• An alloy is a mixture of two or more elements, where at least one element is a metal. Alloys often have properties which make them more useful than the pure metals they’re made from.
  • Understanding the purpose for the creation of alloys is key. This is often to improve upon the properties of a metal such as strength, corrosion resistance, or to reduce cost.
  • For example, steel is an alloy made from iron and a small amount of carbon improving upon the strength of iron.
  • Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, which has better acoustic properties than both copper or zinc alone, making it ideal for musical instruments.

Different Types of Alloys and their Uses

  • Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, is significantly harder than either copper or tin alone. It was one of the first alloys created by human beings.

  • Solder is an alloy of lead and tin. It melts at a lower temperature than either led or tin, making it useful in electronics for joining metal components together.

  • Gold alloys are used in jewellery. Pure gold is too soft to be practical for many purposes, so it is often alloyed with small amounts of other metals to increase its strength.

Creation of Alloys

  • Alloys are created by melting the main metal, then dissolving other elements into it. Once the mixture cools, the result is an alloy that, in most cases, is more durable, tougher, or more flexible than the individual components.

Remember: Alloys are a way of improving upon the properties of pure metals, or creating new properties beneficial for specific applications.