Alloys & Their Uses

Bronze Mask Alloy Used For Jewelry (Image By Martin Lodemore)

The components of various alloys contain metallic and non-metallic elements. There are a large number of possible combination of different metals and each has its own specific set of properties. The Uses for alloys are limitless depending on the materials involved and the complexity of the alloy. The alloys are used extensively in fields that involve but are not limited to; aircrafts, military, commercial, industrial, medical, residential and manufacturing applications. Alloys like Aluminium, Copper, Nickel, Stainless steel, Titanium all have different uses in various applications.

Uses of Aluminium Alloys

Aluminium when combined with other metals gives strength and specific characteristics for a particular use. Aluminium alloys are extensively used in the production of cars and engine parts. The vast range of quality Aluminium is used in various applications like transport, packaging, electrical application, medicine, and construction of homes and furniture. Flight at high altitudes would not be possible without the the strong aluminium alloys used that undergo mass amounts of stress and pressure.

Uses of Copper Alloys

Copper alloys have exceptional electrical and thermal performance, good corrosion resistance, high ductility and relatively low cost. Copper alloy is used in airtight seals and copper tin alloys are primarily used for sleeve bearings due to its strength and ductile properties. Copper alloys are also less expensive than gold or platinum. Due to high strength, electrical and thermal conductivity copper alloys are used in the manufacture of all types of electrical equipment.

Uses of Nickel Alloys

Nickel materials have made significant contributions to present-day society. Nickel alloys have good corrosion resistance and heat resistance. Nickel alloys are used for a wide variety of applications like aircraft gas turbines, nuclear power systems and widely used in chemical and petrochemical industries. Several nickel alloys are used in control equipments to determine and control electrical characteristics.

Uses of Stainless steel Alloys

In order to reduce corrosion losses, there are extensive uses of stainless steels. Stainless steel alloys are used for many commercial applications such as watch straps, cutlery etc. Stainless alloys used for making tubes intended for placement on the bottom of the sea. Stainless Alloys are also widely used in the electronic, agricultural, road and rail industries. Stainless steel grades are used for handling bulk wet materials, tanks, containers, conveyors, chimneys and many others.

Uses of Titanium Alloys

Titanium alloys have high melting point than stainless steels. Due to high strength, toughness and stiffness, many titanium alloys are used in aerospace structures and other high-performance applications. Titanium alloys are used for different spacecraft parts, jet engines and airframe to save weight and improve aircraft efficiency. It corrosion resistance allow its uses in chemical, petrochemical and biomaterial applications.

Shape Memory Alloy

(SMA, smart metal, memory metal, memory alloy, muscle wire, smart alloy) is an alloy that “remembers” its original, cold-forged shape: returning the pre-deformed shape by heating. This material is a lightweight, solid-state alternative to conventional actuators such as hydraulic, pneumatic, and motor-based systems. Shape memory alloys have applications in industries including medical and aerospace.

One-way vs. two-way shape memory

Shape memory alloys have different shape memory effects. Two common effects are one-way and two-way shape memory

References:

http://www.ehow.com/list_6708135_different-types-alloys-use.html

Educational Electronics USA: Metals and Non-Metals — Part XVI

Pricescope Diamond Journal: An Overview Of Common Alloys Used In Jewelry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shape_memory_alloy

One Comment

  1. Comment by LauranceT:

    I enjoy the way you have brought into play many forms of alloys and their strengths and I find it rather interesting that how often we use alloys in our daily lives. I am curious to find out the future of shape memory alloys, and I ask you: will shape memory alloys help in minimizing the use of other materials? Since they can take the shape of something else and thus be expanded or contracted to fit somewhere else.

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