n. /al"oy, euh loy"/; v. /euh loy"/, n.1. a substance composed of two or more metals, or of a metal or metals with a nonmetal, intimately mixed, as by fusion or electrodeposition.2. a less costly metal mixed with a more valuable one.3. standard; quality; fineness.4. admixture, as of good with evil.5. anything added that serves to reduce quality or purity.v.t.6. to mix (metals or metal with nonmetal) so as to form an alloy.7. to reduce in value by an admixture of a less costly metal.8. to debase, impair, or reduce by admixture; adulterate.[1590-1600; < MF aloi, OF alei, n. deriv. of aleier to combine < L alligare to bind up, equiv. to al- AL- + ligare to bind (see ALLY, LIGAMENT); r. earlier allay, ME < AF allai]Syn. 4. fusion, blend, composite.
* * *Metallic substance composed of two or more elements, as either a mixture, compound, or solid solution.The components of alloys are ordinarily themselves metals, though carbon is an essential nonmetal component of steel. Alloys are usually produced by melting the mixture of ingredients. The value of alloys was discovered in very ancient times; brass (copper and zinc) and bronze (copper and tin) were especially important. Today the most important are the alloy steels, which have a wide range of special properties, including hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, magnetizability, and workability.
* * *metallic substance composed of two or more elements, as either a compound or a solution. The components of alloys are ordinarily themselves metals, though carbon, a nonmetal, is an essential constituent of steel.Alloys are usually produced by melting the mixture of ingredients. The value of alloys was discovered in very ancient times; brass (copper and zinc) and bronze (copper and tin) were especially important. Today, the most important are the alloy steels, broadly defined as steels containing significant amounts of elements other than iron and carbon. The principal alloying elements for steel are chromium, nickel, manganese, molybdenum, silicon, tungsten, vanadium, and boron. Alloy steels have a wide range of special properties, such as hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, magnetizability, and ductility. Nonferrous alloys, mainly copper–nickel, bronze, and aluminum alloys, are much used in coinage. The distinction between an alloying metal and an impurity is sometimes subtle; in aluminum, for example, silicon may be considered an impurity or a valuable component, depending on the application, because silicon adds strength though it reduces corrosion resistance.The term fusible metals, or fusible alloys, denotes a group of alloys that have melting points below that of tin (232° C, 449° F). Most of these substances are mixtures of metals that by themselves have low melting points, such as tin, bismuth, and lead. Fusible alloys are used as solder, in safety sprinklers that automatically spray out water when the heat of a fire melts the alloy, and in fuses for interrupting an electrical circuit when the current becomes excessive.Many fusible alloys are formulated to melt at 90–100° C (194–212° F); for example, Darcet's alloy (50 parts bismuth, 25 lead, 25 tin) melts at 98° C. By replacing half the tin in Darcet's alloy with cadmium, the alloy Wood's metal, which melts at 70° C, is obtained. See also amalgam; ferroalloy; intermetallic compound.
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