As a metal supplier we always try to find the best material suited to your requirements. In many cases this could be an alloy. An alloy is a mixture or solid solution of a metal and another element where the metallic properties of the alloy are different from that of its components. An alloy with two components is called a binary, one with three is called a ternary and one with four is a quaternary.
Alloys and non-ferrous metals are designed to have better properties than that of their components. For example steel (an alloy of carbon and iron) is stronger than iron, its principal element, brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) is harder then copper and shinier than zinc. Alloys and their mechanical properties are influenced by the behavior of the atoms:
- Solid solution: A uniform mixture of substances in solid form that often consists of two or more types of atoms or molecules that share a crystal lattice and attract.
- Intermetallic compounds: Where different atoms have a noticeable difference in their electronegativity and in their structure and as a result a different chemical composition. In the case that an element is so electromagnetic that it forms an ionic composition (for example non metals like S8,O2,C12), it is chemical composition and not an alloy
- Eutectic alloy: when different atoms attract much less than equal atoms resulting in alternating crystals from one to another, easily melted.