ability to control the properties of materials is essential to a technological
society. Combining elements to make alloys advances this goal. Thermodynamic
considerations determine the equilibrium composition and microstructure
of these alloys.
section will explore this idea. Binary alloys, materials with only two
constituents, will be used to develop the required principles. Most alloys
in use contain more than two components, but the concepts developed here
are easily extendable to these multicomponent alloys.