Berman Brothers & Rubin Iron Works

Berman Brothers
Rubin Iron Works: Established 1914

What Are Alloys and What Are They Used For?

Alloys, by definition, are a combination of a metal with at least one other metal or nonmetal. They are most commonly merged together through melting each of the substances, mixing the fluids, and then allowing those fluids to cool into a new, solid composition. The combinations can be altered to adjust the physical properties of the metals, for example, to increase hardness, strength, corrosion resistance and more. In metalworking, the potential alloy combinations are virtually limitless. For metal recycling companies in Jacksonville and beyond, the following are the three most common metal alloys.

Stainless Steel Alloys

Stainless steel is, in itself, an alloy of iron and chromium. Its composition makes the material infinitely recyclable, and therefore a popular metal for metal recycling. Alloy steels are also less expensive and more easily machined, adding to their popularity. Stainless steel is often enhanced with other metals, like nickel or copper, which can be added in the recycling process. Recycled stainless steel alloys are commonly used for kitchen appliances, cutlery and cookware, as well as machinery on the industrial level.

Aluminum Alloys

Aluminum alloys, also called light alloys, utilize aluminum as the base metal, and are commonly mixed with copper, magnesium, silicon, tin and zinc. There are literally hundreds of aluminum alloys registered with the Aluminum Association, which are grouped by how the material characteristics respond to things like machining and thermal application. These alloys are particularly sought after in industries like mechanical engineering and aerospace manufacturing, specifically for their ability to reduce weight without compromising strength. With an abundance in circulation, aluminum scrap in Florida pays well at metal recycling yards.

Bronze Alloys

Like stainless steel, bronze stands as an alloy on its own. It has a primarily copper base that is mixed with tin, usually at about 12%. Other metals, like aluminum, phosphorus, manganese and silicon may also be present, but to a much lesser amount than tin. Bronze alloys are particularly popular in nautical applications because of their resistance to corrosion. It is also commonly used for medals and musical instruments. In commercial applications, bronze can be seen in roofing, decorative work and sculptures, and can be easily identified by the blue-green patina tarnish that forms after the metal has begun to oxidize through exposure to the outdoor elements.