Different Types of Metals| Their Properties & Uses

There are different kinds of metals based on physical and chemical properties like

  1. Ferrous metals.
  2. Non-ferrous metals.
  3. Noble metals.
  4. Heavy metals.
  5. Radioactive metals
  6. Metal alloy

They are the hardest elements found on the earth.

Most of them are solids in nature except for Mercury, which shows liquid-like motion.

They are flexible and can be molded into different shapes, finding many uses in human life.

Major types of metals and their uses in detail

Ferrous metals

  • As the name indicates, these metals have iron and other elements like carbon in combination.
  • Iron is widely available in nature and has been used for ages.
  • The ferrous metal is tough and can be made into different shapes for making heavy, heavy machinery and equipment.
  • It can even withstand heavy weights and harsh environmental conditions.
  • They undergo corrosion with time and can melt at very high temperatures.
  • These are also good conductors of heat and electricity and have magnetic properties.

Examples are iron and steel.

Non-Ferrous metals

  • These are the metals that lack iron in them.
  • As such, they are not heavy as ferrous metals and are less corrosive and softer.
  • Hence they can be molded into different shapes with pressure and are used to make light machinery and other equipment.
  • These days, they are in high demand due to the above advantages

Examples; Aluminum, lead, and copper.

Like ferrous metals, they are also good conductors of heat and electricity.

Noble metals

  • Like noble gases, these metals are less reactive. Of course, they react in liquid or powder forms.
  • But in general, they do not corrode and rust on exposure to air. They are soft and can be easily molded into different forms.
  • They are quite expensive due to the above properties and are widely used in jewelry, coin making, etc.

Examples are Gold, platinum, and silver.

  • They are good conductors of heat and electricity. Maybe they are even better than other metals in this regard.
  • They are also highly malleable. I.e., they can be beaten into a very fine sheet. Gold of 1gm can be beaten into a sheet of the 1-meter square.
  • Rutherford used gold foil to study the atomic structure.

Heavy metals

  • These are the metals with high atomic weight and high density.
  • But they can be less strong than iron and other metals.
  • They are not widely present in nature like other metals above.
  • But they can be accumulated.
  • Even they are toxic to human health when taken internally.

Examples are Arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

  • Metals are generally hard substances and can be molded into shapes, but these heavy metals do not follow this rule.

Similarly, most metals are good conductors of heat and electricity.

Radioactive metals.

These metals are of either natural or synthetic origin and can emit alpha, beta, and gamma rays.

They are used to generate electricity, run submarines and other equipment and vehicles.

But Mercury is a bad conductor of heat, while lead is a bad conductor of electricity.

Metals have many uses in industry, agriculture, and even in the health sector. They are even part of a few biomolecules in plants and animals.

Metal alloys

  • These are metals that are made of a combination of metals.
  • They are alloyed (mixed) to get desired properties like greater strength, durability, and corrosion resistance.
  • Also, these metal alloys are used to avoid or resist heat generation.
  • For example, in large gun cannons.

They do not get heated fast like regular metals, like traditional metals.

For complete detail, read Uses of Metals and also Facts About Metals


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