Popular Types of Precious Metal Alloys and Their Significant Uses
Alloys are defined as a mixture of one metal and another element. In essence, precious metal alloys are made in order to reduce costs or to improve the resilience and strength of a material. Below are a few of the most common types of alloys available in the market and their significant uses:
Steel is a combination of iron and carbon. Carbon in steel should clock in at below 2.1% – otherwise, the material would be known as cast iron. Civilizations have used steel for thousands of years. There has been evidence of steel from 4,000 years ago. Initially, steel was used to create weapons. At present, steel is a major part of manufacturing and production. Steel is used for infrastructures, appliances, vehicles, and tools.
Lead Solder is a product of tin and lead at varying compositions ranging from 50/50 to 60/40. This type of alloy is widely available and is used in a few different industries. Lead solders used to be popular in the plumbing industry. However, in the light of recent research regarding lead, lead solder pipes have waned in popularity. Today, lead solder is heavily used in the creation of printed circuit boards or PCBs.
Brass is a combination of copper and zinc. Utilized since the third millennium BC in the West Asia and Eastern Mediterranean areas, brass was initially used for decoration because of its gold-like glow. At present, brass is used for zippers, explosive materials, instruments and much more.
Pewter is a combination of tin and copper, antimony and bismuth – with tin as the primary component. Initially, pewter is used as tableware before the rampant and hasty development of porcelain. Pewter is now generally used for decorative purposes. Pewter tea sets, figurines and plated jewelry can be purchased at present.
Otherwise known as aluminum-copper alloys, duralumin was first developed by famous German metallurgist – Alfred Wilm. As opposed to the types of precious metal alloys above, duralumin is relatively new – only created in the early 20th century. At present, it is mainly used for wiring and screw products. Duralumin is also heavily utilized in the aviation industry.