I work in a maintenance department supply room that has stocks both brass and bronze parts (among many others). The majority of maintenance personnel are L1 Spanish speakers from various Latin American countries.
In teaching myself the Spanish translation of lesser-used words for various maintenance parts, I've learned
But, my L1 Spanish-speaking coworkers insist that there's only one word, bronce, for either alloy. They all give me funny looks and/or correct me whenever I say "latón" when referring to a brass part.
But I'm not convinced that the use of just one word is correct. The English Wikipedia page for "brass" says, in the second paragraph,
By comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin.
"Brass" in Spanish Wikipedia ("Latón") concurs:
Si bien el bronce es, en cambio, principalmente una aleación de cobre con estaño [...]
My basic understanding of metallurgy tells me that these are indeed two distinct alloys, with bronze being the "older" one (in terms of human history). Noting that "bronze" and "bronce" appear to be cognates, whereas "brass" and "latón" are vastly different, reinforces this idea.
While I respectfully disagree with my Spanish-speaking coworkers, is their usage of just "bronce" for either alloy indeed correct?