Questions & Answers

What is an alloy ?

Answer Verified Verified
Hint: Alloys are solutions of two or more than two different kinds of elements. Mostly transition elements are involved in the formation of alloy. Brass and steel are some common examples of alloys.

Complete step by step answer:
Alloys are basically the homogeneous solutions of two or more metals in the solid phases which are obtained by melting them and then cooling the melted components. These are formed by metals whose atomic radii differ by not more than 15% so that the atoms of one metal can easily take up the position in the crystal lattice of the others.
They are different from impure metals in such a way that in alloys the other metal is added so that desirable products are obtained.
Now, as transition metals have similar atomic radii and other characteristics, hence they form alloys very readily. Alloys are generally harder, have higher melting points, and are more resistant to corrosion than the individual metals. The mechanical properties of alloys are better than individual metals.
The most common alloys are made from iron. These are called ferrous alloys. Alloy steel and stainless steel are mostly used alloys. The metals chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, tungsten, and manganese are used in the formation of alloy steel and stainless steel. Some alloys of transition metals with non-transition metals are also very common, e,g., brass (Cu + Zn ) which is an alloy of copper and zinc, and bronze (Cu + Sn) which is an alloy of copper and tin.
When a small amount of carbon is added to the iron, the ductility and strength get enhanced.

Note: Some are precious metal alloys like red-gold which is produced by mixing copper into pure gold. Silver is also added to the gold to form an alloy. Silver metal is also alloyed with copper to make sterling silver.