Alien Alloys are the advanced materials used in the construction of all alien craft. One of the primary resources in Xenonauts, alloys can be recovered form from almost every mission type and are required to manufacture many of the advanced weapons, vehicles and armors in the game.
Alien technology is founded on a variety of exotic materials, every one of which possesses remarkable properties. We have identified materials with tensile strength and heat resistance an order of magnitude greater than anything previous known, as well as those with more exotic properties such as room-temperature superconductivity.
Almost all of them are ultra-advanced ceramics with a chemical structure as alien as the extraterrestrials themselves. Though we have yet to encounter a unknown fundamental element in these materials, we have little idea how they generate their extraordinary powers or how they could be manufactured. It is the difference between coal and diamond - fundamentally the same stuff, but radically different in practice.
Given their exceptional heat resistance, the most obvious military application of these alloys would be in personal battlefield armour. Unfortunately, they are so effective at dissipating heat that nothing in our laboratory can generate enough to melt them - making fabrication of a plate of armour (or anything else) little more than a pipe dream. Though still effectively useless, we are harvesting these alloys from recovered artefacts where possible. The aliens must have the means to shape these materials, so further study of their technology may allow us to do the same.
How to research and acquire them
Alien Alloys are discovered in the early game and can be researched once you have acquired some of them, these alloys can be attained from every alien vessel. Air-only craft like the Fighter have their alloys recovered automatically, while more durable craft that crash-land must be assaulted on the ground to secure their remains.
What it unlocks
The initial research project "Alien Alloys" grants you nothing, but after completing both it and "Alenium" research, you can research "Alien Alloy Fabrication", essential for Wolf Battle Armor, Scimitar tanks, and both X-37 Corsairs and D-42 Shrikes.