Alloys are a mixture or compound which contains two or more metals. Or sometimes it can be a metal combined with a non-metal, such as iron-carbon where the metal is the main component much larger than the non-metal. Alloys tend to have properties which are described as metallic. Basically and however, alloying is a means of increasing a specific useful property such as strength, toughness, resistance to extreme temperatures and also the prevention of corrosion.
Bronze was believed to bed the first artificial alloy and made of copper and tin, and was used for weapons, pans and ornaments etc. Brass is another common alloy made of zinc and copper, and also steel which consists of iron and carbon. There are basically several types of alloys, each one is produced for a particular use, and can range from coins to parts of an aircraft.
This is shown by the various and different types of brass and bronze widely available at present. For instance, brass may also contain iron, aluminium, tin, nickel, manganese or lead while the term bronze is now applied to alloys of copper which does not contain tin. Such examples are aluminium bronze which is corrosion resistant, beryllium bronze which has increased hardness and manganese bronze known for its extreme strength.
A special and unique type of alloy is called an amalgam. This metallic alloy contains mercury. Mercury is an unusual metal because it is a heavy, silver liquid at room temperature and several metals will combine with it to create an amalgam. For several of years dentists have used such an amalgam with silver, and used for fillings in teeth, although modern materials with the use of advanced technology are now being implemented more often.
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