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Metalís Allies: Metal Alloys

Metal alloys are everywhere, whether you realise it or not. The chances are that you will encounter metal alloys in your day-to-day life in the form of tools, jewellery, and cookware. In fact, most metals available on the market are alloys, but why? Read on to find out!

What is alloy metal?

Simply put, an alloy is a mixture of two or more elements, where at least one of the elements is metal, as either a compound or a solution. Individually, pure metals may contain useful properties such as electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, strength or hardness. Alloys work by combining these beneficial properties in order to create a more ‘ideal’ material that’s useful for more applications than any of the component elements.

To give you a better idea, here are some examples of common metal alloys:

 

Characteristics of metal alloys

Alloys are usually stronger than pure metals, but they generally offer lower levels of thermal and electrical conductivity. Alloys are extensively used for engineering and construction, due to strength being a vital requirement for structural materials. 

Many pure metals are found to be too soft for most uses, which is why other elements are added to form alloys. Why are metal alloys harder than pure metals? Simply put, by adding something more, you can keep the desirable characteristics of the original metal whilst transforming it into something stronger. Think of it more like a super metal!

What are metal alloys used for?

A good example of a metal alloy is Steel, which is an alloy of Iron. Pure Iron is incredibly soft, and so by adding more elements you can get the material to a level which is more useful for a particular application. There are many types of Steel, all of which have different purposes. 

Here are some examples:

Of course, Steel isn’t the only set of alloys! See below for more metal alloy examples and what they are used for:

  • Bronze: (Copper and Tin) used for ship propellers, sculptures, musical instruments and bells.
  • Gold: (Gold and Copper as well as other combinations) used to make jewellery and for various dentistry applications.
  • Magnalium: (Aluminium and Magnesium) used for aircraft parts.
  • Brass: (Copper and Zinc) used mainly for coins and musical instruments.

To discover more metals and alloys, or see what alloys Goodfellow have in stock, get in touch with our team today.