Both alloys and composites are a mixture of different elements. The primary difference between alloys and composites is in the compositions of the two materials. An alloy must have a minimum of one metal in its composition while composites don’t have any metal components.
What is an Alloy?
An alloy is a homogeneous material which can be created by melting two or more elements, of which one is a metal. Participatory metal is known as parent metal, which serves as a base metal for the alloying element and is considered alloying agents for the majority of the substances. The alloying agents can either be a non-metal or metal in which their contribution or proportion is very small. Alloys tend to have better/more desirable properties when compared to the properties of the constituent substance they are made of. Almost all the alloys are lustrous (which can be explained by the presence of the metallic component in their composition). Steel, brass, bronze, etc. are few examples of alloys.
What is a Composite?
Composites are often a combination of two or more elements but their structure does not include metals. Composites are heterogeneous, in contrast to alloys. Most composites are naturally encountered while others are engineered. Composites are composed of components which have different physical properties. A few other natural composite examples are wood, human body bones, etc. Examples of industrial composites include fibre glass.
Now let us look at the differences between alloys and composites in a tabular column.
Difference Between an Alloy and a Composite
As mentioned, the main difference between alloys and composites are its composition. Here in the tabular column given below let us look at the other differences between the two.
|An Alloy is a mixture of one or more metals with other elements.||Composites are also a mixture of two or more elements, but it does not contain metals.|
|An alloy can either be a homogeneous or a heterogeneous mixture.||A composite is always a heterogeneous mixture.|
|Alloys are lustrous due to the presence of metals in their composition.||Composites are not lustrous as they do not contain metals in their composition.|
|Most alloys can conduct electricity.||Composites do not conduct electricity except for polymeric composites.|
Certainly, alloys can be found but these are uncommon. Composites exist almost everywhere, obviously. The distinctions between alloy and composite can be well known because they are closely related and are frequently interchangeably used. Visit BYJU ‘S to discover more distinctions, such as the distinction between molecule and compound.