General, Research, Technology

What types of metals and alloys are there?

Metals surround us everywhere: automobiles, house frames, household appliances, smartphones and many other inventions of mankind are made of them. But how much do we know about them? The first thing you need to know about metals is that they are divided into black and non-ferrous. Of these varieties, metals are separated into several larger groups, depending on their properties. Let's move on to the specifics right away. In this material we will briefly look at what characteristics metals are divided into different groups and in which industries they are used.

Today, science knows more than 90 types of metals and all of them are used in various fields.


  • 1 Characterization of metals
  • 2 Ferrous metals
    • 2.1 Iron metals
    • 2.2 Refractory metals
    • 2.3 Uranium Metals
    • 2.4 Rare earth metals
    • 2.5 Alkaline earth metals
  • 3 Non-ferrous metals
    • 3.1 Heavy metals
    • 3.2 Light metals
    • 3.3 Noble metals
  • 4 Types of alloys

Metal Characterization

Metals Is a group of over 90 simple substances fromperiodic table. In nature, they are rarely found in pure form, so they are most often mined from ore. This is the name of the type of minerals, which are a combination of several chemical components, such as minerals and the same metals. Metals are characterized by several properties by which they are divided into groups:

  • hardness - resistance to penetration into the material of another, more solid body;
  • strength - resistance to destruction under the influence of external load;
  • elasticity - a change in the shape of the material under the influence of external forces and its restoration after these forces cease to affect it;
  • plastic - changing the shape of the material under external influence and preserving it after eliminating this effect;
  • wear resistance - maintaining good appearance and physical properties of the material after strong friction;
  • viscosity - the ability of the material to stretch under the influence of external forces;
  • fatigue - the property of the material to withstand multiple loads;
  • heat resistance - resistance to oxidative processes when heated to high temperatures.

Recently, scientists have created an improved aluminum alloy 6063, which destroys bacteria. It is believed that it will be possible to make door handles of hospitals and other public places from it.

Black metals

Three main features of ferrous metals: high density, high melting point and dark color. Since it is difficult to work with ferrous metals in their pure form, alloying components are added to them - impurities to change the physical and chemical properties of the base material.

To shape ferrous metals, they are first heated to high temperatures and then pressed

Ferrous metals are divided into 5 subgroups:

Iron metals

These include cobalt, nickel and manganese. They are used as additives to iron - most often, alloys produce durable steel, which is used in the manufacture of various parts for large equipment, knives and other products.

Strong and beautiful knives are made of steel, and not only kitchen knives

Refractory metals

This subgroup includes niobium, molybdenum,tungsten and rhenium. Their common feature is that oh, the melting point is higher than that of iron - that is, it is more than 1539 degrees Celsius. As a rule, parts for equipment and incandescent filaments for various light bulbs are made from them.

Bulb filaments are usually made of tungsten.

Uranium metals

This group includes uranium, California and other radioactive metals. They are used exclusively in the nuclear industry.

In ancient times, uranium was used to make yellow dishes

Rare earth metals

This classification includes laptan, praseodymium,neodymium and other metals. All of them are silver-white in color and have almost identical chemical properties. Rare-earth materials got their name because they are difficult to find in the earth's crust. They are used in nuclear energy and mechanical engineering. For example, from rare-earth metals, it is possible to create glasses that do not allow ultraviolet rays to pass through themselves.

Scandium rare earth element used in mercury gas lamps

Alkaline earth metals

This subgroup includes beryllium, magnesium, calcium,radium and other metals. All of them are painted by nature in gray color and at room temperature always remain in the solid state. In their pure form, they are practically never used anywhere, with the exception of nuclear reactors.

The beryllium alkaline earth element is used to make x-ray tubes through which rays exit

This is interesting: Robots made of liquid metal may appear in the near future.

Non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals are more expensive than ferrous becausemore in demand in the world. They are needed in the manufacture of automobiles, construction of houses and in the field of high technology - they are the main materials in the manufacture of smartphones and other electronics. In the construction industry, they are needed for the manufacture of all kinds of fittings, beams, corners and so on.

Iron and its alloys are ferrous metals, and everything else is non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals are usually divided into three groups:

Heavy metals

The brightest representatives of this categorynon-ferrous metals are considered copper, brass and bronze. The most popular among them is copper, because it is an excellent conductor of electric current and is widely used in electronics. Various wires, bearings and other metal elements are made from brass. Monuments are often made of bronze, because it is not afraid of rain, snow and mechanical damage.

A few years ago, scientists found that copper can prevent the spread of viruses.

Light metals

The most popular light metals are aluminum,magnesium and titanium. They are quite easy to melt, and they are also lighter than ferrous metals. Due to its corrosion resistance, high ductility and low weight, aluminum is actively used in the construction of aircraft and automobiles. Magnesium is widely used in the manufacture of housings for various equipment, from cameras to engines. Titanium is characterized by high strength and low weight, which is why it is used in the manufacture of space rockets.

In air, aluminum is instantly coated with a film that protects it from rust

Noble metals

Noble metals include gold, silverand platinum. Due to the difficulty of mining and their beauty, they are considered the most expensive types of metals. Their cost is constantly changing and you can buy them at banks, thereby investing your money in them. Noble metals are also widely used in jewelry. They are used to make rings, bracelets and other jewelry.

About aluminum can be found in the material about the most valuable metals in the world.

Types of Alloys

Alloys called materials that consist of two andmore metal components. As a rule, alloys consist of a base, which includes several metals, and the so-called alloying elements - they are necessary to give the alloy softness, elasticity and other properties. Most often, mixtures using iron and aluminum are used in industry, but in general there are more than 5 thousand types of alloys.

Most of the metals we interact with are alloys

Alloys are divided into two types: cast and powder. Cast alloys obtained by mixing molten components. AND powder method producing alloys involves pressing powders of several metals and their subsequent sintering at high temperatures.

Almost everything is made of metal alloys, right up to benches

By appointment, alloys are divided into structural, tool and special. Structural Alloys Designed for the manufacture of automobile parts. Of tool alloys, as the name implies, make tools - for example, various hammers and knives. AND special alloys used for the manufacture of parts for special purposes - for example, to prevent friction.

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As you can see, there are a lot of metals and they are very differentdiffer from each other. On the topic of metals, I also recommend reading a material in which I talked about the most interesting varieties of this material. Do you know what the rarest metal on our planet is called and how it is mined?