What is an Alloy

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The term alloys is a common term but few people understand what alloys are and the different examples of alloys. By definition, alloys are metallic compounds that are composed of different metal and non-metallic elements. Some of the most common alloys are copper and aluminum alloy. Aluminum and bronze casting also produces an alloy that is sturdier compared to the elements by themselves. In most cases, the different examples of alloys are used to enhance the life of the eventual compound. That is why we have compounds such as stainless steel that is a steel composition of different elements.

Properties of Metal Alloys
When metals are pure, there are many ways that they can be useful. For example, such metals are very effective when it comes to electrical conductivity, strength, durability and corrosion resistance. So why are the different examples of alloys preferred over individual metals? If one metal possesses a certain quality such as high electrical current while a different metal might not be very effective in electrical conductivity but has high heat and corrosion resistance, the resulting compound from a combination of the two metals will have both of these qualities. You can for example have a combination of nickel aluminum bronze to create a much better nickel alloy that will have the qualities of each metal. It is almost impossible to get the precise properties of alloy products by the simple fact that elements do not just combine in a summation kind of manner but rather, they combine through chemical interactions. This is the reason why alloy production requires a lot of testing and development. One of the key factors that are taken into consideration in alloy production is the melting temperature of the alloy element.

Production of Alloys
Some of the different examples of alloys are naturally occurring and therefore do not require a lot of processing before conversion into an industrial grade material. Ferro-alloys for example are as a result of smelting mixed ores and their use is in the production of steel material. However, alloying metals is not a simple process as one might be led to think. In fact, there is so much that goes into mixing different elements. For example, if you tried mixing molten lead with molten aluminum, you would end up with a liquid with two different layers-much more like mixing water and oil. The mixing of commercial alloys is therefore done by mixing molten metals in a controlled environment for the process to be successful. The whole point of keeping certain factors constant or in a controlled environment as one would say is because metals are very different in terms of heat tolerances. This means that factors such as the temperature of individual metal components, the impurity level of each element and the alloying procedures are vital to the alloying process. There are those metals that are highly stable at very high temperatures while others begin interacting with the environment at relatively low temperatures that ultimately affects their purity levels and the quality of the alloy. In such cases, an intermediate alloy is first produced in order to try and force the other elements to combine.

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