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Metal, as a category, is created as a broader umbrella term that is used to classify chemical elements with similar properties.
Metals are some of the most commonly used elements in the world. Some of the most useful things in the world would not exist if not for metals.
The term 'metal' is used to describe certain elements from the periodic table. Such an element can then be further divided into different categories of metals.
If you like this article about the different types of metal, why not also read articles about the different types of bulldogs or different types of tigers on Kidadl? It can make for a fun learning experience, full of fun facts and details!
To know how and where a metal is used, we must first understand what it is. This is fundamental to knowing its applications and understanding what metal is.
A metal is a category assigned to elements on the periodic table that have specific, similar properties. These elements are identified by a set of common properties and then classified as metals.
A large number of metals are extracted from ores in nature; for example, aluminum is extracted from the ore of bauxite, which is a sedimentary rock with a high content of aluminum hydroxide.
One fascinating thing about discussing metals is talking about the elements that act like metals but also like non-metals. Now you must be wondering, what is an element that acts like a metal but is not truly a metal called? The answer to that question is a metalloid.
A metalloid is a term used to describe an element on the periodic table that shows features of both a typical metal and a non-metal. The term metalloid is used as a form of a bridge within chemistry. While it may be considered improper or inadequate by some, it has become fundamental in the world of chemistry.
What are the main types of metals that can be found in the world?
One of the first categories that metals are divided into is ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are largely made up of iron and other metals with similar properties. Ferrous metals are known to be attracted to magnets. Ferrous metals are also susceptible to corrosion.
These two properties are attributed to the presence of iron. The word 'ferrous' finds its root in the Latin word for iron, Ferrum. The different types of ferrous metals include cast iron and mild steel.
Another category that metals are divided into is non-ferrous metals. As the name explains, these non-ferrous metals do not have the presence of iron within them. These metals are not as at risk of corrosion or are attracted to magnets due to the lack of iron. Some examples of non-ferrous metals could include aluminum, copper, zinc, and tin.
Metal is not only used on its own. Two or more metals can be combined together to form an alloy. These compounds have become essential in several different industries.
A pure element on its own is susceptible to different kinds of damage, such as corrosion upon exposure to moisture. However, by combining an element with another to produce a new metal, we are able to essentially produce a strong structure to work with.
The alloy steel is one of the most commonly known and used in the world, and it's known to contain metalloids such as silicon and carbon, as well as metals such as titanium, zinc, tungsten, and manganese.
Different metals showcase different properties and hence have different uses. Many metals may have similar properties and characteristics, while some have entirely unique features.
One of the first properties of metals is their high conductivity of electrical charge and low electrical resistance. That is why modern electrical appliances have a heavy metal presence in them, as they are able to deliver electrical charges fairly quickly.
In addition to metals conducting electricity, they are extremely good at conducting heat.
Speaking of heat, metals are known to have a high melting point. The melting point is the amount of energy needed for materials to change their state from solid to liquid. For most metals, it takes a lot of thermal energy to change their state from solid to liquid.
However, some metals exist as anomalies. Elements in Group One of the periodic table are known to have a low melting point, such as sodium. Furthermore, the metal mercury is known to have a lower melting point.
Metals are also known to have a high density.
Another property of metals is their malleability. This means that the metals can form and be hammered into sheets. The structure of the basic materials that make up the surface of a metal can change shape by sliding over and past each other. This means that the material can be hammered into sheets and be used for different purposes.
Similarly, metals are ductile. Metal can be coiled into wires and other similar structures.
Metal usage is perhaps one of the most extensive topics of discussion, and for good reason. Different types of metals are used for a wide range of things. They are one of the most commonly used tools in nature.
One of the most basic functions of metal is its usage in electronic devices. Metals are fantastic conductors of heat and electricity.
Copper is one of the best conductors known to humans. Copper is often used as the building block of electronic devices that we use today. Without copper building material, wires would not be able to function to the best of their ability. With its low electrical resistance, copper has become an extremely vital part of the manufacturing of any product that requires the free flow of electricity.
Copper is used on its own and also combined with other metals to form an alloy. An alloy of copper is much more commonly seen, not only in industries but also around homes. The different properties of the metal copper make it one of the most popular choices to combine with other metals to create alloys.
Copper and zinc are a popular combination to create alloys from pure metals.
Brass is one of the common alloys of copper. Brass's composition contains about 45% zinc, and tin is also present in brass. The tin is added to provide strength to the alloy. The addition of extra zinc to the alloy adds even more strength to brass.
Hence, brass is made of a copper-zinc-tin alloy. This alloy is commonly seen around your house in the form of door handles, locks, fittings, and electrical components.
Bronze is another alloy of the metal copper. Bronze uses phosphorous elements such as magnesium, tin, or aluminum in a combination of copper to create bronze. Bronze is classified as one of the alloys that demonstrate a high degree of resistance to corrosion. It is not only a material used today but was historically known, famously during the bronze age.
One of the most famous alloys that are produced is stainless steel. Stainless steel is made through a long and arduous process that involves different metals and compounds. The formation of the alloy steel uses iron, carbon, and calcium carbonate.
Through different reactions, a liquid form of steel is created called slag. Then it is skimmed off and handed off for other manufacturing processes. Alloy steel is integral to several different industries.
This form of steel is just the starting point of how this alloy is used to manufacture different alloys. This alloy of iron is incredible because of the different properties of the materials involved. Steel is also classified as a high-strength metal.
On its own, iron does not have great tensile strength. Steel carbon, also known as carbon steel, is one of the steel alloys made up of iron and carbon. One of the alloys of steel carbon is formed when carbon is added to the alloy in the form of graphite, with silicon present in it.
There is a growing demand in the manufacturing industry for steel that is highly resistant to corrosion as well as has greater tensile strength. This puts the ideal percentage of carbon at about 0.05% and the ideal number of other metals such as titanium, nickel, chromium, vanadium, and niobium higher.
It is present in steel, which is required as a building material or for activities that involve steel, where the surface of the material comes into contact with moisture a lot. One example is offshore structures, such as oil rigs and ships.
Another form of alloy steel is stainless steel. Stainless steel, with a metal chromium concentration of about 10.5%, is one of the alloys with the highest concentration of metal chromium. In the stainless steel that is most resistant to corrosion, up to 26% chromium, as well as 35% nickel, is used.
Nickel, like manganese, is an austenite stabilizer, which can grant an alloy of steel a better ability to be wear-resistant to corrosion, among other benefits.
Stainless steel is used for common things we come into contact with every day, such as cutting tools for the garden.
As mentioned before, the modern world has a growing need for steel that is highly resistant to corrosion as one of its properties. The steel alloy shows an incredible level of resistance to corrosion on the surface of the alloy.
There is a heavy presence of tungsten, vanadium, as well as chromium in some of these alloys. Additionally, cobalt or nickel is also added to the alloy steel in order to improve its performance at high temperatures.
Gold is one of the most commonly used metals in the world-even more so in some parts than others. Its shine and resistance to corrosion make it perfect to be used as jewelry, as well as for detailing in clothing.
Due to how precious this metal is, it has been critical to the shaping of the history of the world. Indeed, nothing defines this better than the gold mentioned in old stories of families and empires alike finding their fortune and incredible riches.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for different types of metal, then why not take a look at different types of turtles or different types of plants.
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