What is an Alloy?
It is a uniform mixture of two or more components together. It is prepared by mixing the various metals in the molten state in required proportions and then cooling their mixture to room temperature.
For Example, Aluminium metal is light but not hard, but an alloy of Aluminium with magnesium is light as well as hard.
Ex: Combining the metallic elements gold and copper produces red gold, gold and silver becomes white gold.
Ex: Brass is an alloy that is made from copper and zinc.
Characteristics of alloys
- It is stronger than the metals from which they are made.
- Alloys are harder than constituent metals.
- Alloys are more resistant to corrosion.
- It has lower melting points than the constituent metals.
- Alloys are lower electrical conductivity than pure metals.
Some common alloys
Brass: It is an alloy of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). It contains 80% copper and 20% zinc.
Uses of brass: making of utensils, pipes.
Bronze: It is an alloy of tin and copper. It contains 90% copper and 10% tin.
Uses of bronze: making of coins, ornaments.
Amalgam: An alloy of mercury metal with one or more other metals is called an amalgam.
Magnalium: It is an alloy of Aluminium and magnesium. It contains 95% Aluminium and 5% magnesium.
German silver: German silver is the alloy of zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), and copper (Cu).
Gunmetal: Gunmetal is an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin.
Alnico: Aluminium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and a small amount of iron and tin. It is used in making magnets.
Alloys of gold
The purity of gold is expressed in terms of carats. 24 carats gold is called pure gold. It is very soft due to which it is not suitable for making jewellery. Gold is alloyed with a small amount of silver or copper to make it hard.
24 carats gold: It contains 99.9% gold and 0.1% silver, copper or Aluminium.
22 carats gold: It contains 92% gold and 8% silver, copper or Aluminium.
18 carats gold: It contains 75% gold and 25% silver, copper or Aluminium.
Rolled gold: It is an alloy of copper and Aluminium. It contains 95% copper and 5% Aluminium.
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