How Are Bronze Grave Markers Made?
For centuries, bronze grave markers have been made the same way through a process called sand casting.
So how are bronze grave markers made today?
It wasn’t until industry trends and changes in consumer needs over the last couple of decades called for new and improved manufacturing processes such as laser engraving and direct to metal machining.
These new processes have lead to better quality and higher levels of detail, although traditional markers are still made through sand casting.
A mold or pattern is used to create the details of the piece such as text, images, or emblems. These molds are made of metal, plastic, or wood, and they are machined, hand-set, or hand sculpted.
The mold is then pressed down into sand, forming an empty cavity. Bronze ingots are melted down and poured into the cavity and then quickly cooled. This forms the details of the bronze piece.
Laser Engraving is fairly uncommon in the memorial industry, but is a very common manufacturing method for making commercial plaques and awards.
The most popular way to engrave bronze is by taking a flat sheet of polished bronze and coating it with some sort of paint or coating that burns at a high temperature. Laser engravers are then programmed with the chosen artwork and the laser burns away the coating leaving a contrast used to create images and text.
Direct-to-metal machining is the newest and most innovative method for creating a bronze memorial. This process is patented by Trigard Memorials, and has been used to create thousands of memorials across the country since 2001.
Text and images are converted into three-dimensional renderings where light spots are raised higher and dark spots are recessed lower creating a detailed, realistic contrast.
Flat bronze is then placed on a CNC machine that reads the three dimensional renderings. The CNC’s remove material in order to achieve a high level of quality and detail.
No matter the method of manufacturing, most bronze markers go through some type of finishing process. Commonly used finishing processes include oxidation, hand-finishing and clear coat application.
How Are Bronze Grave Markers Made and Ordered at Trigard Memorials?
Interested in learning more about the Trigard Memorials grave marker production process?