Alloy Metal: A New Boom
What is an alloy metal?
An alloy metal refers to a mixture of different elements like different metals combined together or metal combined with other chemical elements.
The mixture differs from the properties of that of pure metal and has more advantages in its usage.
Some advantages include increased strength, hardness, usability, flexibility, and so on. Also, a major plus point of alloys is that the overall cost is reduced than the pure metals while also retaining their important properties.
Alloys are used in our day-to-day lives and some of the alloys with which we are very familiar are steel, solder, brass, pewter, duralumin, bronze, amalgams, etc. Mangalam Metals is a leading exporter of high quality Nickel Alloys, Inconel, Monel, Hastelloy and more.
Why are alloys created?
Alloy metals are created in order to combine the positive aspects of different metals or elements together in a single element or mixture. This is done to obtain the desired properties of two or more metals that can be put into use in our daily life activities. It is important to keep in mind metals are a necessary component of the mixture of alloys. This metal is usually called the base metal or the primary metal. There can be two or more metals or metal alloys or a metal and other non-metallic element combined together to form an alloy.
How are alloys created?
It is known that alloys are created by mixing different metals together or mixing metal with other chemical elements but there are different alloys that have completely different processes of being created.
In this modern era, most of the alloys are created for human use and are man-made but there are some alloys that occur naturally as well. Earlier when humans were not developed in technology they used to rely on natural alloys or alloys created by accident.
For example, steel is an alloy that is made by adding a small quantity of carbon to iron. Steel is extremely strong, even stronger than iron, and is used as the most important material for manufacturing other products in factories.
When chromium is added to steel it develops resistance against corrosion and is then known as stainless steel. Stainless steel is mainly used in making utensils. Whereas if we add silicon to it, it becomes silicon steel.
With the combination of a very strong malleable metal such as aluminum and another malleable metal copper, we get aluminum alloy which is much stronger than both metals keeping its malleable properties as well.
Gold and silver combine make electrum alloy, which occurs naturally. Bronze is one of the most ancient alloys made by humans, which comprises tin and copper.
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The emergence of different alloys
1. Meteoric iron
With meteoric iron came the introduction of alloys. This is an ancient alloy that is naturally occurring and is a mixture of nickel and iron. After severe heating, the alloy could be carved into different usable important tools. This is a rare and valuable alloy.
2. Copper-gold and gold iron alloys
Previously in the ancient era metal alloys were prepared and used mainly for decorative purposes by the aristocrats. Gold was mixed with copper or iron sometimes to bring out different golden shades and an alloy.
In those days, silver was added to copper to create sterling silver which had strong usability in the making of utensils, silverware, and so on.
Zinc and copper were alloyed to form brass. This form of alloying originated in the Middle East. Brass had amazing properties better than the individual properties of both metals, so it became pretty popular in that era.
Copper was initially used to make jewelry and is known for its hardness worldwide. It was mixed with tin to create a very important alloy which is still extremely famous and is known as Bronze.
The alloying of copper and tin to create bronze began in Turkey. Bronze was then a rare metal.
How is alloying done?
The two or more metals or non-metallic elements along with the metal are heated vigorously until they are molten. When the process is over and the elements are melted, they are poured into a metal mold, and with time they solidify and form an alloy.
The Importance of Metal Alloys in our lives
1. Metal Alloys have better versatility than metals
Pure metals have rigid properties thus leaving minimal or no room for additional properties whereas alloys are more versatile as they are a mixture of different elements (metals and non-metals). So there is a lot of room for adding better properties to an alloy easily.
2. Metal alloys are stronger than pure metals
It is not an unknown fact that alloys are created in such a way that it inherits only the best properties of the base elements thus leaving the undesirable qualities behind which makes them even stronger than the original metal itself.
As the alloys are made of more than one kind of atom, it is difficult for the atoms to move around easily which makes the surface of the alloys stronger than the parent metal as the pure metal consists of only one kind of atom so it makes the metal less strong.
3. Metal alloys are highly resistant to corrosion unlike pure metals
The atoms of different elements (metals and non-metals) work together to create an even better and stronger alloy which is typically much more resistant to corrosion than pure metals.
A major plus point of the alloys is that despite being stronger than pure metals they are even lighter than metals which makes it easier to carry and a better option to use as well.
5. Electrical Conductivity
Alloys are amazing conductors of electricity. It is an even better option as it is cheaper than the pure metal. The best properties of metals make alloys a great electrical conductor.
6. Thermal Conductivity
Besides being a great electrical conductor, it is also a great thermal or heat conductor as well.
The influence of Alloy
Alloys have influenced human lives in a lot of ways and the most important way is that it has made human life easier and more efficient with their amazing combined properties. The discovery of alloys has benefited us greatly and that is the reason why it is booming in 2022.