Durability of different alloys

michaelg

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
1,363
Reaction score
552
Location
Ireland
I once had a Paiste signature fast crash crack on me along a lathe line and I've got drummer friends who cracked some B20 Zildjians and a Bosphorus.

Is there a general consensus to which alloys tend to be more durable (all other things being equal) ?
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
21,332
Reaction score
10,234
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Think it's a player/operator question..
Never had any alloy crack (had some B8 bend) under normal playing.
(I said normal playing... I overheatedly played a brand new 18" K Con Zildjian once and broke (body crack) it. My Fault. (over-banging against the stem- was the charge)
Normally Cymbals (any) don't fall apart all on their own.
 
Last edited:

sixplymaple

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2020
Messages
318
Reaction score
289
I’ve cracked Paiste Signature cymbals and Sabian AA/AAX/HH cymbals. I don’t see a difference in durability between different alloys. I‘ve grown to enjoy heavy weight crashes though.
 

John DeChristopher

Very well Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
1,315
Reaction score
2,516
Location
Cohasset, Mass. USA
This is an old debate. And I think the debate is often misunderstood.

We can all agree that B8 cymbals are stamped from sheets of metal (92% copper 8% tin) and formed into cymbals. The metal/alloy is "pre-made" if you will, then the sheets are cut, hammered, lathed, etc and worked into becoming a cymbal. Some wonderful cymbals are made from B8 alloy.

B20 cymbals start as a casting (80% copper 20% tin with traces of silver) and are heated, rolled, pressed, hammered, lathed etc and worked into becoming a cymbal. The debate begins in the concept or philosophy that cast cymbals (B20) are more durable due to the continued heating and rolling, which creates a cross weaving of the molecular structure, thereby making a more durable cymbal.

So people confuse durability as being related to the alloy, when really it has a lot to do with the process. At least that's how I see it.
 
Last edited:

JimmySticks

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,603
Reaction score
1,804
Location
Queens NY
This is an old debate. And I think the debate is often misunderstood.

We can all agree that B8 cymbals are stamped from sheets of metal (92% copper 8% tin) and formed into cymbals. The metal/alloy is "pre-made" if you will, then the sheets are cut, hammered, lathed, etc and worked into becoming a cymbal. Some wonderful cymbals are made from B8 alloy.

B20 cymbals start as a casting (80% copper 20% tin with traces of silver) and are heated, rolled, pressed, hammered, lathed etc and worked into becoming a cymbal. The debate begins in the concept or philosophy that cast cymbals (B20) are more durable due to the continued heating and rolling, which creates a cross weaving of the molecular structure, thereby making a more durable cymbal.

So people confuse durability as being related to the alloy, when really it has a lot to do with the process. At least that's how I see it.
You could be right about B20 being stronger due to rolling and heating, but I believe before the process begins, B8 is a stronger alloy due to it only having 8% tin instead of the 20% tin in the B20. The more tin, the weaker the cymbal.

But as JDA mentioned, operator error would likely be the biggest factor in a cymbal failing.
 

Markkuliini

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
2,985
Reaction score
1,809
Location
Sweden/Finland
You could be right about B20 being stronger due to rolling and heating, but I believe before the process begins, B8 is a stronger alloy due to it only having 8% tin instead of the 20% tin in the B20. The more tin, the weaker the cymbal.
Are you sure about that? Sure, tin itself is quite soft, but still mixing copper with tin gives us bronze, which is harder than copper itself. Somehow tin hardens the alloy.
I browsed quickly through material datasheets for both CuSn20 and CuSn8 and didn't see big differences there.
 

JimmySticks

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,603
Reaction score
1,804
Location
Queens NY
Well, isnt
Are you sure about that? Sure, tin itself is quite soft, but still mixing copper with tin gives us bronze, which is harder than copper itself. Somehow tin hardens the alloy.
I browsed quickly through material datasheets for both CuSn20 and CuSn8 and didn't see big differences there.
Yeah, it’s hard to nail down. Some say one thing and another says something different. But my thoughts are B20 cymbals are more brittle and difficult to produce, which is why we pay more for them.
 


Top