Metal Matters

Did you know that metal covers many types of materials depending on their physical and chemical properties? Metals are the hardest substance found on Earth, and most are solid apart from mercury. They are used so much in construction due to their flexibility and ability to bend and form into different shapes. To help bend hard metals, Euromac Bending Machines can be used. Visit to find out more. Metals are unique and are quite unlike other elements in the periodic table.

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When they are oxidised (exposed to oxygen), they are alkaline which means they react with acids and form rust when exposed to air over a long period. Metals are also a part of humans, as we carry tiny quantities in our bloodstream, like iron and zinc.

Metals can be divided into the following, depending on their properties:

  • Ferrous – a combination of iron with carbon. It’s challenging and can be made into different shapes. It’s also solid and often used in heavy machinery. It can withstand great weight and harsh conditions. They do rust, however, and melt at high temperatures. They conduct electricity well and include iron and steel.
  • Non-ferrous – not so heavy as ferrous metals and can be used instead of iron for machinery. Softer, less corrosive, and easier to mould. Examples include aluminium, lead, and copper, and they are good heat and electricity conductors.
  • Noble – these metals are less reactive, and most don’t corrode and rust. They are soft and easily moldable. They tend to be quite expensive and are used in jewellery and coins, for example, gold, platinum, and silver. They are highly malleable, which means they can beat down into a fragile sheet such as gold foil.
  • Heavy – these metals have a high density but are often not as strong as iron and other metals. They are not as abundant as other metals and are toxic to humans. They include lead, cadmium, and arsenic. They cannot be moulded into different shapes, and lead is not a good conductor of electricity.
  • Metal alloys – alloys are simply combinations of metals. They are mixed to obtain specific qualities such as increased strength, resistance to corrosion, and durability. They are also helpful when heat generation is to be prevented, such as in weaponry.

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Metals are helpful in everyday life as they are resistant to heat, and they can contract at low temperatures, expand at high temperatures, and offer excellent electricity-conducting properties. Metals are inert to most substances and liquids, making them highly desirable for use in the following areas:

  • Electronics – TV, mobiles, fridges, microwaves
  • Medicines – for example, iron can be given as a medicine to cure any nutrient metal deficiency. Titanium and Magnesium are used in antacids.
  • Machinery
  • Automobiles
  • Farming – tools
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