Types of Metal

About a quarter of the weight of the Earth's crust is made up of various metals. These are substances that are known to have good electrical conductivity and a lustrous look when polished. They can usually be turned into wires or thin sheets, like sheet aluminium, with relative ease. Many of them can be melted and poured into a mold to create a desired shape. Some are pure like gold, silver, and iron. Others are alloys which are mixtures of metals and other substances. They tend to have higher densities compared to non-metals. Beyond these, each kind has its own unique set of properties making them suitable for particular applications.

More information on sheet aluminium


Types of Metals


They can be categorized in different ways. There are ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The former group contains iron while the other does not. Ferrous substances are usually magnetic which is highly desirable in certain cases like creating cookware for induction stoves. Examples include pure iron and steel.


As already stated, the ductility and malleability of most metals are among their strong points. However, there are a few that fall outside the norm. They are actually brittle which makes them tricky to handle on their own. These are often mixed with other substances to make them more manageable and valuable. Examples include manganese, chromium, beryllium, and bismuth. On the other hand, there are refractory metals that have impressive resistance to wear and heat. Their hardness at room temperature is excellent. Examples are tungsten, niobium, tantalum, and molybdenum.


Another way to classify them is by their density. Heavy metals are those which have a relatively high density. There are, however, no specific definition available to delineate between heavy and light metals. High density can be quite useful in certain scenarios though several heavy metals are known to be toxic.


We can also talk about base and noble metals. The former includes substances that quickly succumbs to oxidation and are thus easily corroded. This is one of the unfortunate properties of iron, zinc, copper, lead, and nickel. The latter is the exact opposite because of their impressive resistance to corrosion. They include several precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum.


Metal Extraction


Experts scour regions looking for areas with viable amounts that can be economically mined using various prospecting techniques. Sometimes the soil and rock covering the deposits can be easily removed to bring the valuable substance to the surface. Excavators are then used to get the mineral. As for subsurface mining, the mining dig holes to access the underground deposits. Ventilation, structural integrity, and haulage are vital issues.


Popular Metals


The most popular metal by far is iron. It is cheap, abundant, and easy to process. It is used by itself or in conjunction with other metals in the creation of countless products like cars, ships, bikes, and other vehicles. The construction industry is heavily dependent on iron and its alloys, using it for beams, fences, gates, windows, stairs, and doors. Aluminium also enjoys heavy usage such as sheet aluminium for bottle drinks and canned foods.