In order to know the meaning of the term alloy, the first thing we have to do is discover its etymological origin. In this case, we have to emphasize that it is a word that comes from Latin. More exactly, it must be indicated that it comes to be a term that is made up of three very different parts:
-The prefix “ad-“, which can be translated as “towards”.
-The verb “ligare”, which is synonymous with “to tie”.
-The suffix “-cion”, which is equivalent to “action and effect”.
Alloy is the process and consequence of alloying. This action, for its part, refers to melting certain elements to achieve the product known precisely as an alloy, which is made up of two or more components, of which at least one is a metal.
An alloy is an element of metallic properties. Alloys can be made with lead, iron, copper and aluminum, among other metals. As for the non-metallic components, sulfur, carbon, phosphorus and silicon are usually used.
According to the predominant component, the alloys are classified differently. A ferric alloy, for example, will have a high amount of iron. Typically, alloys have chemical and physical properties similar to those of metals.
Thermal and electrically conductive, the alloys stand out for their exceptional mechanical properties. They can have a great hardness or be very ductile, according to their characteristics. This confirms their usefulness in different contexts.
Certain alloys are very popular and are used in multiple settings. It is important to underline in this case the bronze, which was already known 3,000 before Christ and which is the result of an alloy between tin and copper. Discovering it was really important since, among other things, it allowed the creation and construction of endless objects with it. Such magnitude was achieved by this material that even, historically, its stage is known as the Bronze Age. It is used to make decorations, utensils, weapons, jewelry, coins and musical instruments, among other products.
The steel is also a widespread alloy worldwide. It is made of iron and carbon and can be used to build bridges, tanks, ovens, tools of various kinds, monuments, auto parts, and many other objects. We can also say that steel has been part of our life for centuries. Specifically, it is considered to have been shaped since Antiquity.
Other alloys that we can highlight and that are currently significant are the following:
-Stainless steel, which is obtained from chromium, nickel and also iron.
-White gold, which is used primarily in the field of jewelry. It is made of gold, nickel, copper and zinc.
-Duralumin, which is an alloy of aluminum, copper, manganese and magnesium.
The alpaca, the brass and pewter are some of the most common alloys produced by metallurgical enterprises.