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Steel wire rope

A spool of wire rope made from steel, which is a metal alloy whose major component is iron, with carbon content between 0.02% and 2.14% by mass. Attribution: I, Johannes 'volty' Hemmerlein.

OverviewEdit

An alloy is a mixture of metals or a mixture of a metal with another non-metallic element. Alloys are defined by a metallic bonding character. An alloy may be a solid solution of metal elements (a single phase) or a mixture of metallic phases (two or more solutions). Intermetallic compounds are alloys with a defined stoichiometry and crystal structure. Zintl phases are also sometimes considered alloys depending on bond types, like Van Arkel-Ketelaar triangle bonding in binary compounds).

Alloys are used in a wide variety of applications. In some cases, a combination of metals may reduce the overall cost of the material while preserving important properties. In other cases, the combination of metals imparts synergistic properties to the constituent metal elements such as corrosion resistance or mechanical strength. Examples of alloys are steel, solder, brass, pewter, duralumin, bronze and amalgams.

The alloy constituents are usually measured by thire mass. Alloys are usually classified as substitutional or interstitial alloys, depending on the atomic arrangement that forms the alloy. They can be further classified as homogeneous (consisting of a single phase), or heterogeneous (consisting of two or more phases) or intermetallic.

Alloying elements are added to a base metal, to induce hardness, toughness, ductility, or other desired properties. Most metals and alloys can be work hardened by creating defects in their crystal structure. These defects are created during plastic deformation by hammering, bending, extruding, etcetera, and are permanent unless the metal is recrystallized. Otherwise, some alloys can also have their properties altered by heat treatment. Nearly all metals can be softened by annealing, which recrystallizes the alloy and repairs the defects, but not as many can be hardened by controlled heating and cooling. Many alloys of aluminium, copper, magnesium, titanium, and nickel can be strengthened to some degree by some method of heat treatment, but few respond to this to the same degree as does steel.

An amalgam is an alloy of mercury with another metal. Almost all metals can form amalgams with mercury, the notable exceptions being iron, platinum, tungsten and tantalum. Silver-mercury amalgams are important in dentistry, and gold-mercury amalgam is used in the extraction of gold from ore.

BrassEdit

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BronzeEdit

  • Not to be confused with the skin tan tone, hair dye colour, the UK political figure Andrew Bronz or the European corporate award of Best Graduate Recruitment Program Bronze Award in APAC work.

Bronze (true bronze)Edit

Norwid Relief

Detail of the relief memorial to Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, by Czesław Dźwigaj.

Benin Bronzes

Some of the Benin Bronzes. Attribution: ​English-speaking Wikipedia user Warofdreams.

National Archaeological Museum Sofia - 3,000 Year Old Bronze Deer

Bronze deer figurine dating from between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, National Archaeological Museum of Bulgaria of Sofia, Bulgaria.

Defang Ding

A Chinese ritual bronze, Ding form, Western Zhou (1046–771 BC). Photographer: Mountain.

OverviewEdit

Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminium, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability.

The archeological period where bronze was the hardest metal in widespread use is known as the Bronze Age. In the ancient Near East this began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC, with India and China starting to use bronze around the same time; everywhere it gradually spread across regions. The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age starting from about 1300 BC and reaching most of Eurasia by about 500 BC, though bronze continued to be much more widely used than it is in modern times.

Because historical pieces were often made of brasses (copper and zinc) and bronzes with different compositions, modern museum and scholarly descriptions of older objects increasingly use the more inclusive term "copper alloy" instead.

Metallurgical formulaEdit

There are many different bronze alloys, but typically modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin. Alpha bronze consists of the alpha solid solution of tin in copper. Alpha bronze alloys of 4–5% tin are used to make coins, springs, turbines and blades. Historical "bronzes" are highly variable in composition, as most metalworkers probably used whatever scrap was on hand; the metal of the 12th-century English Gloucester Candlestick is bronze containing a mixture of copper, zinc, tin, lead, nickel, iron, antimony, arsenic with an unusually large amount of silver – between 22.5% in the base and 5.76% in the pan below the candle. The proportions of this mixture suggests that the candlestick was made from a hoard of old coins. The Benin Bronzes are really brass, and the Romanesque Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège is described as both bronze and brass.

In the Bronze Age, two forms of bronze were commonly used: "classic bronze", about 10% tin, was used in casting; and "mild bronze", about 6% tin, was hammered from ingots to make sheets. Bladed weapons were mostly cast from classic bronze, while helmets and armor were hammered from mild bronze.

Commercial bronze (90% copper and 10% zinc) and architectural bronze (57% copper, 3% lead, 40% zinc) are more properly regarded as brass alloys because they contain zinc as the main alloying ingredient. They are commonly used in architectural applications. 

Bismuth bronze is a bronze alloy with a composition of 52% copper, 30% nickel, 12% zinc, 5% lead, and 1% bismuth. It is able to hold a good polish and so is sometimes used in light reflectors and mirrors. 

Plastic bronze is bronze containing a significant quantity of lead which makes for improved plasticity possibly used by the ancient Greeks in their ship construction. 

Silicon bronze has a composition of Si: 2.80–3.80%, Mn: 0.50–1.30%, Fe: 0.80% max., Zn: 1.50% max., Pb: 0.05% max., Cu: balance. 

Other bronze alloys include aluminium bronze, phosphor bronze, manganese bronze, bell metal, arsenical bronze, speculum metal and cymbal alloys.

PropertiesEdit

Bronzes are typically very ductile alloys. By way of comparison, most bronzes are considerably less brittle than cast iron. Typically bronze only oxidizes superficially; once a copper oxide (eventually becoming copper carbonate) layer is formed, the underlying metal is protected from further corrosion. However, if copper chlorides are formed, a corrosion-mode called "bronze disease" will eventually completely destroy it. Copper-based alloys have lower melting points than steel or iron, and are more readily produced from their constituent metals. They are generally about 10 percent denser than steel, although alloys using aluminium or silicon may be slightly less dense. Bronzes have lower hardness, strength and elastic modulus—bronze springs, for example, are less stiff and so store less energy for the same deflection. Bronze resists corrosion (especially seawater corrosion) and metal fatigue more than steel and is a better conductor of heat and electricity than most steels. The cost of copper-base alloys is generally higher than that of steels but lower than that of nickel-base alloys.

Copper and its alloys have a huge variety of uses that reflect their versatile physical, mechanical, and chemical properties. Some common examples are the high electrical conductivity of pure copper, the low-friction properties of bearing bronze (bronze which has a high lead content— 6–8%), the resonant qualities of bell bronze (20% tin, 80% copper), and the resistance to corrosion by sea water of several bronze alloys.

The melting point of bronze varies depending on the ratio of the alloy components and is about 950 °C (1,742 °F). Bronze is usually nonmagnetic, but certain alloys containing iron or nickel may have magnetic properties.

Varieties of ship fittingsEdit

Bronze, or bronze-like alloys and mixtures, were used for coins over a longer period. Bronze was especially suitable for use in boat and ship fittings prior to the wide employment of stainless steel owing to its combination of toughness and resistance to salt water corrosion. Bronze is still commonly used in ship propellers and submerged bearings.

In the 20th century, silicon was introduced as the primary alloying element, creating an alloy with wide application in industry and the major form used in contemporary statuary. Sculptors may prefer silicon bronze because of the ready availability of silicon bronze brazing rod, which allows colour-matched repair of defects in castings. Aluminium is also used for the structural metal aluminium bronze.

It is also widely used for casting bronze sculptures. Many common bronze alloys have the unusual and very desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling in the finest details of a mould. Bronze parts are tough and typically used for bearings, clips, electrical connectors and springs.

Bronze also has very low friction against dissimilar metals, making it important for cannons prior to modern tolerancing, where iron cannonballs would otherwise stick in the barrel. It is still widely used today for springs, bearings, bushings, automobile transmission pilot bearings, and similar fittings, and is particularly common in the bearings of small electric motors. Phosphor bronze is particularly suited to precision-grade bearings and springs. It is also used in guitar and piano strings.

Unlike steel, bronze struck against a hard surface will not generate sparks, so it (along with beryllium copper) is used to make hammers, mallets, wrenches and other durable tools to be used in explosive atmospheres or in the presence of flammable vapors. Bronze is used to make bronze wool for woodworking applications where steel wool would discolour oak.

Aluminium bronzeEdit

AlubronzeCuAl20v500

Aluminium bronze with 20% Aluminium at 500x magnification. Author: Eisenbeisser.

OverviewEdit

Aluminium bronze is a type of bronze in which aluminium is the main alloying metal added to copper, in contrast to standard bronze (copper and tin) or brass (copper and zinc). A variety of aluminium bronzes of differing compositions have found industrial use, with most ranging from 5% to 11% aluminium by weight, the remaining mass being copper; other alloying agents such as iron, nickel, manganese, and silicon are also sometimes added to aluminium bronzes. Most common standard compositions are listed by the ISO 428 designations.

Properties and usagesEdit

Aluminium bronzes are most valued for their higher strength and corrosion resistance as compared to other bronze alloys. These alloys are tarnish-resistant and show low rates of corrosion in atmospheric conditions, low oxidation rates at high temperatures, and low reactivity with sulfurous compounds and other exhaust products of combustion.

Aluminium bronzes are most valued for their higher strength and corrosion resistance as compared to other bronze alloys. These alloys are tarnish-resistant and show low rates of corrosion in atmospheric conditions, low oxidation rates at high temperatures, and low reactivity with sulfurous compounds and other exhaust products of combustion.

Aluminium bronzes are most commonly used in applications where their resistance to corrosion makes them preferable to other engineering materials. These applications include plain bearings and landing gear components on aircraft, guitar strings, engine components (especially for seagoing ships), underwater fastenings in naval architecture, ships' propellers, jwellery and alike.

Aluminium bronze can be welded using the MIG welding technique (not related to MiG fighters) with an aluminium bronze core and pure argon gas.

Aluminium bronzes tend to have a golden color.

Alloys similar to aluminium bronze are used in making coins, for example the 20, 200 and 500 Italian Lire, the one and two dollar coins of Australian and New Zealand currency produced by the Royal Australian Mint, some Mexican coins and the Nordic gold used for some Euro coins. The Canadian 2 dollar coin, produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and circulated since 1996, is a bi-metallic piece with an outer ring of nickel-plated steel and an inner circle of Aluminium bronze composed of 92% copper, 6% Aluminium, and 2% nickel (also known as Bronzital).

Metallurgical compositionsEdit

The following table lists the most common standard aluminium bronze wrought alloy compositions, by ISO 428 designations. The percentages show the proportional composition of the alloy by weight. Copper is the remainder by weight and is not listed:

Alloy Aluminium Iron Nickel Manganese Zinc Arsenic
CuAl5 4.0–6.5% 0.5% max. 0.8% max. 0.5% max. 0.5% max. 0.4% max.
CuAl8 7.0–9.0% 0.5% max. 0.8% max. 0.5% max. 0.5% max. .
CuAl8Fe3 6.5–8.5% 1.5–3.5% 1.0% max. 0.8% max. 0.5% max. .
CuAl9Mn2 8.0–10.0% 1.5% max. 0.8% max. 1.5–3.0% 0.5% max. .
CuAl10Fe3 8.5–11.0% 2.0–4.0% 1.0% max. 2.0% max. 0.5% max. .
CuAl10Fe5Ni5 8.5–11.5% 2.0–6.0% 4.0–6.0% 2.0% max. 0.5% max. .

Phosphor bronzeEdit

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Corinthian bronzeEdit

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Mag-TorEdit

Mag-Thor is the common name for a range of magnesium alloys containing thorium that are used in aerospace engineering.

Alloy car whealsEdit

Road cars have an alloy which is 95% aluminium, 4.95% magnesium, trace amounts of manganese, trace amounts of titanium. Racing cars have an alloy which is 95% magnesium, 4.95% aluminium and trace amounts of manganese, vanadium and\or titanium.

Magnesium is 1.5 times less dense than aluminum, so magnesium wheels can be designed to be significantly lighter than aluminum alloy wheels, while exhibiting comparable strength.

PanchalohaEdit

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Cobalt-chromeEdit

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Nickel alloysEdit

Raney nickelEdit

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Cupronickel (also known as copper-nickel)Edit

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InconelEdit

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Nickel aluminideEdit

Nickel aluminide (Ni3Al) is an intermetallic alloy of nickel and aluminum with properties similar to both a ceramic and a metal.

  • There are three materials called nickel aluminide:
  1. NiAl, CAS number 12003-78-0 (see also )
  2. NiAl3, CAS number 12004-71-6
  3. Ni3Al, tri-nickel aluminide

An intermetallic compound can be defined as an ordered alloy phase formed between two metallic elements, where an alloy phase is ordered if two or more sublattices are required to describe its atomic structure. The ordered structure exhibits superior elevated-temperature properties because of the long-range ordered superlattice, which reduces dislocation mobility and diffusion processes at elevated temperatures.

Nickel aluminide is used as a strengthening constituent in high-temperature nickel-base superalloys, however, unalloyed nickel aluminide has a tendency to exhibit brittle fracture and low ductility at ambient temperatures. Nickel aluminide is unique in that it has very high thermal conductivity combined with high strength at high temperature. These properties, combined with its high strength and low density, make it ideal for special applications like coating blades in gas turbines and jet engines.

In 2005, the most abrasion-resistant material was reportedly created by embedding diamonds in a matrix of nickel aluminide.

  • IC-221M's properties:
  1. Density = 7.16 g/cm3
  2. Yield Strength = 855 MPa
  3. Hardness = HRC 12
  4. Thermal Conductivity Ni3Al = 28.85 (W/m.K)
  5. Thermal Conductivity NiAl = 76 (W/m.K)
  6. Melting Point Ni3Al = 1668 K
  7. Melting Point NiAl = 1955 K
  8. Thermal expansion coefficient = 12.5 (10−6/K−1)
  9. Bonding = covalent/metallic
  10. Electrical resistivity = 32.59 (10−8Ωm)

ConstantanEdit

OverviewEdit

Constantan is a copper–nickel alloy also known as Eureka, Advance, and Ferry. It usually consists of 55% copper and 45% nickel. Its main feature is its resistivity, which is constant over a wide range of temperatures. Other alloys with similarly low temperature coefficients are known, such as manganin (Cu86Mn12Ni2).

HistoryEdit

In 1887, Edward Weston discovered that metals can have a negative temperature coefficient of resistance, inventing what he called his "Alloy No. 2." It was produced in Germany where it was renamed "constantan".

UsageEdit

Of all modern strain gauge alloys, constantan is the oldest, and still the most widely used. It has other similar uses these days.

NichromeEdit

Nichrome (NiCr, nickel-chrome, chrome-nickel, etc.) are alloys of nickel, chromium, and often iron (and possibly other elements). The most common usage is as resistance wire, though they are also used in some dental restorations (fillings) and in a few other applications.

HistoryEdit

Patented in 1905, Nichrome is the oldest documented form of resistance heating alloy. A common Nichrome alloy is 80% nickel and 20% chromium, by mass, but there are many other combinations of metals for various applications. Nichrome is consistently silvery-grey in colour, is corrosion-resistant, and has a high melting point of about 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). Due to its low cost of manufacture, strength, ductility, resistance to oxidation and stability at high temperatures, as well as its resistance to the flow of electrons, Nichrome is widely used in electric heating elements such as in hair dryers and heat guns. Typically, nichrome is wound in coils to a certain electrical resistance, and when current is passed through it the joule heating produces heat.

UsesEdit

Almost any conductive wire can be used for heating, but most metals conduct electricity with great efficiency, requiring them to be formed into very thin/ delicate wires in order to create enough resistance to generate heat. Once heated, most metals then oxidize quickly, become brittle, and break when heated in air. When heated to red hot temperatures, nichrome wire, however, develops an outer layer of chromium oxide, thermodynamically stable in air, mostly impervious to oxygen, and protects the heating element from further oxidation.

Nichrome is used in the explosives and fireworks industry as a bridgewire in electric ignition systems, such as electric matches and model rocket igniters.

Industrial and hobby hot-wire foam cutters use nichrome wire.

Nichrome wire is commonly used in ceramic as an internal support structure to help some elements of clay sculptures hold their shape while they are still soft. Nichrome wire is used for its ability to withstand the high temperatures that occur when clay work is fired in a kiln.

Nichrome wire can be used as an alternative to platinum wire for flame testing by colouring the non-luminous part of a flame to detect cations such as sodium, potassium, copper, calcium etc.

Other areas of usage include motorcycle mufflers, in certain areas in the microbiological lab apparatus, as the heating element of plastic extruders by the RepRap 3D printing community, in the solar panel deployment mechanism of spacecraft LightSail-A, as the heating coils of electronic cigarettes.

The alloy price is controlled by the relatively more-expensive nickel content. Distributor pricing is typically indexed to market prices for nickel.

NiCrA statsEdit

  1. Chemical Composition: 80% Ni, 20% Cr
  2. Approx. Melting Point: 1400°C

NiCrC statsEdit

  1. Chemical Composition: 61% Ni, 15% Cr, 24% Fe
  2. Approx. Melting Point: 1350°C

Aluminium-lithium alloy (Al 2195)Edit

Externaltank

A Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) on its way to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Kennedy.

It is 30 % stronger and 5 % less dense than the Al 2219 alloy used in the original Space Shuttle's external tank.

The alloy composition of Al 2195 aluminium is:

  1. Aluminium: 91.9 to 94.9%
  2. Copper: 3.7 to 4.3%
  3. Lithium: 0.8 to 1.2%
  4. Manganese: 0.25 to 0.8%
  5. Silver: 0.25 to 0.6%
  6. Zirconium: 0.08 to 0.16%
  7. Iron: 0.15% max
  8. Silicon: 0.12% max
  9. Titanium: 0.1% max
  10. Zinc: 0.25% max
  11. Residuals: 0.15% max

PewterEdit

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ferrocerium Edit

Ferrocerium is a synthetic pyrophoric alloy that produces hot sparks that can reach temperatures of 3,000 °C (5,430 °F) when rapidly oxidized by the process of striking. This property allows it to have many commercial applications, such as the ignition source for lighters (often misidentified as the "flint" component), strikers for gas welding and cutting torches, deoxidization in metallurgy, and ferrocerium rods (also called ferro rods, flint-and-steel, and flint-spark-lighters). Due to ferrocerium's ability to ignite in adverse conditions, rods of ferrocerium are commonly used as an emergency combustion device in survival kits.

Invented in 1903 by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach, ferrocerium takes its name from its two primary components: iron (from Latin: ferrum), and the rare earth element cerium. The pyrophoric effect is dependent on the brittleness of the alloy and its low autoignition temperature.

While ferrocerium-and-steels function in a similar way to natural flint-and-steel in fire starting, ferrocerium takes on the role that steel played in traditional methods: when small shavings of it are removed quickly enough the heat generated by friction is enough to ignite those shavings, converting the metal to the oxide, i.e., the sparks are tiny pieces of burning metal. The sparking is due to cerium's low ignition temperature of between 150 and 180 °C (302 and 356 °F). About 700 tons were produced in 2000.

Electrum\electram (alloyed metal)Edit

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OiliteEdit

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Electrical resistance wireEdit

OverviewEdit

Resistance wire is wire intended for making electrical resistors (which are used to control the amount of current in a circuit). It is better if the alloy used has a high resistivity, since a shorter wire can then be used. In many situations, the stability of the resistor is of primary importance, and thus the alloy's temperature coefficient of resistivity and corrosion resistance play a large part in material selection.

When resistance wire is used for heating elements (in electric heaters, toasters, and the like), high resistivity and oxidation resistance is important.

Sometimes resistance wire is insulated by ceramic powder and sheathed in a tube of another alloy. Such heating elements are used in electric ovens and water heaters, and in specialized forms for cooktops.

TypesEdit

Nichrome, a non-magnetic 80/20 alloy of nickel and chromium, is the most common resistance wire for heating purposes because it has a high resistivity and resistance to oxidation at high temperatures. When used as a heating element, resistance wire is usually wound into coils. One difficulty in using nichrome wire is that common tin-based electrical solder will not bond with it, so the connections to the electrical power must be made using other methods such as crimp connectors or screw terminals.

Kanthal (Alloy 875/815), a family of iron-chromium-aluminium (FeCrAl) alloys used in a wide range of high-temperature applications.

Constantan [Cu55Ni45] has a low temperature coefficient of resistivity and as a copper alloy, is easily soldered. Other constant-resistance alloys include manganin [Cu86Mn12Ni2], Cupron [Cu53Ni44Mn3] and Evanohm.

The Evanohm family of nickel-chrome alloys [Ni72Cr20Mn4Al3Si1], [Ni73Cr20Cu2Al2Mn1Si], have high resistance, low temperature coefficient of resistance, low electromotive force (Galvani potential) when in contact with copper, high tensile strength, and also are very stable with regards to heat treatment.

Balco [Ni70Fe30] and similar alloys have very high, but more linear, temperature coefficient of resistivity, making them suitable for sensing elements.

Many elements and alloys have been used as resistance wire for special purposes. The table below lists the resistivity of some common materials. The resistivity of amorphous carbon actually has a range of 3.8 - 4.1 × 10−6 Ω m.

ChromelEdit

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KanthaEdit

Kanthal - drut oporowy

Kanthal resistance wire. Author: MAx 92.

Kanthal is the trademark for a family of iron-chromium-aluminium (FeCrAl) alloys used in a wide range of resistance and high-temperature applications. Kanthal FeCrAl alloys consist of mainly iron, chromium (20–30%) and aluminium (4–7.5 %). The first Kanthal FeCrAl alloy was developed by Hans von Kantzow in Hallstahammar, Sweden. The alloys are known for their ability to withstand high temperatures and having intermediate electric resistance. As such, it is frequently used in heating elements. The trademark Kanthal is owned by Sandvik Intellectual Property AB.

CharacteristicsEdit

For heating, resistance wire must be stable in air when hot. Kanthal FeCrAl alloy forms a protective layer of aluminum oxide (alumina). Aluminium oxide is an electrical insulator but has a relatively high thermal conductivity; special techniques may be required to make good electrical connections.

Ordinary Kanthal FeCrAl alloy has a melting point of 1,500 °C (2,730 °F). Special grades can be used as high as 1,425 °C (2,597 °F).

Uses Edit

Kanthal is used in heating elements due to its flexibility, durability and tensile strength. Its uses are widespread, with it being used in toasters, home and industrial heaters and diffusion heaters (used in the making of crystalline silicon). Recently, Kanthal has been used in electronic cigarettes as a heating coil. Unlike alternative types of metal such as Nichrome, Kanthal is durable enough to withstand the temperatures needed, but flexible and cheap enough to be practical.

Kanthal comes in standardised Wire gauge|gauging, with higher numbers being thinner and lower being thicker.

NichromeEdit

Nichrome (NiCr, nickel-chrome, chrome-nickel, etc.) are alloys of nickel, chromium, and often iron (and possibly other elements). The most common usage is as resistance wire, though they are also used in some dental restorations (fillings) and in a few other applications.

HistoryEdit

Patented in 1905, Nichrome is the oldest documented form of resistance heating alloy. A common Nichrome alloy is 80% nickel and 20% chromium, by mass, but there are many other combinations of metals for various applications. Nichrome is consistently silvery-grey in colour, is corrosion-resistant, and has a high melting point of about 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). Due to its low cost of manufacture, strength, ductility, resistance to oxidation and stability at high temperatures, as well as its resistance to the flow of electrons, Nichrome is widely used in electric heating elements such as in hair dryers and heat guns. Typically, nichrome is wound in coils to a certain electrical resistance, and when current is passed through it the joule heating produces heat.

UsesEdit

Almost any conductive wire can be used for heating, but most metals conduct electricity with great efficiency, requiring them to be formed into very thin/ delicate wires in order to create enough resistance to generate heat. Once heated, most metals then oxidize quickly, become brittle, and break when heated in air. When heated to red hot temperatures, nichrome wire, however, develops an outer layer of chromium oxide, thermodynamically stable in air, mostly impervious to oxygen, and protects the heating element from further oxidation.

Nichrome is used in the explosives and fireworks industry as a bridgewire in electric ignition systems, such as electric matches and model rocket igniters.

Industrial and hobby hot-wire foam cutters use nichrome wire.

Nichrome wire is commonly used in ceramic as an internal support structure to help some elements of clay sculptures hold their shape while they are still soft. Nichrome wire is used for its ability to withstand the high temperatures that occur when clay work is fired in a kiln.

Nichrome wire can be used as an alternative to platinum wire for flame testing by colouring the non-luminous part of a flame to detect cations such as sodium, potassium, copper, calcium etc.

Other areas of usage include motorcycle mufflers, in certain areas in the microbiological lab apparatus, as the heating element of plastic extruders by the RepRap 3D printing community, in the solar panel deployment mechanism of spacecraft LightSail-A, as the heating coils of electronic cigarettes.

The alloy price is controlled by the relatively more-expensive nickel content. Distributor pricing is typically indexed to market prices for nickel.

NiCrA statsEdit

  1. Chemical Composition: 80% Ni, 20% Cr
  2. Approx. Melting Point: 1400°C

NiCrC statsEdit

  1. Chemical Composition: 61% Ni, 15% Cr, 24% Fe
  2. Approx. Melting Point: 1350°C

ConstantanEdit

OverviewEdit

Constantan is a copper–nickel alloy also known as Eureka, Advance, and Ferry. It usually consists of 55% copper and 45% nickel. Its main feature is its resistivity, which is constant over a wide range of temperatures. Other alloys with similarly low temperature coefficients are known, such as manganin (Cu86Mn12Ni2).

HistoryEdit

In 1887, Edward Weston discovered that metals can have a negative temperature coefficient of resistance, inventing what he called his "Alloy No. 2." It was produced in Germany where it was renamed "constantan".

UsageEdit

Of all modern strain gauge alloys, constantan is the oldest, and still the most widely used. It has other similar uses these days.

The electric resistance levels of various metalsEdit

Material Resistivity

(ohm-cmil/ft)

Resistivity

(10−6 ohm-cm)

Aluminum 15.94 2.650
Brass 42.1 7.0
Carbon (amorphous) 23 3.95
Constantan 272.97 45.38
Copper 10.09 1.678
Iron 57.81 9.61
Manganin 290 48.21
Molybdenum 32.12 5.34
Nichrome 675 112.2
Nichrome V 650 108.1
Nickel 41.69 6.93
Platinum 63.16 10.5
Stainless steel (304) 541 90
Steel (0.5% carbon) 100 16.62
Zinc 35.49 5.90

Common Alloy Trade NamesEdit

MWS Wire Ind. Carpenter Tech. Driver-Harris Harrison Hoskins Jelliff Kanthal
MWS-875 Alchrome 875 - HAI-FeCr AI 25 Alloy 875 - Kanthal A-1
MWS-800 Evanohm Karma HAI-431 Chromel R Alloy 800 Nikrothal L
MWS-675 Tophet C Nichrome HAI-NiCr 60 Chromel C Alloy C Nikrothal 6
MWS-650 Tophet A Nichrome V HAI-NiCr 80 Chromel A Alloy A Nikrothal 8
MWS-294 Cupron Advance HAI-CuNi 102 Copel Alloy 45 Cuprothal 294
MWS-180 180 Alloy Midohm HAI-180 Alloy 380 Alloy 180 Cuprothal 180
MWS-120 Balco Hytemco HAI-380 - Alloy 120 -
MWS-90 90 Alloy #95 Alloy HAI-90 Alloy 290 Alloy 90 Cuprothal 90
MWS-60 60 Alloy Lohm HAI-60 Alloy 260 Alloy 60 Cuprothal 60
MWS-30 30 Alloy #30 Alloy HAI-30 Alloy 230 Alloy 30 Cuprothal 30

SolderEdit

Solderedjoint

A soldered joint used to attach a wire to the pin of a component on the rear of a printed circuit board. Author: MJN123.

Solder on spool

Spool of solder. 1.6 mm.

Desoldering

Desoldering a contact from a wire

OverviewEdit

Solder (/ˈsoʊldər/,/ˈsɒldər/ or in North America /ˈsɒdər/) is a fusible metal alloy used to create a permanent bond between metal workpieces. The word solder comes from the Middle English word soudur, via Old French solduree and soulder, from the Latin solidare, meaning "to make solid". In fact, solder must be melted in order to adhere to and connect the pieces together, so a suitable alloy for use as solder will have a lower melting point than the pieces it is intended to join. Whenever possible, the solder should also be resistant to oxidative and corrosive effects that would degrade the joint over time. Solder that is intended for use in making electrical connections between electronic components also usually has favorable electrical characteristics.

Soft solder typically has a melting point range of 90 to 450 °C (190 to 840 °F; 360 to 720 K), and is commonly used in electronics, plumbing, and sheet metal work. Manual soldering uses a soldering iron or soldering gun. Alloys that melt between 180 and 190 °C (360 and 370 °F; 450 and 460 K) are the most commonly used. Soldering performed using alloys with a melting point above 450 °C (840 °F; 720 K) is called 'hard soldering', 'silver soldering', or brazing.

In specific proportions, some alloys can become eutectic — that is, their melting point is the same as their freezing point. Non-eutectic alloys have markedly different solidus and liquidus temperatures, and within that range they exist as a paste of solid particles in a melt of the lower-melting phase. In electrical work, if the joint is disturbed in the pasty state before it has solidified totally, a poor electrical connection may result; use of eutectic solder reduces this problem. The pasty state of a non-eutectic solder can be exploited in plumbing as it allows molding of the solder during cooling, e.g. for ensuring watertight joint of pipes, resulting in a so-called 'wiped joint'.

For electrical and electronics work, solder wire is available in a range of thicknesses for hand-soldering, and with cores containing flux. It is also available as a paste or as a preformed foil shaped to match the workpiece, more suitable for mechanized mass-production. Alloys of lead and tin were commonly used in the past, and are still available; they are particularly convenient for hand-soldering. Lead-free solders have been increasing in use due to regulatory requirements plus the health and environmental benefits of avoiding lead-based electronic components. They are almost exclusively used today in consumer electronics. 

Plumbers often use bars of solder, much thicker than the wire used for electrical applications. Jewelers often use solder in thin sheets, which they cut into snippets.

UsageEdit

Soldering (AmE: /ˈsɒdərɪŋ/, BrE: /ˈsɒldərɪŋ/), is a process in which two or more items (usually metal) are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. Soldering differs from welding in that soldering does not involve melting the work pieces. In brazing, the filler metal melts at a higher temperature, but the work piece metal does not melt. In the past, nearly all solders contained lead, but environmental and health concerns have increasingly dictated use of lead-free alloys for electronics and plumbing purposes.

There is evidence that soldering was employed as early as 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Soldering and brazing are thought to have originated very early in the history of metal-working, probably before 4,000 BC. Sumerian swords from ~3,000 BC were assembled using hard soldering.

Soldering was historically used to make jewelry items, cooking ware and tools, as well as other uses such as in assembling stained glass.

Soldering is used in plumbing, electronics, and metalwork from flashing to jewelry.

Soldering provides reasonably permanent but reversible connections between copper pipes in plumbing systems as well as joints in sheet metal objects such as food cans, roof flashing, rain gutters and automobile radiators.

Jewelry components, machine tools and some refrigeration and plumbing components are often assembled and repaired by the higher temperature silver soldering process. Small mechanical parts are often soldered or brazed as well. Soldering is also used to join lead came and copper foil in stained glass work.

Electronic soldering connects electrical wiring and electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Types of solderEdit

On July 1, 2006 the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) came into effect prohibiting the inclusion of significant quantities of lead in most consumer electronics produced in the EU. In the US, manufacturers may receive tax benefits by reducing the use of lead-based solder. Lead-free solders in commercial use may contain tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, antimony, and traces of other metals. Most lead-free replacements for conventional 60/40 and 63/37 Sn-Pb solder have melting points from 5 to 20 °C higher, though there are also solders with much lower melting points.

It may be desirable to use minor modification of the solder pots (e.g. titanium liners or impellers) used in wave-soldering, to reduce maintenance cost due to increased tin-scavenging of high-tin solder.

Lead-free solder may be less desirable for critical applications, such as aerospace and medical projects, because its properties are less thoroughly known.

Tin-Silver-Copper (Sn-Ag-Cu, or "SAC") solders are used by two-thirds of Japanese manufacturers for reflow and wave soldering, and by about 75% of companies for hand soldering. The widespread use of this popular lead-free solder alloy family is based on the reduced melting point of the Sn-Ag-Cu ternary eutectic behavior (217 ˚C), which is below the 22/78 Sn-Ag (wt.%) eutectic of 221 °C and the 59/41 Sn-Cu eutectic of 227 °C (recently revised by P. Snugovsky to 53/47 Sn-Cu). The ternary eutectic behavior of Sn-Ag-Cu and its application for electronics assembly was discovered (and patented) by a team of researchers from Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, and from Sandia National Laboratories-Albuquerque.

Much recent research has focused on selection of 4th element additions to Sn-Ag-Cu to provide compatibility for the reduced cooling rate of solder sphere reflow for assembly of ball grid arrays, e.g., 18/64/14/4 Tin-Silver-Copper-Zinc (Sn-Ag-Cu-Zn) (melting range of 217–220 ˚C) and 18/64/16/2 Tin-Silver-Copper-Manganese (Sn-Ag-Cu-Mn) (melting range of 211–215 ˚C).

Tin-based solders readily dissolve gold, forming brittle intermetallics; for Sn-Pb alloys the critical concentration of gold to embrittle the joint is about 4%. Indium-rich solders (usually indium-lead) are more suitable for soldering thicker gold layer as the dissolution rate of gold in indium is much slower. Tin-rich solders also readily dissolve silver; for soldering silver metallization or surfaces, alloys with addition of silvers are suitable; tin-free alloys are also a choice, though their wettability is poorer. If the soldering time is long enough to form the intermetallics, the tin surface of a joint soldered to gold is very dull.

Soldering filler materials are available in many different alloys for differing applications. In electronics assembly, the eutectic alloy of 63% tin and 37% lead (or 60/40, which is almost identical in melting point) has been the alloy of choice. Other alloys are used for plumbing, mechanical assembly, and other applications. Some examples of soft-solder are tin-lead for general purposes, tin-zinc for joining aluminium, lead-silver for strength at higher than room temperature, cadmium-silver for strength at high temperatures, zinc-aluminium for aluminium and corrosion resistance, and tin-silver and tin-bismuth for electronics.

A eutectic formulation has advantages when applied to soldering: the liquidus and solidus temperatures are the same, so there is no plastic phase, and it has the lowest possible melting point. Having the lowest possible melting point minimizes heat stress on electronic components during soldering. And, having no plastic phase allows for quicker wetting as the solder heats up, and quicker setup as the solder cools. A non-eutectic formulation must remain still as the temperature drops through the liquidus and solidus temperatures. Any movement during the plastic phase may result in cracks, resulting in an unreliable joint.

Common solder formulations based on tin and lead are listed below. The fraction represent percentage of tin first, then lead, totaling 100%:

63/37: melts at 183 °C (361 °F) (eutectic: the only mixture that melts at a point, instead of over a range).
60/40: melts between 183–190 °C (361–374 °F).
50/50: melts between 183–215 °C (361–419 °F).

For environmental reasons (and the introduction of regulations such as the European RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive)), lead-free solders are becoming more widely used. They are also suggested anywhere young children may come into contact with (since young children are likely to place things into their mouths), or for outdoor use where rain and other precipitation may wash the lead into the groundwater. Unfortunately, most lead-free solders are not eutectic formulations, melting at around 250 °C (482 °F), making it more difficult to create reliable joints with them.

Other common solders include low-temperature formulations (often containing bismuth), which are often used to join previously-soldered assemblies without un-soldering earlier connections, and high-temperature formulations (usually containing silver) which are used for high-temperature operation or for first assembly of items which must not become unsoldered during subsequent operations. Alloying silver with other metals changes the melting point, adhesion and wetting characteristics, and tensile strength. Of all the brazing alloys, silver solders have the greatest strength and the broadest applications. Specialty alloys are available with properties such as higher strength, the ability to solder aluminum, better electrical conductivity, and higher corrosion resistance.

Flux is a reducing agent designed to help reduce (return oxidized metals to their metallic state) metal oxides at the points of contact to improve the electrical connection and mechanical strength. The two principal types of flux are acid flux (sometimes called "active flux"), used for metal mending and plumbing, and rosin flux (sometimes called "passive flux"), used in electronics, where the corrosiveness of the vapors released when acid flux is heated would risk damaging delicate circuitry.

Due to concerns over atmospheric pollution and hazardous waste disposal, the electronics industry has been gradually shifting from rosin flux to water-soluble flux, which can be removed with deionized water and detergent, instead of hydrocarbon solvents.

In contrast to using traditional bars or coiled wires of all-metal solder and manually applying flux to the parts being joined, much hand soldering since the mid-20th century has used flux-core solder. This is manufactured as a coiled wire of solder, with one or more continuous bodies of non-acid flux embedded lengthwise inside it. As the solder melts onto the joint, it frees the flux and releases that on it as well.

Hard solders are used for brazing, and melt at higher temperatures. Alloys of copper with either zinc or silver are the most common.

In silversmithing or jewelry making, special hard solders are used that will pass assay. They contain a high proportion of the metal being soldered and lead is not used in these alloys. These solders vary in hardness, designated as "enameling", "hard", "medium" and "easy". Enameling solder has a high melting point, close to that of the material itself, to prevent the joint desoldering during firing in the enameling process. The remaining solder types are used in decreasing order of hardness during the process of making an item, to prevent a previously soldered seam or joint desoldering while additional sites are soldered. Easy solder is also often used for repair work for the same reason. Flux or rouge is also used to prevent joints from desoldering.

Silver solder is also used in manufacturing to join metal parts that cannot be welded. The alloys used for these purposes contain a high proportion of silver (up to 40%), and may also contain cadmium.

AmalgamEdit

Dental amalgamEdit

Filling

Amalgam filling on first molar. Author: Kauzio.

Dental amalgam is a liquid mercury and metal alloy mixture used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Low-copper amalgam commonly consists of mercury (40-50%), silver (~22–32%), tin (~14%), copper (~8%), Zinc (~6-0%) and other trace metals like molybdenum and lead.

Dental amalgams were first documented in a Tang Dynasty Chinese medical text written by Su Kung in 659, and appeared in Germany in 1528. In the 1800s, amalgam became the dental restorative material of choice due to its low cost, ease of application, strength, and durability.

Although the mercury in cured amalgam is not available as free mercury, concern of its toxicity has existed since the invention of amalgam as a dental material. It is banned or restricted in Norway, Sweden and Finland. See Dental Amalgam Controversy.

Arquerite, a natural amalgam of silver and mercuryEdit

Amalgam-200675

Arquerite is a natural amalgam of silver and mercury. Attribution: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0.

Arquerite is a naturally occurring alloy of silver with mercury. It is a very rare mineral, consisting of a silver-rich variety of amalgam, containing about 87% silver and 13% mercury. Arquerite has been reported from only four localities worldwide, two are in Chile and the other two are in British Columbia, Canada. Other names for arquerite include, argental mercury, mercurian silver, and silver amalgam.

Zinc amalgamEdit

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Potassium amalgamEdit

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Sodium amalgamEdit

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Aluminium amalgamEdit

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Tin amalgamEdit

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Gold-mercury amalgamEdit

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Copper-mercury amalgam (Viennese metal cement)Edit

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Other amalgamsEdit

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Depleted uraniumEdit

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DuraluminEdit

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Tungsten carbide (chemical formula: WC)Edit

Tungsten carbide

Tungsten carbide drill and end mills.

OverviewEdit

Tungsten carbide (chemical formula: WC) is a chemical compound (specifically, a carbide) containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in industrial machinery, cutting tools, abrasives, armor-piercing rounds, other tools and instruments, and jewelry.

Historically referred to as Wolfram, Wolf Rahm, wolframite ore discovered by Peter Woulfe was then later carburized and cemented with a binder creating a composite now called "cemented tungsten carbide". Tungsten is Swedish for "heavy stone".

Colloquially among workers in various industries (such as machining and carpentry), tungsten carbide is often simply called carbide, despite the inaccuracy of the usage. Among the lay public, the growing popularity of tungsten carbide rings has also led to consumers calling the material tungsten.

Metallurgical proprietiesEdit

Tungsten carbide is approximately two times stiffer than steel, with a Young's modulus of approximately 530–700 GPa (77,000 to 102,000 ksi), and is double the density of steel—nearly midway between that of lead and gold. It is comparable with corundum (α-Al 2O3) in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as cubic boron nitride and diamond powder, wheels, and compounds.

  1. Extremely hard and long lasting.
  2. Will never scratch.
  3. Cobalt free tough steel.
  4. Will never loose it's polish.
  5. Hypo-allergenic.
  6. Non tarnishing.
  7. Can handle high torsion stress.
  8. Can handle high friction forces.

ApplicationsEdit

  1. Cutting tools for machining
  2. Ammunition
  3. Mining
  4. Nuclear
  5. Sports
  6. Surgical instruments
  7. Jewelry
  8. The rotating ball in the tips of ballpoint pens that disperse ink during writing.
  9. Gauge blocks, used as a system for producing precision lengths in dimensional metrology.
  10. English guitarist Martin Simpson is known to use a custom-made tungsten carbide guitar slide. The hardness, weight, and density of the slide give it superior sustain and volume compared to standard glass, steel, ceramic, or brass slides.
  11. Tungsten carbide has been investigated for its potential use as a catalyst and it has been found to resemble platinum in its catalysis of the production of water from hydrogen and oxygen at room temperature, the reduction of tungsten trioxide by hydrogen in the presence of water, and the isomerisation of 2,2-dimethylpropane to 2-methylbutane. It has been proposed as a replacement for the iridium catalyst in hydrazine-powered satellite thrusters.

ToxicityEdit

The primary health risks associated with carbide relate to inhalation of dust, leading to fibrosis. Cobalt–cemented tungsten carbide is also reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program.

SteelEdit

Steel (true steel)Edit

Steel wire rope

A spool of wire rope made from steel, which is a metal alloy whose major component is iron, with carbon content between 0.02% and 2.14% by mass. Attribution: I, Johannes 'volty' Hemmerlein.

The base metal iron of the iron-carbon alloy known as steel, undergoes a change in the arrangement (allotropy) of the atoms of its crystal matrix at a certain temperature (usually between 1,500 °F (820 °C) and 1,600 °F (870 °C), depending on carbon content). This allows the smaller carbon atoms to enter the interstices of the iron crystal. When this diffusion happens, the carbon atoms are said to be in solution in the iron, forming a particular single, homogeneous, crystalline phase called austenite. If the steel is cooled slowly, the carbon can diffuse out of the iron and it will gradually revert to its low temperature allotrope. During slow cooling, the carbon atoms will no longer be as soluble with the iron, and will be forced to precipitate out of solution, nucleating into a more concentrated form of iron carbide (Fe3C) in the spaces between the pure iron crystals. The steel then becomes heterogeneous, as it is formed of two phases, the iron-carbon phase called cementite (or carbide), and pure iron ferrite. Such a heat treatment produces a steel that is rather soft. If the steel is cooled quickly, however, the carbon atoms will not have time to diffuse and precipitate out as carbide, but will be trapped within the iron crystals. When rapidly cooled, a diffusionless (martensite) transformation occurs, in which the carbon atoms become trapped in solution. This causes the iron crystals to deform as the crystal structure tries to change to its low temperature state, leaving those crystals very hard but much less ductile (more brittle).

While the high strength of steel results when diffusion and precipitation is prevented (forming martinsite), most heat-treatable alloys are precipitation hardening alloys, that depend on the diffusion of alloying elements to achieve their strength. When heated to form a solution and then cooled quickly, these alloys become much softer than normal, during the diffusionless transformation, but then harden as they age. The solutes in these alloys will precipitate over time, forming intermetallic phases, which are difficult to discern from the base metal. Unlike steel, in which the solid solution separates into different crystal phases (carbide and ferrite), precipitation hardening alloys form different phases within the same crystal. These intermetallic alloys appear homogeneous in crystal structure, but tend to behave heterogeneously, becoming hard and somewhat brittle.

A miniscule amount of nickel, aluminium, chrome, vandium, manganese and copper can me added to steel to inprove properties like tensile streng and corrosion resistance. 

Tungsten-steelEdit

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Vanadium steelEdit

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Manganese steelEdit

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Stainless steelEdit

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Surgical (stainless) steel and cutlery stainless steelEdit

Surgical stainless steel is an informal term which refers to certain grades of stainless steel that are used in biomedical applications. The most common "surgical steels" are austenitic 316 stainless and martensitic 440 and 420 stainless steels. There is no formal definition on what constitutes a "surgical stainless steel", so product manufacturers and distributors apply the term to refer to any grade of corrosion resistant steel.

316 stainless steel, also referred to as marine grade stainless steel, is a chromium, nickel, molybdenum alloy of steel that exhibits relatively good strength and corrosion resistance. Along with the titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, 316 stainless is a common choice of material for biomedical implants. Although Ti6Al4V provides greater strength per weight and corrosion resistance, 316 stainless components can be more economical to produce. However, immune system reaction to nickel is a potential complication of 316. Implants and equipment that are put under pressure (bone fixation screws, prostheses, body piercing jewelry) are made out of austenitic steel, often 316L and 316LVM compliant to ASTM F138. 316 surgical steel is used in the manufacture and handling of food and pharmaceutical products where it is often required in order to minimize metallic contamination. ASTM F138 -compliant steel is also used in the manufacture of body piercing jewellery and body modification implants.

440 and 420 stainless steels, known also by the name "Cutlery Stainless Steel", are high carbon steels alloyed with chromium. They have very good corrosion resistance compared to other cutlery steels, but their corrosion resistance is inferior to 316 stainless. Biomedical cutting instruments are often made from 440 or 420 stainless due to its high hardness coupled with acceptable corrosion resistance. This type of stainless steel may be slightly magnetic.

Aviation steelEdit

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Titanium steelEdit

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GoldEdit

Jewelers' goldEdit

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"Red gold"Edit

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"White gold"Edit

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Crown goldEdit

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ShakudōEdit

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GunmetalEdit

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Babbitt metalEdit

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InvarEdit

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PermalloyEdit

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FerrochromiunEdit

Ferrochrome (FeCr) is an alloy of chromium and iron containing 50% to 70% chromium by weight. Ferrochrome is produced by electric arc carbothermic reduction of chromite.

MonelEdit

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Aluminium–ScandiumEdit

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How it is doneEdit

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Also seeEdit

  1. Nickel
  2. Useful metals
  3. Thoriated magnesium (AKA- Mag-Thor)
  4. Minerals and fuel in central Africa
  5. Mineral mining, smelting and shipping videos
  6. What is 'galvanizing'
  7. Hastelloy/Haynes International
  8. Minerals and fuel in central Africa
  9. Mineral mining, smelting, processing and shipping videos!
  10. Today's OTL types of economies, societies and regimes

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