Different Uses Of Primary Metal Types And Alloys

By John Schofield

Metals are largely used in construction in much the same way like wood is. There are many uses that you can find for metals. You can make them into so many things or make them a part of certain things, such as buildings, furniture, home dcor, and more.

There are only a few primary types of metal and some alloys too. These alloys are produced by melting and mixing metals together. There are many uses for these metals that you may or may not have known about already.

Here are the uses of different types of metals and alloys:

1. Iron

This is considered as the most common metal in use today. Pure alloy is silver in colour. It is also famous for its touch characteristic. Its malleability also makes it possible to be hammered without breaking into pieces or cracking. Another characteristic recognisable of iron is its ductility. It can be drawn into small pieces of wire without breaking as well.


However, it is quite hard to get pure iron because it usually has mixed presence of carbon, phosphorus, silica, sulphur, and other elements. Each element contributes to the properties displayed by iron. If there is too much carbon, it is called cast iron, which is good for moulding but not for being hammered or drawn into wires. There is no guarantee that cast iron will not break.

On the other hand, wrought iron has enough elements that make it ductile and malleable enough without the danger of breaking or cracking. Another type of iron is steel, which has more carbon element in it than wrought iron though it has less carbon content than cast iron. Steel can be heated and cooled down in order to cast, temper or forge it.

2. Tin

This is a metal with white colour similar to silver. It is also malleable and very ductile that it can be made into thin sheets, which are actually tin foil. Even if tin is not as widely used as iron, it is popularly used in Britain hence its name the Tin Islands. Britain is one of the main sources of tin. The ordinary tin that is usually used in various applications is actually tin plate, which is made of tin coated around sheet iron. This is mostly used as coating for other metals due to its rust free quality.

Tin is also one of the metal elements in making soft solder, pewter, type-metal and other alloys. It is an effective component with its low melting point.

3. Lead

This is the softest type among all the metals. It can be recognized with its bluish-gray colour. It also has a low melting point, just like tine, and is very heavy. This is mostly used in the Fahrenheit thermometer scale.

Lead has long been used in making utensils, water pipes and even weights by the ancient Romans. It is one of the components in making alloys like type-metal with 80% lead in it, solder with 50% lead in it, and pewter with 25% lead content.

4. Zinc

This has a bluish white colour but is rarely found in its pure condition due to the presence of other elements in it.

If heated, zinc displays different characteristics. It turns brittle when it is cold and can be made into rods and sheets if heated at 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

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