A quick guide to metal and alloys

Metals are renowned for being strong and durable. Unfortunately, their weight may affect how they perform. Excessive weight can be a hindrance, especially in the construction industry. The way to get around this is to create alloys – metals that have been mixed together to give them desirable properties from each metal.

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Here are some metals and their properties:

Aluminium

Aluminium’s softness restricts its applications. It is light-weight and non-corrosive.

Copper

This is a soft metal that is ideal for use in conducting heat and electricity, particularly wiring.

Gold

Dense and malleable, this shiny metal is used for coins and jewellery.

Iron

This is the most abundant metal on earth.

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Nickel

This metal resists corrosion and is hard which is why it is often used in the manufacturing of sheet metals.

Platinum

This is the rarest element in the earth and is also the least reactive. It is corrosive-resistant which makes it ideal for catalytic converters as well as dentistry and jewellery making.

Silver

Highly conductive, this metal is used in the production of coins, jewellery and tableware.

Tin

This metal is corrosion-resistant and is used to coat other metals. It is found in food production.

Zinc

Zinc is hard and brittle in its natural state which is why it is mostly used as an alloy.

Individually these metals have their own characteristics. Combined with other metals they become alloys that increase their productivity and application. They become suitable for applications such as manufacturing where combined with metal bonding adhesives, they can be used to create cars and appliances. Sometimes alloys are created from a non-metal source but generally metal will make up 90% of the alloy.

Here are some of the alloys created from the metals:

Brass

An alloy of copper and zinc, its malleability and acoustic property make it ideal for musical instruments.

Bronze

Made from copper and tin, it is hard and durable. It’s used in the manufacturing of coins, springs and turbines.

Steel

Made from carbon and iron, it is an alloy that has huge manufacturing potential, especially combined with products such as http://www.ct1ltd.com/. It is used in building, tool making and shipbuilding amongst other things.

Stainless steel

A steel and chromium alloy, it’s non-corrosive nature makes it suitable for surgical applications.

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