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The answer is likely very obvious but I know pretty much nothing about this so:

Can I make an alloy, using an alloy? That is, could I make an alloy of steel (in itself an alloy of iron and carbon) and silver?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

An alloy is purely a mixture of metals (and sometimes non-metals) which are non-chemically bonded.

So yes, you could mix steel and silver to create an alloy. There would be nothing stopping you from doing this, but I cannot say whether or not it would produce any desirable results. Mixing alloys with other materials is merely creating another alloy. Stainless steel is actually just regular steel combined with Chromium.

An alloy is usually created to increase certain properties of its constituents. For example, iron is mixed with carbon in order to create steel, which is far stronger and can be used to manufacture items such as girders. Or, in other cases, Chromium may be added, if the steel is to be used in, say, cutlery.

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Thank you very much for the quick answer and for answering without making me look a fool haha :) if I wasn't a complete muggle I would have thought of stainless steel. Thank you so much :) –  Mac Cooper Mar 23 at 14:24
    
No problem. Asking a question shouldn't make you look like a fool. I gave it a quick Google (alloys of alloys) and Stainless steel was the first result. :) –  Poben Mar 23 at 14:27
    
I did try wikipedia list of alloys on the search for steel but Google hates me :) I wanted to add a thanks also for telling me the purpose of alloys. I was under the impression that an alloy reinforced the material, as opposed to increase a specific property. So thanks again! –  Mac Cooper Mar 23 at 14:34
    
Well, in steel's case adding carbon is both reinforcing the iron and increasing a property (its hardness). The two can mean the same thing in some cases. –  Poben Mar 23 at 14:36
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Yes, I believe so. Chromium merely reduces steel's susceptibility to corrosion. –  Poben Mar 23 at 14:44

Silver and Iron are almost immiscible- 1% in the solid and liquid phase. Steel which is iron plus perhaps only 0.03% carbon and some manganese. You aren't going to able to mix much steel into silver or much silver to steel as a liquids or after it freezes. Any more than 1% of either and it will just separate.
http://www.e-journals.in/pdf/v2ns1/s153-s156.pdf

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I don't suppose you could elaborate? Honestly, your answer makes no sense to me at all, though it's a fault on my end. I barely have a starting knowledge of this kind of thing. –  Mac Cooper Jun 17 at 14:50
    
@MacCooper the point is that the random example you chose (iron+silver) happens to be one of the few cases where making alloys doesn't work as usual. –  Peteris Jul 1 at 9:17
    
@Peteris, which is just about typical, yeah ^^ The purpose is completely fantastical though, so I'm just happy that it's sound in principle :) –  Mac Cooper Jul 1 at 14:34

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