gcsescience.com                                                 29                                                 gcsescience.com

Extraction of Metals

What is an Alloy?

An alloy is a mixture of metals that has
different (improved) properties from the metal elements that make it.
The pure metal is usually too soft to be useful. The figures
given for percentages of elements in an alloy are for guidance only,
as any particular alloy may be designed for a particular use.

Often an alloy is composed mainly of one metal (the parent metal)
with small amounts of other metals added. The other metals
replace positions of the parent metal in the metal structure,
or sometimes fit into the spaces in the metal structure.

Metal Alloy Structure

The red balls are the parent metal.
The blue and yellow balls are other metals.
The blue lines represent free electrons.
Compare this with the metal structure of a pure metal.

The other metals in the structure can change the properties of
the alloy by preventing the metal ions from sliding over each other.
This can make the alloy tougher and stronger than the parent metal.

back      Links      Alloys      Revision Quizzes      Revision Questions      next

gcsescience.com      The Periodic Table      Index      Metal Quiz      gcsescience.com

Home      GCSE Chemistry      GCSE Physics

Copyright © 2015 gcsescience.com. All Rights Reserved.