CHAPTER 3

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WHAT IS AN ALLOY?
An alloy is a material that has metallic properties. and it is made up of two or more chemical elements of which at least one is a metal Objectives of alloying: (i) To improve the properties of one of these metals, (ii) To produce new properties which are not possessed by either metal in its pure state .

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EXAMPLES OF ALLOYS Pure Copper is a good conductor. The addition of 40% nickel to copper will produce Cu-40%Ni alloy which has high electrical resistance. Pure iron is soft and ductile. With the addition of 0.5% carbon, it becomes steel which is strong and hard. Stainless steels which are made up of iron and carbon, chromium and sometimes nickel
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PRE-REQUISITE OF ALLOYING In order to produce a useful alloy, the two metals (elements) must be completely dissolved into each other in the molten state.

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the metals may: separate from each other to form pure crystals or eutectic. remain soluble in each other to form a solid solution or combine chemically with each other to form inter-metallic compounds Revision 1 .TYPES OF ALLOYS Upon solidification.February 2011 5 EUTECTICS When two metals in an alloy system are soluble in each other in all proportions in the liquid state but are completely insoluble in the solid state. Revision 1 .February 2011 6 . Eutectics usually have a lamellar structure. they exist as alternate layers of the individual crystals. They separate from each other to form its own individual crystals. namely.

the crystals of the two metals will occur as alternate layers (e.February 2011 8 .g pure cadmium .EUTECTIC COMPOSITION The eutectic composition alloy is the lowest melting point alloy of any given alloy system and it melts at a fixed temperature.A.malleable and pure bismuth . Higgins) Revision 1 . Eutectic alloy is stronger than the constituent pure metals and it is also tough.brittle). At eutectic composition. Revision 1 .February 2011 7 EQULIBRIUM DIAGRAM Bismuth-cadmium alloy (Materials for Engineering Technician – R.

Types: (a) Substitutional (b) Interstitial.LAMELLAR STRUCTURE (ARRANGEMENT OF ATOMS FOR BISMUTH-CADMIUM ALLOY) (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R. Higgins) Revision 1 . and remain so even after solidification. Revision 1 . the microstructure consists of similar crystals and there is no evidence of separate existence of either alloying element or inter-metallic compounds.February 2011 10 .A.February 2011 9 SOLID SOLUTIONS In solid solution. Stronger than pure metals and retain much toughness and ductility of the original pure metal. The two metals are completely soluble into each other in liquid state.

Revision 1 .February 2011 12 . (ii) Partial solid solution – Copper/Tin.SUBSTITUTIONAL SOLID SOLUTIONS The two metals will form a single space lattice structure with atoms of one metal replacing atoms of the other metal in the lattice structure.Copper/Nickel. Silver/Gold. Examples: (i) Complete solid solution . Copper/Aluminium Revision 1 . similar crystal structure and similar atomic size. Copper/Zinc.February 2011 11 FACTORS FAVOURING THE FORMATION OF SUBSTITUTIONAL SOLID SOLUTIONS Constituent elements must have: similar properties. Cr/Iron.

February 2011 14 . The solute atoms are small enough to lie in between the solvent atoms.C.C.A.FACTOR FAVOURING THE FORMATION OF INTERSTITIAL SOLID SOLUTION Interstitial solid solution is formed when the atomic sizes of the constituent elements are markedly different . Iron Revision 1 .February 2011 13 SUBSTITUTIONAL/INTERSTITIAL SOLID SOLUTIONS (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R. Examples: Carbon/F. Higgins) Revision 1 .

This phenomenon is called CORING.February 2011 15 CORING (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.A.February 2011 16 . Higgins) Revision 1 . The outer fringes are therefore richer in atoms of metal with lower melting point. the one with higher melting point will solidify first. Revision 1 .CORING OF SOLID SOLUTION ALLOY Due to the difference in melting temperatures of the constituent metals. As a result in the cast condition. the cores of the crystals contain more atoms of the metal with higher melting point.

AVOIDING CORING Coring can be avoided by extremely slow cooling during the solidification of the alloy. Coring in the casting can be removed by annealing or hot working.February 2011 18 . The main purpose is to enable diffusion of the atoms to be complete.A. Revision 1 .February 2011 17 DIFFUSION (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R. Higgins) Revision 1 .

e. One element is strongly electropositive while the other is weakly electropositive.INTERMETALLIC COMPOUNDS These alloys consist of two or more metals in a definite (fixed) composition .February 2011 20 . Physical/chemical properties are different from that of the constituent metals. Example: Cementite (Fe3C) in steel.February 2011 19 THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAMS A diagram that shows the metallurgical phases that exist under equilibrium conditions (i. Revision 1 . Revision 1 . extremely slow cooling) for any temperature and composition of any alloy. They are of little use because they are hard and brittle.

February 2011 21 EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAM FOR LEAD-TIN ALLOY (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins) Revision 1 .(Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.February 2011 22 .A. Higgins) Revision 1 .

February 2011 24 .February 2011 23 PHASE Refers to any chemically stable homogeneous constituent in an alloy.A. In a solid alloy. Higgins) Revision 1 . Liquid solution from which an alloy is solidifying also constitutes a phase. Any of the solid phases form the basic units of which metallic alloys are composed. an inter-metallic compound or a pure metal. Revision 1 .COOLING CURVE FOR LEAD-TIN ALLOY Cooling over a temperature range Cooling at a fixed temperature Liquid & Solid (Materials for Engineering Technician – R.a phase may be a solid solution.

February 2011 25 INFORMATION OBTAINABLE FROM A THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAM Freezing range of a given composition. Note: Their relative proportions can be obtained by the Lever Rule which is not covered in this module. Liquidus Line This line on the thermal equilibrium diagram marks the temperature-composition relationship above which the only stable phase is liquid. The compositions of the phases which exist in equilibrium with one another at any temperature. Revision 1 .February 2011 26 . In a binary system.THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAMS (FEATURES) Lines (phase boundaries) divide the diagram into a number of areas or fields. Revision 1 . the fields may be either single phased or two phased. Solidus Line This is the line on the thermal equilibrium diagram below which the only stable phase(s) is/are solid. The state (types of phases) a particular composition exists at a given temperature.

February 2011 28 .February 2011 27 EFFECT OF COOLING ON CORING (Materials for Engineering Technician – R.TYPES OF THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAM An alloy system in which two metals are completely soluble in each other in all proportion in both liquid and solid states (e. copper-nickel) An alloy system in which two metals are soluble in each other in the liquid state but completely insoluble in the solid state (e. Higgins) Revision 1 . (Note: This alloy system is not covered in this syllabus).g. bismuth-cadmium) An alloy system in which two metals are soluble in the liquid state but only partially soluble in each other in the solid state. Revision 1 .A.g.

A. Higgins) Revision 1 .4: The nickel-copper thermal diagram (Materials for Engineering Technician – R. Higgins) Revision 1 . 9.A.February 2011 29 CD-BI EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAM Completely uniform liquid (Materials for Engineering Technician – R.EQUILIBRIUM DIAGRAM FOR NI-CU ALLOY Fig.February 2011 30 .

g. malleable cast iron) Revision 1 .February 2011 31 CAST IRON – cont’d Important Features Cheap materials . high compressive strength and good wear resistance (referring to white cast irons) Easy to machine (except white cast iron) High fluidity – easy to cast into complex shape .February 2011 32 . this should be done during the melting process. Revision 1 . They are produced from crude pig iron in a cupola or line frequency induction furnace. spheroidal grey cast iron. High rigidity. Lower melting temperature (compared to mild steel).CAST IRONS These are ferrous metals that contain more than 2% carbon. Should there be a necessity to make any adjustment to the composition.Produced by simple adjustments to the pig iron by addition of selected scrap-iron and scrap steel. High duty cast iron can be produced (e.

February 2011 33 White Cast Iron (Low Silicon) (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.A.DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAST IRONS. Hence difficult to machine. PROPERTIES AND APPLICATIONS White Cast Iron .Structure consists of cementite + pearlite. Revision 1 . .Properties include high wear resistant. . .This type of cast iron produces massive amount of cementite rather than graphite during solidification. Higgins) Revision 1 .Applications: (a) rolls for steel making (b) stone and ore crushing mills (c) low carbon equivalent white cast iron is an intermediate product for producing malleable cast iron. hard and brittle.February 2011 34 .

A. machine tool bases and heavy machine castings. AND APPLICATIONS (cont’d) Ordinary Cast Irons Engineering Grey Cast Iron Cast iron that permits graphite flakes to grow during solidification. . poor ductility and high compressive strength .DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAST IRONS. Revision 1 . .These are metals which have high fluidity during casting and it can be achieved by using high silicon content and high phosphorus content in the melt.February 2011 35 Fluid Irons Fine Grey Iron Materials for the Engineering Technician – R. .Applications: engine blocks. Fine grey iron – small graphite flakes in a matrix of pearlite . Higgins) Revision 1 .Properties – low tensile strength. PROPERTIES.Structures Coarse grey iron – large graphite flakes in a matrix of ferrite.Used to produce ornamental castings of intricate design.February 2011 36 .

75 Mn 0.50 0.80 0.Coarse Grey Iron (Material for the Engineering Technician – R.75 2.50 0.February 2011 37 Table:15.10 Si 1.90 Motor brake drums Motor cylinders and pistons Light machine castings Medium machine casting Heavy machine castings Water pipes Low-strength ornamental castings of yesteryear Revision 1 .25 3.10 0.25 3.50 0.65 0.25 3.35 0.15 0.25 2.65 0.1 Composition and uses of some ordinary cast irons Composition % C 3. Higgins) Revision 1 .35 0.30 3.10 0.10 0.75 1.A.10 0.February 2011 38 .90 2.25 1.25 1.10 0.35 0.08 0.50 0.50 P 0.25 3.15 0.50 Uses S 0.60 3.

February 2011 39 SPHEROIDAL-GRAPHITE CAST IRON Spheroidal-Graphite (SG) Cast Iron This cast iron is produced by adding small amount of magnesium or cerium to ordinary grey cast iron to cause graphite to precipitate as spheres during solidification. ductility and toughness (Ductility/strength are higher than malleable irons) - (ii) High fatigue resistance Applications: It replaces the steel forgings used for highly stressed components in the automobiles and other industries. cast gears. crankshafts. differential gear carriers. Structures consist of spheroidal graphite in a matrix of ferrite/or pearlite. Properties when compared to grey iron: (i) Excellent strength. Examples: camshafts. pumps and ship propellers Revision 1 . pistons.February 2011 40 .HIGH-DUTY CAST IRONS Spheroidal-Graphite (SG) Cast Iron Compact-Graphite (CG) Cast Iron Revision 1 .

February 2011 41 MALLEABLE CAST IRONS These are cast irons that are produced from white iron (Si < 1%) by a lengthy heat treatment during which cementite decomposes to produce rounded clumps of graphite. Applications: (i) gear pumps (ii) vehicle brake parts (iii) eccentric gears (iv) fluid and air cylinders Revision 1 . cerium and titanium which prevents the graphite from being completely spherical such as in SG cast iron.COMPACT-GRAPHITE CAST IRON Before being cast. molten iron is treated with alloy containing magnesium. The types of malleable cast irons are: (i) Black-heart malleable cast iron (see microstructure) (ii) White-heart malleable cast iron (iii) Pearlitic malleable iron (see microstructure) Revision 1 .February 2011 42 .

BLACK-HEART MALLEABLE CAST IRON Process: Heat white cast iron to 850 oC – 950oC for 50 – 70 hours in air-tight boxes Prolonged heating will break down the iron carbide into small rosettes of graphite. Structure is of ferrite (soft and ductile) and rosettes of graphite.February 2011 44 . Applications: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) brake shoes in automobiles pedals wheel hubs door hinges Revision 1 . Higgins) Revision 1 .February 2011 43 Blackheart Malleable Iron (Materials For Engineering Technician – R.A.

The ore oxidises and draws out the carbon in the castings.WHITE-HEART MALLEABLE IRON Process: . Structure is of ferritic structure near the surface and pearlitic structure with some fine rosettes of graphite at the core of the casting.February 2011 46 . Applications: (i)pipe fittings (ii) fitting for bicycle and motorcycle frames. Higgins) Revision 1 . .Heat white cast iron to about 1000 oC for 70 – 100 hours in air-tight boxes packed with iron oxides.February 2011 45 Whiteheart Malleable Iron (Materials For The Engineering Technician – R. A. Revision 1 .

Higgins) Revision 1 . Applications: (i) gears. -Marked reduction in malleability and ductility. (vi) differential housings and components. Revision 1 . (iii) camshafts.PEARLITIC MALLEABLE IRON Process: -Similar to black-heart process except that rapid cooling will cause the austenite to change into fine pearlitic structure instead. (ii) couplings. tougher and has higher tensile strength than black-heart malleable iron. (iv) axle (v) housings.February 2011 47 Spheroidal-Graphite Iron (Materials For The Engineering Technician – R. Properties: -Harder.February 2011 48 .A. Structure is pearlitic matrix with rosettes of graphite.

TILL WE MEET AGAIN NEXT WEEK Revision 1 .February 2011 49 .