April 20, 2012
Tian Tan Buddha
The remarkable outdoor bronze seated Buddha, also known as the Tian Tan Buddha, sits outside the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. One of the five largest Buddha statues in China, it measures thirty four meters (one hundred twelve feet ) tall, and weighs two hundred fifty metric tons. The construction took roughly three years to complete, starting in 1990 and finishing on the day of the enlightenment of Buddha, December 29, 1993.
The statue consists of two hundred two pieces of bronze, and contains a steel framework inside to provide support of the heavy load. Originally, the idea was to use reinforced concrete to mold and shape the entire Buddha, however; the implemented material was going to sustain structural and cost issues in the long run. As so, the Nanjing Chengguang Machinery Plant of the China Astronautics Science and Technology Consultant Corporation insisted a more dependable material to be used in the project, bronze.
But why did the team select bronze rather than concrete to be used as the essential outer material of the statue? Ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans found bronze to have a distinct advantage than other metals such as pure copper. As bronze being ninety percent copper and ten percent tin, the alloy had advantages such as: the difference in tensile strength bronze had compared to copper, and the low liquid melting point the alloy had in order to stay longer in this form for casting. The people during these times found many uses of this material, hence where the Bronze Age came to be. For instance, bronze weapons were widely manufactured during these time such as swords and shields, causing stone weapons to became almost extinct to human civilization. Additionally, the advancement of these weapons changed the type of warfare and the way of living these people endured. These civilizations recognized the potential tensile strength bronze possessed. Many people used bronze...
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