Alloys are mixtures of a metal with other elements, the precise combination being governed by the required properties. Alloys are generally considered to be metallic in nature i.e. they have good thermal and electrical conductivities).
Alloys can be manufactured by various routes, the most widely used being to melt the constituents together and to cool the resultant mixture to form a single or multi-phase solid.
Crucible - A vessel in which other materials may be heated or melted, usually at high temperatures.