Metalworking processes can accomplish a lot of things in terms of gifting metals with desirable traits. For example, galvanizing your metal can make it stronger. Polishing your metal can give it extended life and greater corrosion resistance. Forming and shaping metal can get it into the shape it needs to be in for a noteworthy application. But, how does this apply to metal alloys? Alloying a metal with another element or metal has the ability to enhance its current traits. But, what exactly does it do and how is it accomplished? We give you a crash course on alloying metal below!
The key thing to remember about metal alloys is that the two components are combined to strengthen a certain characteristic. For example, if a metal like iron is alloyed with a metal that has increased corrosion resistance, the resulting product will have a much higher corrosion resistance! The most common example of this is stainless steel, which is the result of the aforementioned combination of iron and chromium. It helps make it useful for applications such as cookware and automotive parts.
Sometimes, the pure strength of a single metal won’t be enough to be useful in applications. Another common reason for alloying metals is to increase its strength to a point where normal metals can’t reach. For example, titanium is considered one of the world’s strongest metals. When alloyed with metals like iron, however, they become durable enough to be used in heavy duty applications such as airplane parts and automotive applications. Gold and silver are usually alloyed together to make stronger and longer lasting jewelry.
In terms of conductivity, metals will vary on how much of it they need. Alloying metals also has the ability to decrease a property’s effectiveness. Conductivity is a prime example of this trait. Pure metals tend to have higher conductivity than metal alloys, but decreased conductivity is necessary for certain applications. For example, stainless steel is commonly used in building structures, where conductivity isn’t necessary. In fact, conductivity may actually be dangerous here, which makes it all the more important!
Do you have a metal alloy or pure metal that you need to be fitted for a specific application? Bring it down to Markham Metals! We offer a full range of metalworking services to bend, cut, form and shape your metal into any product you wish. To increase the effectiveness of your metal and get it ready for use in the field, click here to contact us directly!