Types of metal alloys
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Alloys combine a base metal with other elements to change its composition and strengthen its intrinsic properties. There are many different types of metal alloys, and the combinations within are nearly endless. Here are some of the most popular alloys and their applications.
Stainless Steel Alloys
Stainless steel is an alloy comprised of iron and carbon. You can differentiate between various steel alloys by the addition of other elements, such as nickel, copper, or manganese.
Stainless steel is famous for its use in kitchen appliances, cookware, and cutlery. Its stunning finishes range from matte to shiny, and it’s incredibly durable and easy to clean. Its anti-corrosive properties also make it useful in machinery applications.
On its own, aluminum isn’t the strongest metal—but when you add elements such as iron, copper, or zinc, you increase its strength and durability.
These alloys are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, and they’re often more affordable than other alloys. They also tolerate extreme temperatures very well. Aluminum alloys are common in mechanical engineering and aerospace manufacturing.
Bronze contains copper and other additives. The additional ingredient may be tin, silicon, aluminum, manganese, phosphorus, or various other elements. Though they’re similar in color and appearance, bronze is not the same thing as brass—the latter is a combination of copper and zinc.
Bronze’s dull color is recognizable in medals, sculptures, and musical instruments. Its hardness and resistance to corrosion have also made it popular in ships and other nautical applications.
Nickel is one of the most versatile metals. These alloys are often combinations of nickel and iron, copper, molybdenum, or chromium.
These alloys resist corrosion and oxidation well, and the wide range of compositions makes them applicable to several industries. This includes marine piping systems, pressure valves, or pump shafts. They’re also common in gas or steam turbines and medical equipment.
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