Metals: Types of Metals, Properties of Metals, Uses of Metals -

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Do you want to know what are metals, types of metals, properties of metals, uses of metals and metallurgical or metal industries? We got you covered.

Metals are elements ( made up of atoms ), compounds ( made up of elements ) or alloys (made up of two or more metals or metals & nonmetals) with known physical and chemical properties which account for the differences between metals and nonmetals. Metals are are composed of metallic elements.  The term metal originates from the Greek word “métallon” which relates to mines and quarry ( a site where slate, limestone or stone are extracted ).  In Chemistry metals being types of elements are separated diagonally in a zig-zag manner by  semimetals or metalloids ( carbon, phosphorus, selenium, iodine and radon ) such that while the metals are found on the left of the diagonal line however the nonmetals are found on the right side of diagonal zig-zag line in the periodic table–  a tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, organized on the basis of their atomic number ( number of protons in the nucleus ), electron configurations, and recurring chemical properties such that elements are presented in order of increasing atomic number.  Generally, metals are known to be the major component of alloys .

Properties Of Metals

Metals have both physical and chemical properties which makes them different from nonmetals in so many ways.

A. Physical Properties Of Metals

1. Metals are lustrous (shiny).

2. Metals are good conductors of heat (thermal conductivity) and electricity (electrical conductivity).

3. Metals have  high melting point.

4. Metals have high density ( that is they  are heavy for their size).

5. Metals are malleable ( that is  they can be hammered).

6. Metals are ductile ( that is they can be drawn into wires).

7. Metals are usually solid at room temperature (  mercury is an exception).

8.  Metals are opaque as a thin sheet (can’t see through metals).

9.  Metals are sonorous ( that is they make a bell-like sound when struck ).

B. Chemical Properties Of Metals

1. Metals contain  1-3 electrons in the outer shell of each metal atom.

2. Metals corrode easily (that is metals can be damaged by oxidation such as tarnish or rust).

3. Metals lose electrons easily.

4. Metals form  basic oxides.

5. Metals have lower electronegativities.

6. Metals are good reducing agents.

Types Of Metals

1. Base metals : These are metals that form basic oxides. These metals oxidizes easily as well as  reacts with hydrogen chloride (HCl) to form hydrogen. Examples of base metals are  iron, zinc and nickel.

2. Alloys : Alloys are  mixtures of two or more elements in solid solution in which the major component is a metal. Example of alloys are brass ( copper and zinc ), steel ( iron and carbon ), etc.

3. Noble metals: These metals are unique in that they are metals that are resistant to corrosion. Examples of noble metals are rhodium, platinum, etc

4. Precious metals : These metals are very rare metals  and they are metals of high economic value. There are eight precious metals and these are gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium.

Classification Of Metals In The Periodic Table

1. Alkali Metals: includes lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, caesium and francium

2. Alkaline earth metals: These includes beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium

3. Transition metals: These includes scandium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, yttrium, zirconium, niobium, molybdenum, technetium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, silver, cadmium, hafnium, tantalum, tungsten, rhenium,  osmium, iridium, platinum, gold, mercury, rutherfordium, dubnium, seaborgium,  bohrium, hassium and copernicium

4. Post-transition metals: These includes  aluminium, gallium, indium, tin, thallium, lead, bismuth, polonium and flerovium

5. Lanthanides: These includes lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium

6. Actinides: These includes actinium, thorium, protactinium, uranium, neptunium, plutonium,  americium, curium, berkelium, californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium,  nobelium and lawrencium

7. Possible Metals: These includes meitnerium, darmstadtium, roentgenium, ununtrium, ununpentium, livermorium and ununseptium

8. Considered as metals: These includes germanium, arsenic, antimony and astatine.

Uses Of Metals

Metals are so important in metallurgical industries for manufacturing various products. Although the uses of metals are numerous but these are some of the uses of metals based on the niche of this platform and other various uses of metals.

1. Metals  used  in jewelry making: The common metals used in making jewelry are gold (gold jewelry such as gold rings, gold necklaces or  gold bracelets ), silver (silver jewelry such as silver rings, silver necklaces or silver bracelets), platinum ( platinum jewelry), palladium, rhodium, titanium, tungsten, nickel, copper, brass

2. Metals used in oil and gas industries: It is important to note metals such as steel, nickel, copper, titanium, chromium and molybdenum are often used in oil and gas industry for   crude oil drilling, crude oil production, crude oil processing, crude oil storage and crude oil transportation. These metals are very useful in reducing or preventing  the stresses and corrosion on the materials used in oil industry equipment.

3. Metals used in  agriculture: These includes potassium ( a constituent of NPK fertilizer), iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, cobalt, vanadium

4. Metals used in making coins and medals: The common ones  are gold and silver while others that less common are copper, iron, lead, tin, platinum, palladium, zinc, nickel, tungsten, etc.

5. Metals are used in making alloys: Some of the metals used in making alloys are copper, tin, nickel, chromium, etc. Alloys used in making coins and medals include bronze, brass, steel, pewter, etc.

6. Metals used in electronics: Although  a large number of metals are used in electronics and electrical devices however there are some metals that are commonly used in electronics due to their electrical conductivity, durability and easy availability.  Four metals commonly used in electronics are copper, gold, silver and palladium. Others are platinum, nickel, aluminum, cobalt, tin, etc.

7. Metals used in solar panels: These includes arsenic, molybdenum, iron, copper, aluminium, silver, cadmium, gallium, indium, lead, and a few others.

8. Metals used in construction: The commonly used ones includes aluminum, copper, iron, titanium  and the alloy steel.

 Mining Industries, Metallurgical Industries Or Metal Industries

The mining, metallurgical or metal industries have grown and developed over the years as their products and services have been very useful and will continuously be useful to consumers and  industries such as agricultural industries, oil and gas industries, minerals and gemstones or jewelry industries aviation industries, construction industries, technology and electrical industries, metal recycling industries, etc.  The market potential is on the increase for metallurgical industries ranging from local buyers of metals, local sellers of metals, exporters of metals and importers of metals. This without fail leaves room for metal business opportunities or metal investment opportunities locally and internationally. Metal recycling companies also play a major role in metal industry as they benefit in the sourcing and marketing of scrap metals through buying of scrap metals or selling of scrap metals. 

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