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Alloys of Zinc

Zinc-Sodium Alloys

Sodium is only partially miscible with zinc, and a saturated solution of sodium in zinc contains about 3 per cent, of the former metal. These two metals form a compound that is grey, harder, and more brittle than zinc, and slowly acted upon by water. Its formula approximates to NaZn11 or NaZn12.

Potassium forms a compound with zinc that apparently occurs in several physical modifications. Its formula is probably KZn12.

Zinc-Copper Alloys

- The alloys of zinc with copper have great commercial importance. The addition of zinc to copper at first increases both the ductility and tenacity. The ductility begins to decrease when the zinc is more than 30 per cent., and the tenacity falls off rapidly when it is more than 40 per cent.

Brass contains from about 30.33 per cent, of zinc and 70.67 per cent, of copper. Muntz metal, containing 40 per cent, zinc and 60 per cent, copper, can be rolled either hot or cold, while brass can only be rolled cold. Brazing solder contains equal proportions of the two metals, though the proportions are sometimes varied: it is harder than brass, more ductile, and cannot be rolled. Various other alloys, such as pinchbeck, contain 90 per cent, and upwards of copper. The alloys containing less than 50 per cent, of copper are white and brittle: their commercial importance is slight.

Norsa concluded that the compounds CuZn, CuZn2, and CuZn6 exist; Cu2Zn3 may also exist, and possibly Cu2Zn.

Zinc-Silver Alloys

- A silver-zinc alloy is obtained by adding a solution of silver sulphate to water containing a zinc plate. Liquid silver and zinc alloy in all proportions. The alloys are fairly malleable up to 34.3 atomic per cent, of zinc, but become brittle and tough with increasing quantities. Their brittleness and hardness attain a maximum between 47.6 and 60 per cent, of zinc.

The compounds Ag2Zn3 and Ag2Zn5 seem to exist. Various other compounds have been indicated by equilibrium studies, but the results are not very concordant.

Zinc-Gold Alloys

- The addition of gold to zinc raises the freezing-point. Molten gold absorbs zinc vapour, and its ductility is destroyed by alloying with zinc. Small quantities of zinc slightly increase the tensile strength.

Alloys rich in gold are about as hard as the latter, but not quite so tenacious. Alloys containing between 31 and 61 per cent, of zinc are hard and brittle, and these qualities gradually diminish as the proportion of zinc increases.

The compound AuZn seems to exist, but the evidence for other compounds is conflicting.

Zinc-Calcium Alloys

- Alloys of zinc containing 6 per cent, of calcium are rather harder than zinc and are fairly stable towards air and water. As the proportion of calcium increases they darken in air and act more on water. The compounds CaZn4, CaZn10, Ca2Zn3, and Ca4Zn appear to exist, and possibly CaZn.

Zinc-Cadmium Alloys

- Zinc alloys with cadmium in all proportions, but no compound seems to be formed. The hardness and breaking stress of zinc increase with the addition of 0.25 per cent, of cadmium, but the opposite effect occurs when more than 0.5 per cent, of the latter metal is present.

Raoult's Law holds for the vapour pressures of cadmium and its alloys with zinc.

Zinc-Mercury Alloys

- A saturated zinc amalgam at 25° C. contains 2.2196 grm. of zinc to 100 grm. of mercury, and its density is 13.34333. At 25° C., if D is the density of the amalgam and p the grams of zinc per 100 grm. of mercury,

D = 13.5340 - 00859p.

Zinc amalgams can be prepared by adding zinc to mercury and warming. They are also obtained by electrolysing zinc salts with mercury cathodes.

No definite compounds of zinc with mercury appear to exist, though some have been reported.

Zinc amalgams do not alter appreciably in the air. When the solid amalgams crystallise out they tenaciously retain some of their viscous mother-liquor.

Zinc-Aluminium Alloys

- The hardest alloy of zinc and aluminium contains 30 per cent, of zinc. There appears to be evidence for the existence of Zn3Al2, though a larger number of compounds seems to be excluded by studies of the system Zn-Al.

Zinc-Tin Alloys

- Molten zinc and tin mix in all proportions.

Zinc-Lead Alloys

- Zinc is said to be only slightly miscible with lead, though alloys of the two metals have apparently been prepared.

Zinc-Antimony Alloys

- Zinc is miscible with antimony in all proportions. The compounds Zn3Sb2 and ZnSb appear to exist.

Zinc-Bismuth Alloys

- Zinc and bismuth are only slightly miscible.

Zinc-Manganese Alloys

- Alloys of zinc and manganese are brittle, and increase in hardness with the manganese content. They cannot contain more than 50 per cent, of the latter metal. The compounds Zn7Mn and Zn3Mn are said to exist.

Zinc-Iron Alloys

- Alloys of zinc and iron containing 0.7-11 per cent, of iron become harder and more brittle with an increase of the latter metal. An alloy with 96 per cent, of iron is malleable when cold, though more brittle than iron, but the alloy with 80 per cent, is brittle and not malleable at the ordinary temperature. The compounds Zn3Fe and Zn7Fe exist.

Zinc-Nickel Alloys

- Alloys of zinc with nickel, which are more brittle than zinc, have been prepared by adding nickel to zinc melted under borax. The compound Zn3Ni is brittle. Zn4Ni is said to have been isolated as a crystalline, non-magnetic powder, of density 7.71 and melting-point approximately 850° C.

The alloys are not magnetic.

Zinc-Cobalt Alloys

- Zinc and cobalt form mixed crystals; the alloys containing more than 81.6 per cent, of zinc are not magnetic, and become more brittle as the zinc decreases. There is a compound Zn4Co.

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