During 3500 BC(BCE), people used an alloy named ‘bronze’. The idea of making an alloy was quite old. The majority of the metallic substances used today are alloys. Alloys are mixtures of two or more metals and are formed by mixing molten metals thoroughly. Rarely nonmetals are also mixed with metals to produce alloys.
It is generally found that alloying produces a metallic substance that has more useful properties than the original pure metals from which it is made. For example, the alloy brass is made from copper and zinc.
· Alloys do not get corroded or get corroded to very less extent.
· They are harder and stronger than pure metals (example: gold is mixed with copper and it is harder than pure gold)
· They have less conductance than pure metals (example: copper is good conductor of heat and electricity whereas brass and bronze are not good conductors)
· Some alloys have lower melting point than pure metals (example: solder is an alloy of lead and tin which has lower melting point than each of the metals)
· When metal is alloyed with mercury, it is called amalgam