Alloy 3012
Photo by: marilyn barbone

An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. Some familiar examples of alloys include brass, bronze, pewter, cast and wrought iron, steel, coin metals, and solder (pronounced SOD-der; a substance used to join other metallic surfaces together). Alloys are usually synthetic materials, developed by scientists for special purposes. They generally have specially desirable properties quite different from the metals from which they are made. As an example, Wood's metal is a mixture of about 50 percent bismuth, 10 percent cadmium, 13 percent tin, and 27 percent lead that melts at 70°C (160°F). This low melting point makes Wood's metal useful as a plug in automatic sprinkler systems. Soon after a fire breaks out, the heat from the flames melts the Wood's metal plug, releasing water from the sprinkler system.

Important Alloys, Their Composition, and Typical Uses


Alloy Composition Uses
Babbitt metal tin: 90% used in bearings because of its low measure of fricti with steel
antimony: 7%
copper: 3%
bell metal copp 77% casting of bells
tin : 23%
brass copper with up to 50% zinc inexpensive jewelry; hose nozzles and couplings; piping; stamping dies
bronze copper with up 12% tin coins and medals; heavy gears; tools; electrical hardware
coin metal copper: 75% U.S. coins
duralumin aluminum: 95% aircraft, boats, railroad cars, and machinery because of its high strength and resistance to corrosion
copper: 4%
manganese: <1%
magnesium: 0.5%
monel nickel 60% corrosion-resistant containers
copper: 33%
iron: 7%
Nichrome® nickel: 80-85% heating elements in toasters, electric heaters, etc.
chromium: 15-20%
phosphor bronze bronze with a small amount of phosphorus springs electrical springs, boat proellers
solder lead: 50% joining two metals to each other
tin: 50%
sterling silver silver: 92.5% jewelry, art objects
copper: 7.5%
type metal lead: 75-95% used to make type for printing because it expands as it cools
antimony: 2-18%
tin: trace

User Contributions:

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Feb 14, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
But what are examples of Alloys STEEL? Please help!!
Yekeen Abdsalam
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Apr 26, 2012 @ 4:04 am
This is interesting and very useful article.I am registering to get more of it for future purposes.It is interesting to be here.
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Oct 9, 2012 @ 3:03 am
i need a list of non metals and metals that are used in alloys please
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Oct 27, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
this article was awesome mostly cuz it helped me with my chem assignment
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Nov 3, 2012 @ 12:00 am
The table given would be much more readable if there were horizontal rulings between the entries. And it is a mystery why the table is shown twice, once as a graphic and once as a textual table.
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Dec 14, 2012 @ 3:03 am
good job ... i hope you can give more teacher give me a task about alloy and this information will help me a lot...
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Jan 13, 2013 @ 5:05 am

Akangbe Taiwo
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Feb 14, 2013 @ 7:07 am
Good job, i realy like it. But i still further explanation on it. Thanks
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Feb 16, 2013 @ 10:10 am
I love this,it has really assisted me in my assingment.A job well done.
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Aug 22, 2013 @ 8:08 am
Hi! I hope you can help me. I bought some Jewelry "findings" to make my own jewelry, but I noticed the package does not indicate what type of metal they are so I emailed the company. The reply I recieved? 50% brass and 50% iron. I am nervous to use these since they are "made in China" and wonder if there is anything potentially harmful in them, or if they may cause allergic reactions to some people with sensivity to certain metals. What is your take on the 50/50 combo they claim?

thank you so much!
Dominic Gomez
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Jun 9, 2014 @ 6:18 pm
It really helped me with my homework. I like the page.
george attwood
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Jun 19, 2014 @ 7:07 am
thank you very much I enjoyed this article it gave me pleasure
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Jun 21, 2014 @ 9:09 am
It is really fantastic it helped me in doing my chem assingment

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