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Melchior (alloy)

Melchior (alloy)

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In metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

, melchior is an alloy
An alloy is a mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements. Complete solid solution alloys give single solid phase microstructure, while partial solutions give two or more phases that may or may not be homogeneous in distribution, depending on thermal history...

 of copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, mainly with nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 (5–30%). Its name originates from , which in turn is distorted , honoring the french inventors of the alloy, Maillot and Chorier. The term melchior sometimes refers not only to the copper-nickel alloys, but also ternary alloys of copper with nickel and zinc ("nickel silver
Nickel silver
Nickel silver, also known as German silver, Argentann, new silver, nickel brass, albata,, or alpacca, is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but it contains no elemental silver...

") and even a silvered brass. Melchior is easily deformable by application of pressure, both in the hot and cold state. After annealing, it has a tensile strength of about 40 kg/mm2. The most valuable property of melchior is its high resistance to corrosion in air, freshwater and seawater. Increasing content of nickel iron or manganese improves corrosion and cavitation resistance, especially in sea water and atmospheric water vapor. The alloy of 30% Ni, 0.8% Fe, 1% Mn and 68.2% copper is used in maritime shipping, in particular for the manufacture of condenser tubes. Thanks to the nickel, melchior, unlike brass
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties.In comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin...

 and bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

, has not yellow but silver color. Together with high corrosion resistance, this silvery color are preferred for the manufacture of household utensils.