Copper Alloys Help Memorialize September 11 Victims

August 30, 2011


Bronze Panels Bear Victims' Names at National September 11 Memorial

NEW YORK-As the world anticipates the opening of the National September 11 Memorial in New York, the $700 million project will serve as a symbolic reminder of the 2,982 adults and children killed on that day or in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Bronze, a copper alloy, will help to connect visitors to the memorial's reverence and hope through bronze panels bearing each victim's name that will encircle twin, one-acre reflecting pools.

Designed by Handel Architects and PWP Landscape Architecture, whose design contest entry was selected in 2004, the memorial is simple and serene, yet a stunning tribute to what previously stood on the site and the innocent victims who died, including heroic first responders. As stated on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's website, the bronze panels are "a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history."

The choice of bronze for the panels is a classic one; bronze has immortalized heroes and legends in statues and plaques for centuries. Known as a warm, "living" metal, bronze invites people to readily touch and interact with it, resulting over time in a protective patina.

Canadian Brass & Copper Co., based in Toronto, supplied approximately 260,000 pounds of copper alloy C28000 that would eventually be transformed into the nameplates and parapets at the very heart of the memorial's design.

New Jersey-based Service Metal Fabricating created the panels and carved the victims names into the nameplates using a water jet. The family owned business - which specializes in water jet cutting, precision manufacturing, CNC milling and turning and more, won the bid in late 2009. The three-step production process culminated in the application of a chemical treatment that gives the plates a dark finish that will develop a further patina over time due to local atmospheric conditions.

Today, visitors to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's website can search for victims' names and learn exactly where his or her name panel is located at the memorial. Brief biographical information and a photo of each victim convey the intimacy of the memorial. The Memorial will open to the public September 12, 2011, one day after the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attack.

"We are proud that bronze is playing a significant role in the National September 11 Memorial. The atrocity was horrific, but we hope loved ones and visitors to the site will find some small comfort in the timeless display," said Andy Kireta, Sr., president - Copper Development Association.