To get the best deal on Tutoring, call 1-855-666-7440 (Toll Free)

Metal Alloys

All known elements can classified broadly as metals and non-metals. Metals are elements which have tendency to lose electrons and form positively charged metal ions. They have shiny surface, malleable, ductile, good conductor of heat and electricity. They usually exist in solid state and have high melting and boiling points. Some common examples of metals are iron, copper, aluminum etc. Metals cover around 75% part of the Modern Periodic table in which elements are placed increasing order of their atomic number. Unlike metals, non-metals usually exist in liquid or gaseous state. They have low melting points and boiling points. They usually have 5, 6 or 7 electrons in their valence shell therefore they tend to accept electrons to form anions to get the octet configuration.

That is the reason; non-metals involve in the formation of covalent bonds and form covalent compounds. Non-metals are placed at the right side of the periodic table and all are p-block elements. They do not conduct heat or electricity due to absence of any free electron in it. Halogens, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon are some common examples of non-metals. In between metals and non-metals, there are few elements which are placed in a zig-zag line and show intermediate properties of metals and non-metals. 

Related Calculators
metal calculator weight

Metal Alloys Definition

Back to Top
Alloys can be defined as the combination of two or more elements in such a way that they cannot be readily separated by physical manner. Alloys exhibit better and improved chemical and physical properties compare to metals therefore most of the metals are used as alloys. Remember the properties of alloys are distinct from their constituent metals. That is the only purpose to form alloys as their chemical and physical properties are improved from their constituent metals which overcome the limitations of many metals. At the same time, the properties of alloys can be modified by heating and some other treatments such as heat treatment and mechanical working. Chemically alloys are more stable and have corrosion resistance which makes them m0re useful.  Many of the alloys are made to impart magnetic or electrical properties, strength, formability, etc.

Metal Alloys Composition

Back to Top
Alloys are mixture of different metals in a certain ratio. The percentage of metals remains same for a particular alloy. Some common examples of alloys are listed below with their composition.

   Alloy   Components 
 Alnico  Iron (50%+), Aluminum (8–12%), Nickel (15–25%), Cobalt (5–40%) 
 2.  Amalgam   Mercury (45–55%) with Ag, Sn, Cu and Zn
 3.  Babbitt metal   Tin (90%), Sb (7–15%), Cu (4–10%).
 4.  Brass  Cu (65–90%), Zn (10–35%).
 5.  Bronze  Copper (78–95%), Sn (5–22%) with Mn, P, Al and Si
 6.  Cast iron  Iron (96–98%) with C (2–4%) and Si
 7.  Cupro-nickel  Copper (75%), Ni (25%)  with Mn
 8.  Duralumin  Aluminum (94%), Cu (4.5–5%), Mg (0.5–1.5%), Mn (0.5–1.5%).
 9.  Gunmetal  CU (80–90%), Sn (3–10%), Zn (2–3%), and P
 10.  Magnox  Magnesium and Al
 11.  Nichrome  Nickel (80%) and Cr (20%).
 12.  Nitinol  Nickel (50–55%) and Ti (45–50%).
 13.  Pewter  Tin (80–99%) with Cu, Pb, Sb
 14.  Solder  Sn tin (50-70%), Pb (30-50%) with Cu, Sb and other metals.
 15.  Steel (general)  Iron (80–98%) and C (0.2–2%) with other metals like Cr, Mn and V
 16.  Steel (stainless)   Iron (50%+), Cr (10–30%) with C, Ni, Mn, Mo
 17.   Stellite  Cobalt (67%), Cr (28%), W (4%), Ni (1%).
 18.  Sterling silver  Silver (92.5%), Cu (7.5%).
 19  White gold  Gold (75%), Palladium (17%), Ag (4%), Cu (4%)
 20.   Wood's metal  Bismuth (50%), Pb (26.7%), Sn (13.3%), Cd (10%)

Metal Alloys and Their Uses

Back to Top
The blending of different metals forms solid solutions. In solid solutions, the blending of solids depends on the size of the crystals which form and homogenous nature of alloy. Stainless steel is one of the most common alloys of iron which mainly contains iron with carbon and chromium. Here presence of Cr imparts the steel resistance to "stain" and also inhibit the process of corrosion. Due to presence of Cr, one layer of chromium oxide forms on the surface of steel.  This layer protects the attack of oxygen on surface of steel and avoids the process rust formation. Another example of alloy is Solder which is commonly used in binding of metals with others. The composition of this alloy varies such as most of the solder is formed by the mixing of lead and tin.

Silver solder is used in making of sterling silver jewelry.  Brass is another widely used alloy which mainly consists of Cu and Zn. Bronze is a copper alloy with tin. A tin alloy; Pewter consists of around 90% of Sn with Cu, Sb, Bi, Pb or Ag. It is used for cookware, dishes, or children's jewelry. Alloy of Au and Ag is known as Electrum which also contains small amount of Cu and other metals. It was in use for manufacturing of coins, drinking vessels, and ornaments.

Common Metal Alloys

Back to Top
Some of the common alloys are listed below:

 Al  a)    AA-8000
 b)    Al-Li
 c)    Alnico (Al, Ni, Cu)
 d)    Duralumin (Cu, Al)
 e)    Magnalium (Al, Mg)
 f)    Magnox (MgO, Al)
 g)    Nambe
 h)    Silumin (Al, Si)
 i)    Zamak (Zn, Al, Mg, Cu)

 2.  Bi  a)    Wood's metal (Bi, Pb, Sn, Cd)
 b)    Rose metal (Bi. Pb, Sn)
 c)    Field's metal
 d)    Cerrobend
 3.  Co  a)    Megallium
 b)    Stellite (Co, Cr, W, Mo, C)
 c)    Talonite (Co, Cr)
 d)    Ultimet (Co, Cr, Ni, Mo, Fe, W)
 e)    Vitallium
 4.  Cu  a)    Arsenical copper
 b)    Beryllium copper (Cu, Be)
 c)    Billon (Cu, Ag)
 d)    Brass (Cu, Zn)
 e)    Bronze (Cu, Sn, Al)
 f)    Constantan (Cu, Ni)

Base Metal Alloy

Back to Top
Base metals are inexpensive and common metals unlike precious metals like gold and silver. Some common examples of base metals are copper, iron, aluminum etc. The mixing of base metals results the formation of base metal alloys such as Brass, Bronze, Stainless steel, Invar etc.
Related Topics
Chemistry Help Chemistry Tutor
*AP and SAT are registered trademarks of the College Board.