View A Video on Alloys - A Quick Introduction
When specific qualities of metals are needed for applications such as
rockets and aircrafts, alloys can be made and provided by alloy
suppliers to match predetermined sets of characteristics. The alloy
usually takes characteristics of the elements it is made from, physical
properties like reactivity, density and electrical and thermal
Alloy suppliers offer stronger, more durable metals with more desirable properties than those of their individual components, such as increased hardness or malleability. Metals like aluminum, copper, magnesium, steel and non ferrous metals are common metal alloys that have increased material properties that make them more attractive on the market. On the other hand, the alloy's engineering properties such as tensile and shear strength, can be very different from the original materials, which were more heat resistant and not so brittle under those circumstances. In these cases, lightweight alloys with strong heat-resistance are created, known as high temperature alloys. Superalloys are also high temperature resistant, but with increased mechanical strength, good surface stability and both corrosion and oxidation resistance. Most metals can be used in the forming of alloys and there are therefore many of them, including stainless steel, pewter, brass, bronze and then the specialized custom alloys. Custom alloys are chemically altered to various degrees for specific applications. Alloys can also be categorized by the types of processes that they are utilized within, such as brazing alloys and welding alloys.
Specific characteristics developed from the combinations of certain metal alloys are fascinating. For example, magnesium alloys are combined with aluminum, zinc and lead, although it can also be alloyed with other non-ferrous metals such as zirconium all of which produce a strong but light-weight metal alloy. The varieties of copper alloys are vast, although there are two that are well-known in the consumer context; brass, which is made of copper and zinc and bronze, which is made of copper and tin. Copper is noted for its conductive abilities. One more example is steel alloys, whose notable characteristics include hardness, toughness, strength, hot hardness and wear resistance. Silicone, boron, nickel, vanadium, cobalt, tin, aluminum and copper are all used to create various custom steel alloys. A positive characteristic that applies to all metal alloys is the fact that they can be recycled. In fact, alloy scrap is marketed as a valuable commodity and is essential to the economic production of alloys. Steel in particular is often recycled, more often in fact then it is made.
In the past, most alloys have been formed by melting down the materials and then mixing them together, which is a form of casting. The other common technique was to wrought the metals together, which involved melting them to a lesser degree then casting required, then hammering and pressing them to make the new substance smooth and bubble free. However, powder metallurgy is becoming a more popular method of creating alloys. This process mixes dry powders, squeezes them together under high pressure and heats them to temperatures just below their melting points, resulting in a solid, homogeneous alloy. Ion implantation is another technique that forms alloys; it uses beams of ions of carbon, nitrogen and other elements, and fires the beams into selected metals in a vacuum chamber that produces a strong, thin layer of alloy on the metal surface. Brazing is a process that utilizes metal alloys by melting them down and using them to connect two other pieces of metal together, which creates an alloy in the process. Welding also utilizes an alloy to combine to pieces of metal into one, although it actually melts down part of the pieces as well as the welding alloy that's bonding them together.
Alloys are used in various industries: water extraction, treatment and distribution, construction, agriculture, architecture, packaging and shipping, automotive, medical, marine, aerospace, military, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and manufacturing industries including oil, petroleum and chemicals. Specific applications within these industries include gas turbines, electric motors, vessels, tubing, industrial tools and machine parts such as gears, flat wear, dental tools, medical devices, power transmission parts, gear boxes, missile pieces and various parts of marine vessels. Which metal alloy is used in which industry for which application, depends on the aspects of the alloy that are most necessary. In most of the applications in which alloy metals are used, there are no acceptable or economic alternatives to alloys. Some alloys are unique enough to be used in super specialized situations, such as those with particular nuclear absorption qualities, which are used in nuclear reactors. There are also alloys used as superconductors in very low temperature applications, and there those that are designed to resist the corrosive effects of boiling salt water and are used in desalination plants. Spacecraft building material is another specialized field that requires the use of metal alloys.
- Alloy suppliers are companies that provide metals comprised of two or more metallic elements.
- is a metallic material made from a combination
of aluminum and another element, aluminum being the main component.
made up of two components.
- Brazing alloys refer to various metal alloys that are used as filler metal in brazing processes, and differentiate based upon either the intended use or the method of application
alloys used to form objects in molds, and they are more easily molded
than other alloys.
- is a combination of copper and another element,
in which copper is the chief component.
- can be engineered to have specific properties
that meet requirements for a specific application.
all alloys that are based on iron.
- High temperature alloys are metals that are composed of two or more metallic elements and have
the capacity to operate or be utilized at extremely high temperatures
such as 2000ºF (1093 C).
alloys of two or more metals in a certain proportion, forming a new
- Magnesium alloys are formed from a base of elemental magnesium and another metallic element.
- is an amalgamation of two or more elements, one
of which must be a metal.
- is a metallic material predominantly comprised
a mix of two or more non-ferrous metals, not containing iron.
alloys made up of four different components.
- Steel alloys are most commonly made up of nickel, chromium,
silicon, manganese, tungsten, molybdenum and vanadium, and are
used for their increased hardness, strength and chemical resistance.
or high-performance alloys, can withstand extreme temperatures that
would destroy metals like steel and aluminum. A superalloy will have
excellent mechanical strength, surface stability and corrosion resistance.
alloys made up of three different components.
- is a metal alloy in which titanium remains the
- Welding alloys are metals that are formed from two or more metallic elements that are
utilized during the welding process in order to function as a filler
- A substance that has metallic properties and
is composed of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal.
- An element added
to a metal that effects changes in structure
- A process using beams of ions of carbon, nitrogen
and other elements which are fired into metals in a vacuum chamber in
to produce a thin layer of alloy on the metal surface.
- A process used to change the shape or form of metals and
- The study of the physical and chemical behavior of metallic
elements, their intermetallic compounds and their alloy mixtures.
- The process by which alloys are mixed in powder form
and heated into a solid, homogeneous alloy