We explain what an alloy is and the types of alloys that can be manufactured. In addition, some examples of this metallic mixture.
What is an alloy?
It is known as ` ` alloy '' the ` ` combination '' of two or other metallic elements, to constitute a new material. that it has the properties of its ingredients.
Alloys are usually considered to be mixtures, given, that chemical reactions do not occur between the joined elements, that is, their atoms are not entwine or change the constitution of their molecules.
In general, the But Which can be combined, one ` Not metallic, so as to alter its properties.
But the resulting material will always have metallic characteristics: bright, good thermal and electrical conduction, greater or lesser hardness, malleability and ductility, etc. This is a usual procedure in the steel and materials industry, and is the only way to obtain substances such as bronze or brass.
Every alloy is composed of at least two ingredients : a base material to which the materials are added, which may be one or more. punctuals of the result dependent n directly of the
Therefore, at the time of addition, the quantity of material is very important, the characteristics of the base material are modified. Depending on the case, the proportion between one and the other may consist of minimum percentages (0.2 to 2%) or much higher and notorious.
See also: Homogeneous Mix.
The alloys are commonly classified according to the predominance of an element over the others in the mixture (for example, one speaks of copper alloys, regardless of what are the other ingredients).
However, they are also divided according to the amount of ingredients involved, as follows:
- Alloy b inaries .
- Foreign alloys . Integran three elements (base element and two previous).
- Universal alloys . Integran four elements (base element and three alentes).
- Complex alloys . Integran f five or more elements (base element and four or more alloys).
Finally, it is often distinguished between heavy alloys and light alloys, depending on the properties of the base element. Thus, aluminum alloys are light, while those of iron are heavy.
- Steel . A fundamental alloy for human industries, it is a resistant but malleable material, resulting from the mixture of iron and various elements: carbon, mainly, but also silicon, sulfur and oxygen. Carbon makes iron more resistant to corrosion, although more brittle, so it is added in a small percentage.
- Brass It is widely used to make containers, especially for non-perishable food (cans), as well as in domestic pipes and taps, brass is obtained by means of copper and zinc alloy. It is a very ductile and malleable metal that shines easily when polished.
- Bronze This material played an extremely important role in the history of civilization, to develop tools, weapons and ceremonial objects. The bells are manufactured with this material, also many coins, medals, statues and a gigantic etc., given its good malleability and its economic obtaining from the copper and tin alloy.
- Amalgam Alloy of silver, tin, copper and mercury, is a pasty substance that hardens on contact with air, and was widely used in dentistry. Its mercury content makes it slightly toxic to the human body, so it has stopped being used.
- Duralumin A lightweight but resistant metal, the result of combining the properties of copper and aluminum in an alloy. It is very useful for aeronautics as it is a lightweight, malleable material but very resistant to rust.
- Pewter It is an alloy of zinc, lead, tin and antimony, to achieve a substance of great lightness and great heat conduction, ideal for making kitchen objects (especially cups and pots). Its great malleability comes from the particular properties of lead.
- White gold Ideal for making less heavy jewelry than those with a high content of pure gold, or simply using less amount of said precious mineral, to produce less expensive objects, this material is obtained by alloying gold, copper, nickel and zinc. Rings, necklaces, medals and other ornamental objects take advantage of this lustrous, shiny and precious metal.
- Magnalio Highly demanded in the automotive and canned goods industry, which take advantage of its low density and its hardness, toughness and tensile strength. Magnalium is the result of aluminum alloy with magnesium (in just 10% of the mixture).