Chemistry

Difference Between Alloy and Compound

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Main Difference

The main difference between Alloy and Compound is that Alloy is referred to as a mixture of at least two elements in which one is a metal, whereas a Compound is considered as a chemical substance with several identical molecules that are made up of atoms of various elements.

Alloy vs. Compound

The alloy is a mixture of at least two or more than two elements in which at least one is a metal. On the other side, a compound is considered as a chemical substance that contains several identical molecules that are made up of atoms of various elements and are linked with each other through chemical bonds. So, it may or may not be metallic in nature. Alloys is not present in a wide variety. On the flip side, there is a huge variety of compound that is present in this universe.

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In order to separate the constituent elements that are involved in the formation of an alloy, we use physical means such as melting. On the other hand, we can only separate the elements that are involved in the formation of a compound through electrochemical methods or extraction.

An alloy may be heterogeneous or homogeneous; on the other side, the compound is always homogeneous. The constituent metals of an alloy show intermediate physical properties. Conversely, compounds show the physical properties that remain fixed because of definite chemical composition. Alloy always has a shiny appearance because of the presence of metal. On the flip side, Compound may or may not has a shiny appearance. The elements of alloy sometimes occur without bonds, whereas the molecules of a compound always have bonds between them.

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Alloy does not show specific melting and boiling points. There are different temperatures at which alloys can be boiled or melted. A compound, on the other hand, comprises specific melting and boiling points, i.e., we can only boil or melt them at a definite temperature. The presence of a metal in an alloy makes it a good conductor of electricity. The compounds that contain metallic elements are suggested as good conductors of electricity, whereas others that contain non-metallic elements are known as the poor conductors of electricity.

Brass, pewter, bronze, monel, solder, and sterling silver monel, solder and sterling silver steel, cast and wrough iron, duralumin are referred to as few examples of alloys. On the flip side, hydrogen chloride, sodium chloride, magnesium oxide, water, potassium chloride, copper II sulfate, etc. are compound examples.

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Comparison Chart

AlloyCompound
A mixture of at least two elements in which one of the elements is metal is called an alloy.A chemical substance that contains several identical molecules that are made up of atoms of various elements and are linked with each other through chemical bonds is called a compound.
Appearance
Because of the presence of metal, alloys always have a shiny appearance.Compounds may or may not have a shiny appearance.
Composition
They are always composed of at least one metal element.Compounds may have all the metals or non-metals.
Occurrence of Bond
Sometimes bonds are absent between the elements of an alloy.Bonds are generally present between the molecules of a compound.
Chemical Reaction
The formation of an alloy takes place without any chemical reaction.The formation of a compound takes place through a specific chemical reaction.
Physical Properties
The constituent metals of an alloy have intermediate physical properties.The physical properties of compounds remain fixed because of definite chemical composition.
Melting and Boiling Points
An alloy does not comprise fixed melting and boiling points.A compound always comprises fixed melting and boiling points.
Conductivity
Because of the presence of a metal, alloys are considered as good conductors of electricity.Compounds with metallic elements are suggested as good conductors of electricity, while others with non-metallic elements are known as the poor conductors of electricity.
Separation of Elements
Physical means like melting are applied to separate the constituent elements of an alloy.Electrochemical methods or extraction are the only methods to separate the constituent elements of a compound.
Uniformity
They may be heterogeneous or homogeneous.They are always homogeneous.
Examples
Brass, pewter, monel, solder, and sterling silver monel, solder and sterling silver steel, bronze, cast, and wrough iron, duralumin are a few examples of alloys.Sodium chloride, magnesium oxide, water, potassium chloride, hydrogen chloride, copper II sulfate, etc. are compound examples.
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What is Alloy?

An alloy is a mixture of different elements in which at least one is a metal. Basically, the alloy is a solid solution. We may get it through a simple process by combining one metal with another, several metals together or by the combination of non-metallic elements with metal, etc. The base metal is suggested as the main component metal in the alloy.

Within the solution, the base metal functions as the solvent, on the other hand, all the other metals/elements of the solution are called solutes. A very high temperature is required to mix all the elements and metals so that they can be melted and mixed, and after mixing, they left to cool. The formation of a chemical bond does not occur between the various elements that we use to make the metal-metal or metal-non-metal mixtures. Because of the absence of the chemical bond, the elements present in these metal-metal or metal-non-metal mixtures remain intact together.

Moreover, the properties shown by alloys are very different then the individual elements used. They have enhanced properties as compared to isolated elements so, they play an important role in multiple applications. We could not get these properties if we use these elements in isolation. Normally, alloys are stronger, tougher, and heat resistant as compared to their component counterparts. Based on the amount and type of elements or metals used in the mixture, the alloy is capable of achieving the properties like less corrosiveness, shiny surface, etc.

Hence, in order to attain specific requirements, we make alloys. When we prepare an alloy with only two types of elements or metals, it is named as a binary alloy. On the other side, when we are consuming three different forms of elements or metals, it is called tertiary alloy and so on. Because of the presence of metal, alloys always have a shiny appearance. They may be heterogeneous or homogeneous in nature.

Like many other things in this world, the alloy also contains impurities in it. Alloys often contain impurities that may be the part of components, or can also be added during the process of mixing. The percentages of the constituents that are involved in the formation of alloys can be expressed by their weights in the mixture. Brass, steel, bronze, nichrome, etc. are some of the common alloys.

What is the Compound?

A compound is referred to as an association of many elements that are held together with the help of chemical bonds. It is an ideal concept that two or more elements are used to form a compound. In actuality, the mixing of a few elements does not provide a compound. A compound can only be obtained through specific chemical reactions. Because of this reason, we can get the single elements of a compound by breaking it through different chemical reactions.

As compounds may have all the metals or may have all the non-metals, therefore, they may or may not have a shiny appearance. They are always homogeneous. Compounds that contain metallic elements are referred to as good conductors of electricity, while others that contain non-metallic elements are known as the poor conductors of electricity.

Depending on the nature of compounds, it can be classified into different categories. They may be molecules (the elements that are held together through covalent bonds), complexes (the elements that are held together through coordination bonds), or the salts (the elements that are held together through ionic bonds), etc. The various elements of a single form combine together to form bonds. They are suggested as polyatomic molecules. On the other side, a diatomic molecule is formed by the combination of two elements of the same type. The elements of a compound are always bound together in a specific ratio.

Unique characteristic properties are shown by each compound. For the purpose of identification, each compound comprises its own unique name and unique chemical formula. They have fixed melting and boiling points. Compounds have fixed physical properties because of definite chemical composition. Magnesium oxide, water, NaCl, potassium chloride, hydrogen chloride, copper II sulfate, etc. are some of the common examples of compounds.

Key Differences

  1. A mixture of at least two elements in which one of the element is metal is called an alloy, whereas a chemical substance which contains several identical molecules that are made up of atoms of various elements and are linked with each other through chemical bonds is called a compound.
  2. Because of the presence of metal, alloys always have a shiny appearance; on the other hand, compounds may or may not have a shiny appearance.
  3. Alloys are always composed of at least one metal element. Conversely, compounds may have all the metals or may have all the non-metals.
  4. Sometimes bonds are absent between the elements of an alloy, on the flip side, bonds are generally present between the molecules of a compound.
  5. The formation of an alloy takes place without any chemical reaction. On the other hand, the formation of a compound takes place through a specific chemical reaction.
  6. The constituent metals of an alloy have intermediate physical properties, while the physical properties of compounds remain fixed because of definite chemical composition.
  7. An alloy does not comprise fixed melting and boiling points. On the other side, a compound always comprises fixed melting and boiling points.
  8. Because of the presence of a metal, alloys are considered as good conductors of electricity. On the flip side, compounds that contain metallic elements are suggested as good conductors of electricity, while others that contain non-metallic elements are known as the poor conductors of electricity.
  9. Physical means like melting are applied to separate the constituent elements of an alloy. On the other side, electrochemical methods or extraction are the only methods to separate the constituent elements of a compound.
  10. The alloy may be heterogeneous or homogeneous. On the other hand, compounds are always homogeneous.
  11. Brass, pewter, monel, solder, and sterling silver monel, solder and sterling silver steel, bronze, cast, and wrough iron, duralumin are a few examples of alloys. On the flip side, sodium chloride, magnesium oxide, water, potassium chloride, hydrogen chloride, copper II sulfate, etc. are examples of compounds.

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Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that alloy is a mixture of at least two elements in which the presence of one metal is compulsory with intermediate physical properties. On the flip side, the compound is referred to as a chemical substance that is composed of several identical molecules that, in turn, are made up of atoms of various elements and have fixed physical properties.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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