Alloys are homogeneous mixtures of two or more metals, or a metal and non-metal. The metals are mixed in the molten state in a fixed proportion by weight to form an alloy. More than 90% of metals used are in the form of alloys and then cannot be readily separated by physical means. The various purpose of forming an alloy are:
(a) Alloy of a metal increases its hardness.
(b) Alloy of a metal gives it a different colour.
(c) Alloy is also made to present corrosion, wear, fatigue and temperature.
(d) Some of the alloys are made to impart magnetic or electrical properties, strength, formability, etc.
Two examples of alloys with their chemical composition are:
Magnalium: It is an alloy containing aluminium and magnesium (Al, Mg). The percentage composition of magnalium is:
Aluminum (Al) : 95%
Zinc (Zn) : 5%
Brass: It is an alloy of copper and zinc (Cu, Zn). The percentage composition of brass is:
Copper (Cu): 80%
Zin (Zn): 20%