plaque for further processing.
- Detailing – Appropriate fittings are attached and any irregularities are eliminated.
- Linishing and Painting – The plaque is painted with background colour in a spray booth. The surface of the plaque containing the inscription is then ground with a belt linishing machine to bring up the bronze metallic colour on the raised inscription and other design features. A clear protective layer of paint is then sprayed on and the plaque baked in an oven to harden this protective layer.
- Inspection and Packing – The plaques then undergo a final quality inspection and are packed ready for dispatch.