What is an Alloy



An alloy is a combination of at least two metals. When an alloy is created the first metal is inhansed by the properities of the second metal. Alloys are separated into two different categories interstitial and substitutional. An interstitial alloy is when a metal with a much smaller atomic size fills holes that are present in the main alloy. When these holes are filled it makes the alloy much stronger for instance when carbon fills the holes in iron the iron becomes stronger. Now a substitutional alloy is when two metals with roughly the same size are combined. When this happens some of the atoms of the main metal are substituted for the secondary metal. For instance when zinc is combined with copper some of the copper atoms are replaced with zinc atoms and brass is formed. Now to help you remember the difference is that in the word interstitial use the prefix inter which means between to help you remember the second metal goes into the gaps between the primary or first metal. Now when an alloy this enhance the proprieties from the main metal with the properties of the secondary metal. This allows for the creation of a very strong yet light weight metal. Now this brings me back to the topic which is how are alloys used in sports equipment. Well in sports a strong yet lightweight metal is wanted which is were an alloy is needed.



Alloys in sports

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In both baseball and golf a metal that is both strong yet lightweight is needed. This is were an alloy is made to suite this purpose. A strong bat or golf head is needed so they wont break on impact but they must also me very light. Now I used to play baseball and the weight and strength of the bat makes a big difference in how far the ball is hit. With a heavy bat the bat is swung much slower then it the bat is light. And that difference is speed makes a big difference. But then again if a light bat is used you also don’t want it to shatter as soon as the ball is hit or that defeats the purpose of having a light bat if you can use it to get that homerun. Springs are another beautiful example of alloys in sports. They are very strong but don’t warp and they always bounce right back into shape. Springs can be used in anything from gymnastics in the trampolines to swimming in the diving board. They can be used really any ware and extra boast in height when needed. Alloys are used in almost every part of a bike. The frame has to be strong but able to bend and flex to exurb the impact of the rider coming from a fall or just from going over rough terrain. And no one would want to carry around a heavy bike. So alloys can be used in almost any sport let it be a minor part such as the springs in a diving board to a bat or bike.

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"Alloy." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. Brenda Lerner and K. Lerner. 4th ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2008. 146-147. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 13 Nov. 2009. <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/start.do?prodId=IPS&userGroupName=jeff53810>.