Alloy is a combination or solid solution of a metal and another element. Alloys are designed to have properties that are more desirable. The combination of an element a metal bonds at molecular level. An alloy contains superior qualities such as, strength, toughness, hardness, tensile strength, durability and ductility. Metal is the majority of an alloy, for example, in mild steel Iron is 99.9-99.7% and carbon is 0.1-0.3%.The first alloy in history was bronze. It was the mixture of copper and tin.
An alloy which consists of two compounds is called binary alloy; one with three is called ternary alloy; and one with four is called quaternary alloy. At the molecular level alloy can be labelled differently. Those alloys whose metal molecules have different atomic sizes are called interstitial alloy. Those alloys with mixture atoms that are equal in size are called substitution alloy.
Alloy is one of the laser engraving metals and they have many applications for example, for marking logos, barcodes, DataMatrix, numbers and many more. Once they are engraved, the engraving on them cannot be damaged thus making the product easier to locate.
Many alloys do not have single melting point while pure metals have single melting point. For melting process the temperature has to high enough that an alloy begin to melt, this point is called solidus, and that at which melting process is complete is called liquidus.
A super alloy or high-performance alloy is an alloy that exhibits excellent mechanical strength. super alloy where designed to withstand extremely elevated temperatures. That can be used in corrosive or high-temperature environment. Mostly super alloy have iron, cobalt, or nickel bases.
Nickle based super alloys are used in jet engine. Steel which is an alloy of iron and carbon can be used in construction industries for large buildings and bridges. Chromium, vanadium, and nickel can be added in steel enhancing properties. These can resist wear, and increase corrosion resistance, hardness, and toughness. These are used in stainless steel, kitchen utensils, mechanical instruments and engine parts etc.
Newly alloy research has led to the development of metallic glass alloy, shape memory alloy and Al-Li alloy. Modern alloy techniques and a wider availability of materials has led to new innovations in alloy development. In this era of computers, new alloys are firstly simulated on computer to determine what qualities they will display before they are produced. Vacuum arc remelt (VAR) furnaces and plasma are melting (PAM) provide capability to develop a new alloy affordably, in small quantities before scaling up for production.
A significant steel sheet producer is needed to regulate the way the heat preparation process ought to be adjusted in line with alloy becoming processed. An assessment of tensile material properties from several temperatures to several materials allowed alloy to find out optimum warmth treatment. Titanium alloy development has been successful in developing and producing alloy for demanding commercial and energy industry applications as well as military airframe.
An alloy should have the right composition is an obvious necessity. To obtain required properties the precipitation structure and grain structure must also be controlled. The behaviour of an alloying element and its influence on the properties of material depends on the
- Concentration of alloying element
- Type of alloying element
- Construction process such as heat treatment, deformation and casting