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An alloy is a mixture of metals or a mixture of a metal and another element. Alloys are defined by a metallic bonding character.
Alloys are created to exploit or maximize various properties of one of the parent metal used (like in the case of steel or brass, strength), or create new properties, different from the parent metals (like NaK, which is liquid).
Common alloys and uses
- Brass - electric equipment, handles, bullet cartridges;
- Bronze - statues, toys, bearings, tools;
- Kanthal - heating elements;
- Nichrome - heating elements;
- Steel - tools, machine parts, construction material, cars;
- Stainless steel - kitchenware, tools, plumbing;
- Zamak - zippers, buttons, car parts, electronic cases;
Alloys can be obtained from various everyday items or can be purchased from metallurgical suppliers, though most may not sell to individuals.