Metals are widely available elements on the earth. We see metals in daily life but there are many uses of them.
Uses of metals include
- In Electric lightening
- In food and water
- Electronics and communication
- Constructions (Buildings, bridges, Statues)
- Security systems
- Drilling and digging
- Bullion market
Metal uses are many and this is due to their natural properties of rigidity, ductility, tensile strength, etc.
They have high atomic weights and numbers in the periodic table.
Their oxides are alkaline in nature so they can resist acids.
Metals are very strong, durable, and highly resistant to natural wear and tear.
Hence they have been used widely by men since ancient ages.
In the past, these metals were profoundly used for cooking, farming tools, weapons (bow, arrows, swords) and also in locomotive wagons.
But with growth in technology, the horizons of their use has widened enormously.
Currently, almost any object produced by the use of technology uses metals in one or other forms.
Modern man has also learned how to use the combination of metals, i.e., alloys for his benefit.
But which properties make these metals are so useful?
There few desired properties like
a) Highly resistance to heat.
b) Ability to contract at low temperature and expand at high temperature respectively. (thermocouple)
c) Good electrical conductivity.
d) Resistant to acids and other harsh chemicals
e) Highly inert to most substances and liquids.
Metal Uses in Daily life
1. In Electric Lighting
Since the discovery of the light bulb, the metal tungsten was widely used to generate light from the electricity.
When the electricity passes through the metallic coiled wire, it generates light due to resistance.
Now due to the advancement of technology, currently man uses incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs, and other types. Yet, these bulbs use metals to generate light from the electricity.
2. In food and water
Metals are available as micro-elements in our bodies. They are needed for conduction of nerve impulses, to carry oxygen by blood, to facilitate enzyme reactions, and more.
So metals are available as trace elements in the food we eat and water we drink.
3. In medicine
Uses of metals can be found in many ways in medicine. Because of the above said the role of metals in the body, metals used in medicine to cure any micro-nutrient metal deficiency diseases in humans and animals.
Ex. iron is a part of hemoglobin a biomolecule.
Hence it is used as ferrous sulfate to cure some forms of anemia.
Similarly, any metals constitute micro-essentials called “trace elements” in the body. They are part of a few enzymes and co-enzymes or in the form of electrolytes.
Also, many tools used in medicine like scalpels, scissors, needles, surgical blades are made of metals.
They are used widely due to their toughness and ability to be sterilized at high temperatures.
4. In Cooking
Utensils are best made from metals like steel, aluminum, and copper. Stoves, furnaces, Bowels, troughs, spoons, knives used in the kitchen are made from metal.
They are so much preferred as they can withstand temperature and also used for wet and dry purposes.
In clothing, metals are used to a limited extent. As you might have noticed, there are in the form of buttons, zips, belts, fasteners, etc.
Further, metals like copper, gold, and silver have been used in the making of cloth. They impart luster, strength, and other properties to the cloth. Such clothes are quite expensive and durable.
Metals like Gold, silver, platinum, copper are widely used in jewelry. These metals are symbolic of financial status and hence very expensive.
Furniture is an essential commodity at home. We use them as tables, chairs, sofa sets, etc.
Though most home furniture is made of wood, even metal is involved. You can find metal cots, fans stand, cupboards, drawers are mostly made from metal.
8. In Electronics and communication.
Electronics are the equipment that primarily relies on electricity to function.
We use many electronics in daily life like TV, mobiles, fridges, etc. These electronics use metals in them for different purposes like electric conduction, temperature regulation, etc.
But one of the key purposes is to facilitate quick electricity transfer. Since metals are good conductors of electricity, those like copper, lead is widely used.
Perhaps without metals, electronics would not have been progressed so much.
Thermostats are made of a thermocouple. This is a combination of two different metals. This thermostat is specifically used to regulate the temperature in the refrigerator, Air-conditioner, etc.
It helps to switch on and off automatically in refrigerators and air conditioners.
The importance of metals in construction is so huge. Metals like iron and steel are widely used in building and home constructions to impart strength and durability.
Their ability to withstand heavy weights makes them preferred in construction. They are commonly used as reinforced concrete roofing, pillars, foundations, staircases, etc.
10. Security systems
Metals play an important role in security systems.
Metals are used in making locks, lockers, safes, cupboards to store valuable items.
They are used to prevent theft or any misplacement.
All the automobiles like bikes, cars, buses, airplanes, trains, etc. are made of metals extensively.
Metals which can withstand high temperature and pressure during the work of these machines.
The commonly used metal are Iron, steel, aluminum, etc. so cranes, mills, satellites. The machines and automobiles include road vehicles, railways, airplanes, rockets, etc.
Besides these, metals are the only sought materials to store and transport gasses under pressure.
Cylinders are the tanks to store metals that are exclusively made of metal to store and also safely dispense the gas when needed.
12. Industry machinery
Any industry is dependent on metals to a large extent. Starting from their construction to the process involved, metals play a huge role.
The heavy equipment, tools, calibration instruments, transport chains, chimneys used in industry are all made of metals.
This is due to some of their properties like molding, hardness, durability, ductility required for various industrial setups.
13. In Agriculture.
Farming requires many metal tools for tilling the soil, cutting, planting the seeds, etc. So most of the farming equipment is made of metals like iron, steel, etc.
They can be used in both wet and dry conditions as required in agriculture.
14. Drilling and digging
If you wish to dig the ground for making a bore well or a tunnel through a hill, metals and the equipment made of metals are the only choice.
This is true since the ages of man’s civilization. Hence, crowbars, shovels, pick-axes are made of metals for digging manually.
Even for bore-well machines, the drill is made of pure metal.
15. Bullion market
Metals play a vital role in the economy. So there are many people who invest in metal stocks and bullion markets to make fortunes.
Since they are evergreen and always in demand, they are considered as some of the best and safe options for investors.
Even many countries’ economy depends on mineral exports of metals.
Similarly, mercury which is a liquid at room temperature is used in thermometers to record the daily temperatures.
Its ability to contract and expand with a small variation in temperatures makes it preferable.
Due to so many common uses of metals, there is a separate division of science and technology as metallurgy to explore better metal combinations and also uses.