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A material composed of two or more metals, or a metal and a non-metal is commonly known as an alloy. It may be of single phase (solid solution) or a mixture of metallic phases (two or more solutions) or an intermetallic compound without separate boundary between the phases.
Alloys are used extensively in various fields like aircraft making, military, industrial, medical, and manufacturing. Alloys with aluminum, copper, nickel, stainless steel, and titanium have specific applications in a wide range of equipment, machinery, vehicles, structures, and many industries. Aluminum alloys are used in making furniture for home, the packing industry, and containers for medical storage. Aluminium alloys find specialized applications in high altitude flights. Copper alloys are less expensive than gold and platinum. Copper alloys have incomparable electric and thermal performance, and have good corrosion resistance. Nickel alloys are widely used in aircraft gas turbines, and chemical and petrochemical industries. Stainless steel alloys are widely used in underwater sea cables due to their high corrosion resistance. Alloys can be classified based on their usage in the industry such as Babbitt meta, Bell metal, coin metal, Solder metal, and Gun metal.
Shape memory alloys, such as Nickel Titanium (also known as Nitinol), have gained commercial interest due to their unique property of memorizing their previous form when subjected to certain stimulus such as thermomechanical or magnetic variations (Jani, J. M. A review of shape memory alloy research, applications and opportunities. Materials & Design 2014, 56, 1078-1113).