2. Something that detracts from the value or quality of the thing it is added to or mixed with.
3. Any mixture, amalgam, or compound of different materials.
4. Etymology: from Anglo-French alai, from Old French aleier, "mix with a baser metal", from Latin alligare; a compound of ad-, "to" + ligare, "to bind".
Other well-known alloys include brass, an alloy of copper and zinc; and steel, an alloy of iron and carbon.
Alloys have been created by mixing metals with semi-metals like arsenic and antimony and with nonmetals like carbon and silicon.
Most alloys are developed for a specific physical characteristic; such as, malleability or strength.
Steel is made by introducing carbon from the coke used in the refinement of iron ore.
Alloys are also divided into ferrous (iron based) and non-ferrous, in which the base is usually copper, aluminum, or titanium.
However, the alloys used in jet and rocket engines; especially, in areas of intense heat and stress, are usually nickel-based or cobalt-based.
Alloys are often far less conductive of electricity and less reactive to living bodily tissue than pure metal, which makes them ideal for use in prosthetic devices, heart pacemakers, and in dentistry.