Where Does Metal Come From? Curious Facts On Metals For Kids

Joan Agie
Oct 13, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Collection of precious stones

Metals are objects with a shiny appearance that conduct electricity and heat reasonably well after you process them.

Metals are typically malleable, which means that they can be hammered into thin sheets, or ductile, which means they can be used to make wires. Metals can be chemical elements, like cast iron, an alloy, like stainless steel, or a molecular complex, like polymeric sulfur nitride.

In physics, a metal is defined as any material able to conduct electricity at absolute zero temperature. The fact that metals conduct electricity makes them very useful.

You can also heat them and form them into molds or manufacture them to make useful products. All of the metals that come from Earth were formed billions of years ago in nature.

Simple hydrogen and helium atoms fused together to form heavier elements inside the ultra-hot atmosphere of stars. After the initial stars erupted, the dust and gas from the explosions made their way to our local galaxy and became entangled in the formation of our solar system.

Particles in the young Sun's ionosphere cluster together to form planets, along with Earth's nature. It will be easy for the world to run out of metals if humans keep extracting them our current pace.

The core of the Earth contains a huge amount of metal, particularly cast iron. Metal is cast unevenly all throughout the Earth's crust, where it processes with rock and couples with oxygen and other components.

Oxygen is everywhere. Some rocks, such as granite, only contain minuscule amounts of metal.

These rocks are used in various objects. Rocks like granite are used to make pencil leads.

The metal that is removed by extraction is used to construct buildings, computers, automobiles, and lorries. There are a variety of other things derived from underground deposits of mineral ores containing significant quantities of metal that are obtained by extraction.

Small particles of naturally available metals, such as copper, gold silver, and tin were mined by early people and hammered into ornaments and other artifacts.

They discovered how to combine metals, forming new metals known as alloys, which increased their naturally occurring properties. For example, they made bronze by combining copper and tin.

Tin was used to make considerably tougher and more superior weapons than pure copper and bronze. Stainless steel, which is iron combined with traces of carbon, is an important metal alloy.

The initial step in the production of metal alloys is the extraction and mining of ore from the earth. The ore must next be treated in order to separate the metal from non-metals, like rock.

After you are done reading about metals and their origin, do check out where does milk come from and where does money come from?

What are pure metals and how are they made?

Pure metals are those that have not been alloyed with other metals. Minerals must be at least 99% pure.

Some of the metals listed below are economically purified, and many may be made exceptionally pure. Sometimes they can be made 99.999% pure, also known as 'five nines min'. Pure metals are those that have not been combined with other metals and are composed of only one type of element in nature.

These metals are typically 99.9% pure minerals. Copper, aluminum, gold, and other pure metals are examples.

An element is a material made up of only one type of atom. An element is a pure material since it cannot be decomposed and you could not process it into other materials through physical or chemical means. Metals, nonmetals, and metalloids make up the majority of elements.

In reality, pure objects are homogeneous, possessing only one type of atom or molecule. These compounds, for the most part, have a consistent or homogeneous composition overall.

Where does the metal mercury come from?

Mercury elements, often known as quicksilver, are a gleaming, silver-white metal that is fluid at room temperature. It is a natural element and is used in thermometers, electrical switches, and other electrical products.

When mercury is expelled from rock and ends up in the atmosphere and water, it causes problems for the ecosystem. However, these emissions can occur in a natural way.

Mercury elements are released into the atmosphere by both volcanoes and forest fires. People are most exposed to mercury through the consumption of fish and shellfish that contain high quantities of methylmercury, an extremely poisonous element of mercury, in their organs.

Metals are shiny materials or elements when they are freshly prepared, polished, or shattered. Metal sheets with a thickness greater than a few micrometers look impenetrable, but gold leaf emits green light.

A metal's solid or liquid state is determined by the ability of the metal atoms involved to quickly lose their outermost shell of electrons. In general, the forces that hold a particular atom's outer shell electrons in place are weaker than the attractive forces of the same electrons.

This is caused by interactions among atoms in solid or liquid metal.

For example, at room temperature, zinc is a slightly brittle metal with a silvery-grayish look when oxidation is eliminated. Sphalerite, a zinc sulfide mineral, is the most common zinc ore. Zinc is refined through ore froth flotation, burning, and extraction.

Where does the term heavy metal come from?

The term 'heavy metal' conjures up pictures of long-haired, head-banging musicians. So, the first thing we need to do is look at the definitions of the words.

In principle, heavy refers to an object's weight. However, during the Beatnik era in the 1950s, the term 'heavy' was employed to mean earnest or profound. In this way, you can use the word to describe music and lyrics.

The process of making this music does not really involve much metal. The first bands to coin the phrase were from Birmingham, England.

Birmingham was once the heart of the United Kingdom's metal goods industrial sector. This metal mecca produced bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Led Zeppelin. Unfortunately, with the fall of metal manufacturing, the only metal you may hear in this region now is from the bands that hailed from there many decades ago.

So, you could argue that heavy metal music originated in metal industry areas of a bygone era. Metal music's sounds have softened over time. However, the mentality and spirit of the strong, quick, and powerful guitarists can still be heard, just as the clatter of hand tools striking metal reverberates in the atmosphere.

What is the purest metal on earth?

Gold is considered to be the purest metal on earth. It is a brilliant, somewhat reddish-yellow, dense, flexible, malleable, and ductile metal in its pure form.

Gold is frequently found in its natural elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in stones, veins, and alluvial deposits. Gold smelting in alkaline cyanide liquid is employed in mining and electroplating. Gold melts in mercury and processes into amalgam alloys.

This is not a chemical reaction because the gold is just acting as a solute. Gold has the highest degree of malleability when compared with any other metal. It can be formed into a single-atom-wide wire and stretched significantly before breaking.

Gold and its compounds have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Many gold compounds have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, with aurothiomalate, aurothioglucose, and auranofin being most commonly used.

An alloy is a material with metallic qualities that is made up of two or more components, one of which must be a metal. An alloy's structure can be changeable or constant.

Gold and silver, for example, produce an alloy in which the quantities of gold or silver can be flexibly modified. Titanium and silicon form the alloy Ti2Si, in which the ratio of the two components is constant. This is also known as an inter-metallic compound.

The majority of pure metals are either too fragile, brittle, or chemically reactive to be useful. Alloying different metal ratios alters the properties and characteristics of pure metals to achieve desirable features.

Alloys are created to be less brittle, tougher, corrosion resistant, or to have a more attractive color and gloss. Iron alloys account for the greatest percentage of all metallic alloys in use nowadays, both in terms of quantity and commercial value.

Low, mid, and high carbon metal parts are produced by alloying iron with different concentrations of carbon, with increasing carbon levels lowering strength and durability. Palladium is the most expensive metal.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where does metal come from? Curious facts on metals for kids, then why not take a look at why do auctioneers talk fast?

Do they speak gibberish? or what is a group of turkeys called? Plus other facts to 'gobble up'.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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