Introduction About Alloys Video:
Alloys are metallic materials consisting of two or more elements combined in such a way that they cannot be readily separated by physical means. More than 90% of metals used are in the form of alloys.watch Alloys Video to learn more
The word alloy described as a “mixture of metals”, but that’s a little bit misleading because some alloys contain only one metal and it’s mixed in with other substances that are nonmetals (cast iron, for example, is an alloy made of just one metal, iron, mixed with one nonmetal, carbon). The best way to think of an alloy is as a material that’s made up of at least two different chemical elements, one of which is a metal. The most important metallic component of an alloy (often representing 90 percent or more of the material) is called the main metal, the parent metal, or the base metal. The other components of an alloy (which are called alloying agents) can be either metals or nonmetals and they’re present in much smaller quantities (sometimes less than 1 percent of the total). Although an alloy can sometimes be a compound (the elements it’s made from are chemically bonded together), it’s usually asolid solution (atoms of the elements are simply intermixed, like salt mixed with water).
The structure of alloys:
If you look at a metal through a powerful electron microscope, you can see the atoms inside arranged in a regular structure called a crystalline lattice. Imagine a small cardboard box full of marbles and that’s pretty much what you’d see. In an alloy, apart from the atoms of the main metal, there are also atoms of the alloying agents dotted throughout the structure. (Imagine dropping a few plastic balls into the cardboard box so they arrange themselves randomly among the marbles.)
If the atoms of the alloying agent replace atoms of the main metal, we get what’s called a substitution alloy. An alloy like this will form only if the atoms of the base metal and those of the alloying agent are of roughly similar size. In most substitution alloys, the constituent elements are quite near one another in the periodic table. Brass, for example, is a substitution alloy based on copper in which atoms of zinc replace 10–35 percent of the atoms that would normally be in copper. Brass works as an alloy because copper and zinc are close to one another in the periodic table and have atoms of roughly similar size.
Alloys can also form if the alloying agent or agents have atoms that are very much smaller than those of the main metal. In that case, the agent atoms slip in between the main metal atoms (in the gaps or “interstices”), giving what’s called an interstitial alloy. Steel is an example of an interstitial alloy in which a relatively small number of carbon atoms slip in the gaps between the huge atoms in a crystalline lattice of iron.
Useful for CBSE, ICSE, NCERT & International Students
Grade : 8
Subject : Chemistry
Lesson : Metals and Non Metals
Topic: Alloys Video
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