Metal products are everywhere you turn. From the car you drive to the ring on your finger, from the computer on your desk to the building your office is in, most of us use something containing metal every day of our lives. Additionally, many industries use metal as a basis for the product or service they provide. For example, jewelry makers use precious metals like gold, contractors use steel for buildings and food manufacturers use tin for product storage.
Whether your products come in or contain metal, your company manufactures alloys or your business recycles metal scraps, a thorough understanding of metals basics is a must. The following information will help guide your journey in the metal industry:
1. Gold, silver, tin and iron are among the most widely used metals on earth.
2. Metal mixtures, called alloys, can produce exact characteristics to fit specific needs.
3. Seek out scrap from metal vendors to help the environment and get a great rate.
Consider the most common metals in useSeven basic metals, known as the Metals of Antiquity, form the basis of civilization, dating as far back as 6000 BC. Gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron and mercury are among the most widely used metals, even to this day. The list of applications for these metals is endless. Jewelers use gold and silver on a regular basis. The most common use for lead is in the manufacturing of lead-acid storage batteries, though it has many others. Copper is widely used in computer circuits and chips and as wiring for conducting electricity. Tin often coats other metals to prevent corrosion. Iron is a common metal in construction of buildings and vehicles. And the most common use of mercury is in thermometers and barometers.
Carnegie Mellon University. Visit Engineers Edge for a list of metals and the temperatures required for melting.
Obtain the desired properties with alloy metalsAn alloy is a combination of two metals to produce an alternative metal with specifically desired properties, such as strength, malleability or corrosion resistance. While alloys can result from combining any metals, those most widely used contain at least one of the common metals. For example, jewelers use gold alloys to alter the color of jewelry. Welding requires the use of solder, a tin alloy. The most common alloy metal resulting from iron is steel, which is widely used in building construction.
Separate scrap metal appropriately for recyclingIndustrial metals produce a lot of scraps once they serve their purpose. Typically, metal fabricators melt them down and recycle them for other industries to reuse. Scrap metals have two main categories: ferrous scraps, which contain iron, and nonferrous scraps, which contain less than 50% iron. Examples of ferrous scraps include steel, vehicle bodies, motor blocks and cast iron. Nonferrous scraps include aluminum, copper, brass, tungsten, zinc and precious metals. Additionally, some electronics, which also contain plastics, produce scrap metal, such as computer parts, telephones, printers and televisions.
- Most industrial metal suppliers provide the metal of your choice in a desired form, based upon your company's needs, such as in a bar or sheet or as tubing, rings and even weld wire.