Types of Metals and Their Uses

Here’s an interesting look at some of the more common metallic elements and where you can find them

Everyday, you’ll likely come in contact with hundreds of different varieties of metal. Each has a distinct look and unique qualities, so understanding which kind of metal is right for you is a must.

Metal refers to any element that has a definite chemical element – either an alkaline or an acidic element. By definition, metal is an ion or molecule with a definite electrical charge. However, this definition isn’t as definitive as it once was. For instance, there are several types of nonmetal elements that are still considered metals, including carbon and oxygen. The difference is that an element with one of those charges is not metal, while elements with both of them are.

The most common metal on our planet is tin, which is present in alloys, such as steel and bronze. Other common elements include copper, zinc, platinum, iron, uranium, selenium, and nickel. One fun fact about these elements is that all of them conduct electricity – except for mercury, which does not.

The most common metal is zinc

Which is found in all kinds of things from metalworking to jewelry to dental fillings. It is a very strong metal and has a very high melting point, which makes it a good candidate for a lot of different jobs. A high melting point metal is very important in the electronics industry because some conductive materials melt at a relatively low temperature. For instance, zinc needs to be at a melting point of approximately 1700 degree Fahrenheit in order to be effective for use in circuit boards. Pure zinc is used in Zinc Oxide Semiconductor Devices and Zinc Plating, because it has a very high melting point and excellent electrical conductivity.

The final member of the five-layer family of metals is alloying steel. It is another metal with a high melting point, which adds to its strength and wear resistance. Like zinc, alloying steel needs a higher temperature to achieve the best properties. However, the other three metals in this family have their own distinct wear resistant properties, which are compatible with each other. An alloying steel is often incorporated into a design where the strength and wear resistance are equally vital.


Brass is one of the most malleable metals, which is why it is commonly used for cabinet-style hardware. It is also versatile enough to be shaped into all kinds of interesting shapes, including rounds, squares, teardrop and diamond cuts. You might think that brass is a metal that would be uncomfortable to work with, but it is actually very comfortable if you know how to use it properly. With this in mind, you should start out by making simple designs, such as boxes or figurines, and work your way up to more complicated shapes. If you’re interested in brass sculpture, there are some great brass sculpture kits available online.

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