Chapter 3: Solid Solutions
When a metal is alloyed with another metal, either substitutional or interstitial solid solutions are usually formed. This chapter discusses the general characteristics of these solutions and the effects of several alloying elements on the yield strength of pure metals. It presents four rules that give a qualitative estimate of the ability of two metals to form substitutional solid solutions: relative size factor, chemical affinity factor, relative valency factor, and lattice type factor. The chapter provides information on alloys that form an ordered structure during heating. It describes the intermediate phases that are formed during solidification between the two extremes of substitutional solid solution on the one hand and intermetallic compound on the other. The chapter concludes with a section on strain aging in low-carbon steels that allows the interstitial atoms to diffuse to the dislocations and again form atmospheres that pin dislocation movement.