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Alloys

Duralumin
Duralumin is an alloy of aluminium and cooper. It is made of 93.5% aluminium, 4.4% copper, 1.5% magnesium and 0.6% manganese. This gives the aluminium the same strength as steel, but is only a third of the weight. Its properties mean that it is used extensively in aircraft building. One of the pictures below is of a duralumin strut warped from fire damaged that has been rescued from the Hindenburg

disaster.

Gunmetal
Gunmetal is a type of bronze, which was the metal used for making guns before it was superseded by steel. It is an alloy of 88% copper, 10% tin, and 2% zinc. It resists corrosion to steam and salt water, so it is suitable for making valves and steam fittings where there is a hot, humid environment.

High Speed Steel


High speed steel is the new alternative to high carbon steel, and is used to make drill bits, lathe cutters and milling cutters. It is harder and has a higher abrasion resistance than high carbon steel, and it can cut other metals at higher speeds than other high carbon steels without overheating. HSS contains around 92.4 % iron, with 7% of chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium, and cobalt, with 0.6 % carbon.

Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is made from 92.5% silver, alloyed with 7.5% copper and very small amounts of other metals. Pure silver is too soft to make items

like cutlery, so alloying it with copper and other metals gives it increased strength and resistance to tarnishing whilst conserving the colour of the original silver. Its main uses are cutlery, musical instruments and cups.

Cast Iron
Cast iron contains around 95 % iron, 2.1-4 % carbon and around 1-3% silicon. Cast iron, although very brittle, has good resistance to corrosion, is easy to machine, is very durable and very strong. It is used mainly in machine and car parts, such as cylinder head, gearbox gases and engine blocks.

Staballoy
Staballoy is an alloy of depleted uranium and titanium. It contains 99.25% depleted uranium and 0.75% titanium. It is twice the density of lead, and so it is used to make kinetic energy penetrating armour piercing rounds. It is used to make the head of the round which then carries a charge behind the staballoy, which detonates after impact.