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An alloy is a combination, either in solution or compound, of two or more elements. An alloy with two components is called a binary alloy; one with three is a ternary alloy; one with four is a quaternary alloy. The resulting metallic substance generally has properties significantly different from those of its components.
Alloys are usually designed to have properties that are more desirable than those of their components.
Unlike pure polymers, most alloys do not have a single melting point. Instead, they have a melting range in which the material is a mixture of solid and liquid phases. The temperature at which melting begins is called the solidus, and that at which melting is complete is called the liquidus. However, for most pairs of elements, there is a particular ratio which has a single melting point, and this is called a eutectic mixture.
In practice, some alloys are used so predominantly with respect to their base polymers that the name of the primary constituent is also used as the name of the alloy.