Alloys are harder than pure metals because their molecular structure prevents the metal atoms from sliding over one another. Conversely, alloys have lower electrical and thermal conductivity than pure metals.Continue Reading
While most alloys are synthetic, in rare instances, they can also occur in nature. Meteoric iron is a natural alloy of iron and nickel, and is the first alloy used by humans. Meteoric iron is the metal component of meteorites; the iron and nickel combine into an alloy due to radioactive processes in space. Another example of a naturally-occurring alloy is electrum, a natural alloy of gold, silver and copper. Its use in jewelry dates back to ancient Greece.
The earliest recorded synthetic alloys are bronze, brass and pewter. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and pewter is a range of alloys consisting of tin and a second component metal. Lead, copper, antimony and bismuth are all used as secondary components of pewter. Steel alloys and mercury amalgam also date back thousands of years.
Not all alloy components are metals, though all alloys do contain at least two metals. All steel alloys contain carbon, as do non-alloy forms of iron such as cast iron and pig iron. These forms of iron are not considered alloys, because the only metal present in them is iron.Learn more about Chemistry
Not all metal rusts, but the metals that do rust do so because of an oxidation reaction between the metal and water and oxygen. Oxidation is the process by which a substance incorporates oxygen into its molecular structure.Full Answer >
White gold is an alloy of gold and other metals, such as silver or palladium, while platinum is an almost entirely pure white metal. In a natural state, platinum has a much whiter color than white gold. However, most white gold is plated with rhodium, which makes the colors much more similar.Full Answer >
Each of the alkaline earth metals reacts with HCl, also known as hydrochloric acid, to form hydrogen gas and its corresponding metal chloride solution. The reaction becomes stronger the further down the group the element is on the periodic table.Full Answer >
The element potassium is a metal and it belongs to Group 1, which consists of the alkali metals. Potassium is soft and silver-white in appearance. Its chemical symbol is K, and it has an atomic number of 19.Full Answer >