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Alloys, examples of alloys

Few pure metals have all the properties we require of a metal. But we can usually improve the properties of a pure metal by adding other metals to it to form a mixture called an alloy. For example, copper is soft and fairly weak but we can add zinc to it to form brass, or tin to form bronze, both of which are hard and strong. Aluminum, too, can be greatly strengthened by adding copper to it. In fact, most alloys are stronger than the parent metals.

Alloys, examples of alloys Alloys, examples of alloys Alloys, examples of alloys

Alloys, examples of alloys

Metals mix in different ways. They may remain quite separate in the alloy, with crystals of one embedded in crystals of the other (top left). They may mix slightly, so that the crystals of one metal contain traces of the other metal. Or they may dissolve in each other completely (top right)

Steel, the best-known alloy, consists of a mixture of a metal - iron - not with another metal but with the non-metal carbon. Other metals are added to steel to produce the most important of all alloys - the alloy steels.

Alloys, examples of alloys

 

Alloys, examples of alloys:

Steel is combination of carbon, iron etc.

Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper

Brass that contains zinc and copper

 

An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. The metals are chosen and mixed in such a way that the alloy combines their best qualities

 

Metals for alloying are chosen and mixed so that the alloy has the combined best properties of both metals. Stainless steel, for example, has the strength of steel and is stainless like the chromium it contains. Ordinary steel will rust and chromium is not a strong metal. The properties of alloys can usually be further improved by methods of heat treatment, such as annealing (heating and cooling slowly) and quenching (heating and dipping in cold water or oil).

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