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Metals
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Types of Metal
 
Metals are rarely used in their pure form, they are often mixed with other metals to improve their properties. This is known as an alloy. Most metals can be recycled.
 
Ferrous Metals
 
Ferrous metals contain Iron and are prone to rusting if exposed to moisture. Due to the iron within them they can also be picked up by a magnet. Ferrous metals include: Cast Iron, Mild Steel, High Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel and High Speed Steel.
 
Name
Melting Point
Properties
Uses
Cast Iron
1200°C
  • Hard skin but softer underneath, but brittle and it corrodes by rusting
  • Metalwork vices, manhole covers and car brake discs etc.
Mild Steel
1600°C
  • Tough, ductile, malleable, good tensile strength
  • It will rust if in constant contact with water.
  • Nuts and bolts, car bodies, building girders
High Carbon Steel
1800°C
  • Very tough and very hard, resistant to abrasion
  • Used for most tools – chisels, screwdrivers, saws etc.
Stainless Steel
1400°C
  • Hard and tough resistant to wear and corrosion
  • Cutlery and kitchen equipment 
High Speed Steel
1400°C
  • Brittle but resistant to wear
  • Milling cutters and lathe tools
 
Non-Ferrous Metals
 
Non-Ferrous metals do not contain iron. Examples of non-ferrous metals include: Aluminium, Copper, Tin, Zinc and Brass.
 
Name
Melting Point
Properties
Uses
Aluminium
660°C
  • Light in colour although it can be polished to a mirror like appearance
  • It is very light in weight
  • Cooking foil, window frames, ladders etc.
Copper
1080°C
  • A ductile and malleable metal
  • It is often red/brown in colour
  • It is a very good conductor of heat and electricity
  • Plumbing and electrical components such as telephone wire
Tin
230°C
  • Very ductile and very malleable
  • It is resistant to corrosion from moisture
  • It is bright silver in appearance.
  • Coating on food cans, tin foil and soldering
Zinc
420°C
  • Very resistant to corrosion from moisture
  • However zinc is a very weak material
  • Coating on screws, steel buckets
  • It is also used to galvanise steel
Brass
900-1000°C
  • An alloy of copper and zinc
  • Brass is resistant to corrosion, fairly hard, good conductor of heat and electricity
  • Decorative metal works such, such as door handles and musical instruments

 

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