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An alloy is a solution composed of two or more metal elements or metal and non-metal

elements (a complete or partial solid solution) in a metallic matrix, usually fused together
or dissolving into each other when molten (see Interstitial and Substitutional alloys).
Alloys can be a homogeneous solid solution, a heterogeneous mixture of tiny crystals, a
true chemical compound, or a mixture of these. Alloys tend to have properties that are
uncharacterized from any of its foundation metals, as they are engineered to have
particular properties.

Classification of Alloys

Alloys can be a Binary (created by combining two materials, thus either the two
constituents can be two metals or one metal and one non-metal), Ternary (created by
combining three materials, thus either containing all metals, or at least one metal in its
constituents), and so forth.

Interstitial Alloy

In an interstitial alloy, the atoms of the materials that make up the alloy are quite
dissimilar in size and the smaller atoms are situated neatly into the gaps between the
larger atoms. These gaps between the larger atoms are called interstices.

Substitutional Alloy

This is an alloy where the atoms of the materials that make up the alloy have equal or
very similar dimensions.

• Steel contains iron , carbon and others

• Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc
• Bronze is combination of copper and tin

Magnesium alloy
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Related questions [Edit]

• What are the uses of alloys in daily life and how are alloys made?
• Why are pure metals soft and their alloys are hard?
• What is an alloy?

Related links [Edit]

• Composition and Physical Properties of Alloys

• List of Alloys (Wikipedia)

Uses for alloys are limitless, and include an extensive

range of marine, medical, military, commercial,
industrial, residential and manufacturing
applications. Even brass and bronze, two of the
earliest alloys produced, still have extensive uses, and
remain in high demand.

Alloying is not always done to produce a 'superior' material, but to produce materials
having a derired requirement in the industry or elsewhere. A classic case is of lead solder
(containing lead & tin), in which the melting point of the constituent elements are
lowered, not necessarily a desirable property.
Alloying can be carried out using hot press method (a sheet of material is sandwiched
with alloying material), rolling the heated base metal in a drum full of alloying metal
powder, using hot spraying, galvanizing (dipping the base in a molten solution of
alloying material) etc. Sometimes the alloying material is addded in small proportions to
the molten base metal (eg, in production of different types of steel)


one of the only metals commonly used in it pure form is Copper, for electrical

Alloying is done by melting of more than one metal together to form an alloy.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright

alloy [O. Fr.,=combine], substance with metallic properties that consists of a metal fused with one
or more metals or nonmetals. Alloys may be a homogeneous solid solution, a heterogeneous
mixture of tiny crystals, a true chemical compound, or a mixture of these. Alloys are used more
extensively than pure metals because they can be engineered to have specific properties. For
example, they may be poorer conductors of heat and electricity, harder, or more resistant to
corrosion. Alloys of iron and carbon include cast iron and steels; brass and bronze are important
alloys of copper; amalgams are alloys that contain mercury; and chromium is an important
additive in stainless steel. Because pure gold and silver are soft, they are often alloyed with one
another or with other metals. New alloys are being engineered for use in new technology,
including materials for the space program. Metallic glasses and crystalline alloys have also been
developed, and metal alloys are sometimes bonded with ceramics, graphites, and organic
materials as composites

Definition: An alloy is a substance made by melting two or more elements together, at least
one of them a metal. An alloy crystallizes upon cooling into a solid solution, mixture, or
intermetallic compound.
brass, bronze, 14k gold, sterling silver.

An alloy is a partial or complete solid solution of one or more elements in a metallic

matrix. Complete solid solution alloys give single solid phase microstructure, while
partial solutions give two or more phases that may be homogeneous in distribution
depending on thermal (heat treatment) history. Alloys usually have different properties
from those of the component elements.