A lot has happened since the Bronze Age. There are millions of different types and grades of metals, each designed for specific uses. You come into contact with dozens of metals regularly every day. Here’s an interesting director that will walk you through some of the types of metals and where to find them.
Types of Metals – Different types of metal (Facts and Uses)
It is without a doubt the most common metal in the contemporary world.
Steel, by meaning, is simply iron (the element) diverse with carbon. This proportion is generally 99% iron and 1% carbon, although this proportion can vary somewhat.
Fun fact: in 2017, more than 1.8 billion tonnes of steel were produced worldwide (half in China). The average African elephant weighs around 5 tons. If you were to stack elephants on top of each other to form a really weird bridge to the moon (not really possible), it still wouldn’t be as heavy as the weight of the steel that is made every year.
In fact, there are many types of steel. Here is an overview of the main types:
While talking about the types of metals, This is the base steel and ‘ ol carbon and iron, although other very small amounts of other elements could be added.
The three general groups are low, medium, and high carbon steels. More carbon means harder and stronger. Less carbon means cheaper, smoother, and easier to make.
Carbon steel is most commonly used as a structural building material, in simple mechanical components, and in various tools.
Think of it like genetically modified steel. Alloy steel is made by adding other elements to the mix. This changes the properties and makes the metal essentially customizable. It is a tremendously common type of metal because, in general, it is still very cheap to manufacture.
Common alloying elements for steel are manganese, vanadium, chromium, nickel, and tungsten. Each of these elements changes the properties of the metal in different ways.
For example, alloy steel can strengthen the strength of high-performance gears, make medical implants more resistant to corrosion and wear, and increase the pressure that the pipes can withstand. He is widely regarded as the workhorse of the metal world.
Technically, it is a type of alloy steel, but there are so many types in such a large quantity that it is usually assigned its own category. It is steel specially designed to resist corrosion.
While talking about the types of metals,It is basically steel with a noticeable amount of chromium. Chromium forms an ultra-fine barrier when it corrodes, slowing oxidation. Scratching the barrier will instantly form a new one.
You will see a lot of this in kitchens; tables, Knives, utensils, anything that originates into contact with food.
Not-so-fun fact: Just While speaking about the types of metals, since something is stainless steel doesn’t mean it can’t rust. Different compositions prevent oxidation to different degrees. The stainless steel used near saltwater must be particularly corrosion-resistant so as not to rot. However, all types of stainless steel will rust if not properly cleaned and maintained.
Iron (wrought or cast)
Although it is a very old-fashioned metal (especially common in the “Iron Age”), it still has many modern uses.
On the one hand, it is the main component of steel. In addition, here are some other uses and an explanation of why iron is used:
- Cooking Utensils (such as Pans) – Porous surface allows cooking oils to burn and create a natural non-stick surface
- Wood-burning stoves: Cast iron has an extremely high melting point, so the stove can withstand high temperatures.
- Heavy Machine Bases and Frames – This heavy metal reduces vibration and provides rigidity
Fun fact: Iron is the sixth most abundant element in the universe.
As for metals, this one is really modern. Aluminum was first produced in 1825 and has been the basis of some massive achievements since then.
For example, due to its incredible strength-to-weight ratio, it is the primary metal responsible for the flight and transport of humans to the moon. It is easy to mold (malleable) and will not rust, making it ideal for beverage cans. And (maybe) more importantly, it can be made into a very fine foil that can be used to grill freshly caught fish to wet perfection.
Although the manufacturing process for aluminum is a bit more complicated than some of the other metals, it is actually an extremely common metal. It is the most abundant non-ferrous metal (excluding iron) on the planet.
Although it does not rust, it does rust. Iron is, in fact, the only metal that “rusts” by definition. Aluminum corrodes in contact with salt. However, it will corrode not in contact with water. This varieties aluminum categorically useful for making things like freshwater boats.
Magnesium is actually a cool metal. It weighs about 2/3 the weight of aluminum and has comparable strength. For this reason, it is pretty more and more common.
Whereas talking about the types of metals, Most of the time, you will see this as an alloy. This means that it mixes with other metals and elements to create a hybrid material with certain properties. It can also facilitate the use of manufacturing processes.
One of the most popular uses of magnesium is in the automotive industry. Magnesium is considered a breakthrough over aluminum in weight reduction and is not astronomically more expensive.
Some places you see magnesium on a performance car are the tires, engine blocks, and gearboxes.
However, magnesium has drawbacks. Compared to aluminum, it corrodes more easily. For example, it corrodes in contact with water, unlike aluminum.
In general, it is about twice as expensive as aluminum, but it is generally faster to manufacture.
Fun fact: Magnesium is very flammable and burns very hot. Metal shavings, shavings, and dust must be disposed of with care to avoid explosions.
Copper is another old-fashioned metal. Today you often see it as an alloy (more on this later) or in a reasonably pure state.
Common uses include electronics, water pipes, and giant statues representing freedom. Copper forms a patina or an oxide layer which prevents, in fact, corrosion further. In essence, it turns green and stops corroding. It can take ages.
The Statue of Liberty is completed of copper and is covered with a patina or an oxide layer that gives it a blue-green appearance.
Brass is really an alloy of copper and zinc. The resultant yellow metal is really useful for a number of reasons.
Though speaking about the types of metals, Its golden color makes it very popular for decoration. It is common to see this metal used in antique furniture, such as handles and knobs.
It is also extremely malleable, which means it can be removed and shaped. This is why it is used for brass instruments such as tubas, trumpets, and trombones. They are easy to hammer (relatively speaking) and are durable.
Brass is also a great rolling material because it slides well against other metals.
Another really cool quality of brass is that it will never spark off. For example, a steel hammer can create a spark if it is stuck in a certain way. A brass hammer does not do this. This means that brass tools are ideal for areas where flammable gases, liquids, or powders may be present.
It is made mostly of copper, but it also contains around 12% tin. The result is a harder and stronger metal than normal copper.
Bronze can also be an alloy with other elements. For example, Nickel, aluminum, zinc, and manganese are common alloying elements. Each of these can change the metal in very remarkable ways.
Bronze has enormous historical significance (as in the Bronze Age) and is easy to spot. A commonplace to see it is in the huge church bells. Bronze is hard and strong, so when it grows, it won’t crack or bend like other metals. It sounds better too.
Modern uses include sculpture and art, springs and bearings, and guitar strings.
Fun fact: Bronze was the first human-made alloy.
While talking about the different types of metal, It is an interesting metal because it is very useful.
While talking about the types of metals, On its own, it has a fairly low melting point, which makes it very easy to pour. The material flows easily when it melts, and the resulting parts are relatively strong. It is also very easy to melt it for recycling.
Zinc is a very common metal used in coatings to defend other metals. For example, it’s usual to see galvanized steel, which is basically zinc-plated steel. This will help prevent rust from forming.
Fun fact: about 12 million tonnes of zinc are produced each year, half of which is used for galvanizing.
It is a truly amazing modern metal. It was first discovered in 1791, made in its pure form in 1910, and first made outside a laboratory in 1932.
While talking about the kinds of metal, Titanium is actually very common (the seventh most common metal on earth), but it is complicated to refine. This is the reason that this metal is so expensive. This also applies:
- Titanium is biocompatible, which means your body won’t fight or reject it. Medical implants are usually made of Titanium.
- The strength to weight ratio is greater than that of any other metal. This produces it tremendously valuable for anything that flies.
- It is really corrosion resistant
- Titanium Nitride (Titanium which reacts with nitrogen in a high energy vacuum) is an incredibly hard, low friction coating applied to metal cutting tools.
Fun fact: Titanium is corrosion-resistant because it reacts instantly with oxygen and forms a very thin and strong barrier that protects the metal. Scratching the barrier will instantly form a new one. It is as if he is healing himself.
Bonus fun fact: Titan cannot be found alone. It is always linked to another element.
Tungsten has the uppermost melting point and the highest tensile strength of all pure metals. This makes it extremely useful.
About half of all tungsten is utilized to create tungsten carbide. It is an incredibly strong material used for cutting tools (for mining and metallurgy), abrasives, and heavy equipment. It can easily cut Titanium and superalloys at high temperatures.
It takes its name from the Swedish words ” Tung Sten,” which means “heavy stone.” This is about 1.7 times the density of lead.
Tungsten is also a popular alloying element. Because its melting point is so high, it is often alloyed with other elements to make things like rocket nozzles that must withstand extreme temperatures.
Nickel is a very common element that is used everywhere. The most common application is in the manufacture of stainless steel, where the strength and corrosion resistance of the metal is increased. In fact, almost 70% of the world’s Nickel is used to make stainless steel.
Interestingly, Nickel makes up only 25% of the composition of the American five-cent coin.
Nickel is also a common metal for electroplating and alloying. It can be utilized to coat lab and chemical equipment, as well as anything that needs a really smooth and polished surface.
Fun fact: Nickel got its name from medieval German folklore. Nickel ore appearances a lot like copper ore, but when the old drillers couldn’t get copper from it, they blamed a mischievous goblin named Nickel.
It is a metal that has long been used to make blue pigments in paints and stains. Today, it is mainly used to make high-strength and wear-resistant steel alloys.
Cobalt is rarely mined by itself; it is actually a by-product of the production of copper and Nickel.
Pewter is very soft and malleable. It is used as an alloying element to make things like bronze (1/8 tin and 7/8 copper). It is also the main component of tin (85-99%).
Fun Fact: When you bend a pewter bar, you can hear something called a “pewter cry.” It is a changing sound of the crystal structure rearranging itself ( called twinning ).
Lead is very soft and malleable, and it is also very dense and heavy. It also has a very low melting point.
In the 19th century, lead was found to be quite toxic. That’s why it’s not that common at this time; even though it wasn’t that long ago, it was still found in things like colors and spheres.
Lead is a neurotoxin that can origin brain injury and behavior problems, among other things.
That said, it still has modern uses. For example, it is ideal for protection against radiation. Copper alloys are also sometimes added to facilitate cutting. The mixture of copper and lead is widely used to improve the performance of bearings.
Silicon is technically a metalloid. This defines that it has both metallic and non-metallic properties.
For example, it looks like metal. It is strong, shiny, flexible, and has a high melting point. However, it does a terrible job conducting electricity. This is partly why it is not considered complete metal.
Even so, it is a common element in metals. The use of the alloy can dramatically change the properties of the metal. For example, adding silicon to aluminum makes welding easier.
THE TEAM THAT WORKED ON THIS REVIEW
My name is Andrew Miller and I am an expert welder with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for welding and have dedicated my career to mastering the craft.
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