# What is an example of an alloy how does its properties may make it more useful than a pure metal?

Feb 21, 2016

Possibly the best example is $\text{bronze}$, an alloy of $\text{copper}$ and $\text{tin}$.

#### Explanation:

Both $\text{copper}$ and $\text{tin}$ as the pure metals are relatively soft, and do not hold an edge. As an alloy, as $\text{BRONZE}$, tools made from the mixture are hard, and hold an excellent edge. Most of the metals we use are alloys.

$\text{Steel}$ is another good example, an alloy that contains up to 1.5% carbon, and its modern usage is ubiquitous in tools and structures. $\text{Brass}$ is an alloy of $\text{copper}$ and $\text{zinc}$. Other than its main purpose (which of course is to make musical instruments!), $\text{brass}$ is used for gas fittings in that you cannot make a spark from hitting brass metal together (sparks in gas lines could be disastrous; why?).

$\text{Duraluminum}$ is a mixed alloy of $\text{aluminum}$, $\text{copper}$, $\text{manganese}$, and $\text{magnesium}$, and being lightweight (because of the $\text{aluminum content}$), is used for manufacture of parts for aircraft.

There is usually a specific alloy to deal with a specific purpose. These alloys are developed, and purpose chosen by metallurgists to fill a particular niche.