High quality hardware has a reputation for fine workmanship and how well it maintains a finish. These materials, used in making many of our products, have a natural finish that often forms its own natural protective coating that prevents tarnish, oxidation and corrosion and is up to 3 times as durable as plated economy hardware. High quality hardware is strong and flexible, very versatile, has a significantly longer lifespan than products made of economy materials and has lower maintenance costs. Often double the weight of comparably sized economy hardware, high quality hardware is solid, quite dense, and sturdy. The average retail sales price premium for all of these advantages averages only 20%.
Brass is a metal alloy used in making many of our high-quality products. Many of our pieces are classified as solid brass, meaning that they are not hollow and are composed entirely of brass, making them quite dense, and very durable. The brass used to manufacture Cliffside’s solid brass hardware consists of approximately 60% copper, 37% zinc, and 3% other trace metals. (See also “What’s the difference between solid brass and die cast?”)
Bronze is a metal alloy produced by blending copper and tin. It can contain between 2% and 20% tin. It is a sturdy, durable metal and is much harder than brass. The resonance of bronze makes it ideal. Bronze has a natural patina that forms on it turning the bronze a dark, dull color and provides a protective layer preventing oxidation below the surface of the bronze. Most bronze is coated with a thin layer of lacquer to protect the metal and the patina. Bronze looks its best when it is minimally treated.
Stainless steel is the general name for a number of different steels used primarily for their anti-corrosive element. Stainless steel is a specific type of steel that is alloyed with chromium to make it stainless. Stainless steel was developed to resist a number of corrosive environments. It is also an earth friendly material; it can be melted down and recycled. Stainless steel is made using chromium, nickel, and nitrogen. The minimum amount of chromium used is 10.5%. It is chromium that makes the steel stainless. Chromium improves the corrosion resistance by forming a chromium oxide film on the steel. It can also be self-repairing. Stainless steel is both strong and flexible, is a very versatile material, has a significantly longer lifespan than products made of other materials and has less maintenance costs.
Pewter is an alloyed metal made primarily from tin with small components of lead and copper. Most pewter is 63% to 90% tin. The other metals are used as hardeners. Pewter is highly tarnish resistant and forms a protective patina with age. In color, pewter starts out glossy and bright, almost like silver. Over time the metal oxidizes and acquires a grayish tint. The metal is highly ductile, meaning that it can easily be worked, embossed or carved and is malleable. Pewter is susceptible to damage by acids like vinegar and lemon juice and should not be exposed to extreme heat.
Crystal is man-made, essentially a creative cutting of hand-blown glass that has been treated with lead oxide and cut to make facets. This gives the glass a higher index of refraction and creates an attractive sparkling effect that is prized throughout the world. Crystal has a reputation for fine worksmanship. Crystal is indelibly linked with Swarovski crystals. What makes a Swarovski crystal unique is its composition. He developed different chemical coatings and material combinations to enhance color and sparkle.
Iron is a metallic chemical element with the metal often appearing in alloys that make it twistable with a low corrosion rate. It is extremely malleable, versatile and ductile. Iron does not require complex technology to be worked. This metallic element is generally magnetic. We value iron for strength and weight bearing capacity under tensile pressure, resistance to corrosion, malleability, and how well it keeps a finish. When corroding, iron distributes rust into a beautiful dappled coppery or brownish finish that appeals to people’s sense for antiquity. Iron has become a synonym for durability.
That’s all for today; check back later for more updated information on upcoming new products and contact us for any questions you might have!