In metallurgy, melchior is an alloy of copper, mainly with nickel (5–30%). Its name originates from Italian: melchior, which in turn is distorted French: maillechort, honoring the French inventors of the alloy, Maillot and Chorier. The term melchior sometimes refers not only to the copper-nickel alloys, but also ternary alloys of copper with nickel and zinc ("nickel silver") and even a silvered brass. Melchior is easily deformable by application of pressure, both in the hot and cold state. After annealing, it has a tensile strength of about 40 kg/mm2. The most valuable property of melchior is its high resistance to corrosion in air, freshwater and seawater. Increasing content of nickel iron or manganese improves corrosion and cavitation resistance, especially in sea water and atmospheric water vapor. The alloy of 30% Ni, 0.8% Fe, 1% Mn and 68.2% copper is used in maritime shipping, in particular for the manufacture of condenser tubes. Thanks to the nickel, melchior, unlike brass and bronze, has not a yellow but a silver color. Together with high corrosion resistance, this silvery color is preferred for the manufacture of household utensils.
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