Alloys Composition and their Uses

An alloy is a combination of metals or metals combined with one or more other elements. For example, combining the metallic elements gold a...

An alloy is a combination of metals or metals combined with one or more other elements. For example, combining the metallic elements gold and copper produces red gold, gold and silver becomes white gold, and silver combined with copper produces sterling silver. Elemental iron, combined with non-metallic carbon or silicon, produces alloys called steel or silicon steel. The resulting mixture forms a substance with properties that often differ from those of the pure metals, such as increased strength or hardness.
Alloys Composition and their Uses
Common Types of Alloys

Unlike other substances that may contain metallic bases but do not behave as metals, such as aluminium oxide (sapphire), beryllium aluminium silicate (emerald) or sodium chloride (salt), an alloy will retain all the properties of a metal in the resulting material, such as electrical conductivity, ductility, opaqueness, and luster. Alloys are used in a wide variety of applications, from the steel alloys, used in everything from buildings to automobiles to surgical tools, to exotic titanium-alloys used in the aerospace industry, to beryllium-copper alloys for non-sparking tools. In some cases, a combination of metals may reduce the overall cost of the material while preserving important properties. In other cases, the combination of metals imparts synergistic properties to the constituent metal elements such as corrosion resistance or mechanical strength. Examples of alloys are steel, solder, brass, pewter, duralumin, bronze and amalgams.

Important Alloys, Their Composition, and Typical Uses

Alloy
Composition
Uses
Babbitt Metal
Tin: 90%, Antimony: 7% & Copper: 3%
Used in bearings because of its low measure of friction with steel.
Bell Metal
Copper: 77% & Tin: 23%
Casting of bells.
Brass
Mainly Copper with up to 50% Zinc
Inexpensive jewelry, hose nozzles and couplings, stamping dies.
Bronze
Mainly Copper with up to 12% Tin
Coins & medals, heavy gears, tools electrical hardware.
Coin Metal
Used in USA for making coins.
Duralumin
Aluminium: 95%, Copper: 4%, Manganese ‹1%, Magnesium: 0.5%
Aircraft, boats, railroad cars, and machinery because of its high strength & resistance to corrosion.
Gun Metal
Copper: 85 – 90%, Tin: 8 – 12% & Zinc: 1 – 3%
Monel
Nickel: 60%, Copper: 33% & Iron: 7%
Corrosion-resistant containers.
Phosphor bronze
Bronze with a small amount of phosphorus
Springs (normal & electrical) & boat propellers.
Solder metal
Lead: 50% & Tin: 50%
Joining two metals to each other.
Sterling Silver
Silver: 92.5% & Copper: 7.5%
Jewelry, art objects etc.
Type Metal
Lead: 75 – 95%, Antimony: 2 – 18% & Tin in trace quantities.
Used to make type characters for printing; also used for making decorative objects like statuettes and candlesticks.

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Advanced Chemistry: Alloys Composition and their Uses
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