What are the applications of metal?

Author: Evelyn y

Mar. 07, 2024

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Tags: Minerals & Metallurgy

Uses of Metals

Introduction

Metal does not actually have a solid definition since it is a broad term. However, they are usually described as substances with high electrical and thermal conductivity as well as malleability and lustre. Metals usually loses its electron to form positive ions known as cations.

Metals form the largest group in the periodic table, and they are also defined according to their position in the periodic table. They are grouped as alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, heavy metals and rare earth metals. On the basis of hardness, metals are also distinguished as used metals and non-metals. Usually, metals are extracted from their ores in the process called refining.

Table of Contents

Different uses of Metals

Metals are usually very strong, most durable and highly resistant to everyday wear and tear. As such, they have been used since ancient times for a lot of things. And even today with advances in technology and a lot of other things the uses of metals have broadened greatly. Metals even play a key role in the economy. Let’s look at some important and popular metal uses.

  • In the Construction Industry
  • In electronics
  • In medicine
  • Machinery, Refractory and Automobiles
  • Decorative products
  • Other Uses

In the Construction Industry

Metals are the main component in the construction industry. Metals like iron, steel amongst others are the main materials used in the construction of buildings and even homes.


In Electronics

Another important application of metals are in electronics. As metals are good conductors of electricity, they are used to make wires and parts for equipments and gadgets that function on electrical current. Popular examples include TV, mobiles, fridge, iron, computers etc.

In medicine

If you are wondering how, well from a biological perspective metals are found as micro-elements in our bodies. Besides, the presence of metal elements is crucial for several functions like transmission of nerve impulses, oxygen flow, reaction between enzymes etc. Some medicines are therefore liaised with metal compounds to treat certain deficiencies or sickness. Metals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, titanium and aluminium are used commonly in medicine in the form of antacids.

Apart from this, most of the equipments and tools used are made from metals.

Machinery, Refractory and Automobiles

This is one of the most common use of metals. They are used extensively in manufacturing machines for industries, agriculture or farming and automobiles which include road vehicles, railways, aeroplanes, rockets etc. Here, the commonly used metals are iron, aluminium and steel.

Besides these, most of the utensils that are used in the kitchen are made from metals like steel, aluminium, and copper. Due to a high temperature withstanding nature metals are preferred the most.

Decorative products

Metals such as platinum, gold, and silver come under the category of precious metals and have high economical value. These metals are widely used in making jewellery sets or for some decorative pieces.

Other Uses of Metals

Some other uses and applications of metals are, that they play an important role in security as the metals are used in making locks, strong safe, doors etc. Apart from this, furnitures are made from metal these days. Metals also find their uses in the military, where they are used for manufacturing weapons and ammunitions. Some metals are used in galvanising to protect from rusting.

These are some popular uses of metal. To know more about metals, different types, properties of metals and more you can keep visiting BYJU’S or you can also download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

A general chemistry Libretexts Textmap organized around the textbook

 

Chemistry: The Central Science

by Brown, LeMay, Bursten, Murphy, and Woodward

The line that divides metals from nonmetals in the periodic table crosses the p block diagonally. As a result, the differences between metallic and nonmetallic properties are evident within each group, even though all members of each group have the same valence electron configuration. The p block is the only portion of the periodic table where we encounter the inert-pair effect. Moreover, as with the s-block elements, the chemistry of the lightest member of each group in the p block differs sharply from that of its heavier congeners but is similar to that of the element immediately below and to the right of it in the next group. Thus diagonal similarities in chemistry are seen across the p block.

A nonmetal is a chemical element that mostly lacks metallic attributes. Physically, nonmetals tend to be highly volatile (easily vaporized), have low elasticity, and are good insulators of heat and electricity; chemically, they tend to have high ionization energy and electronegativity values, and gain or share electrons when they react with other elements or compounds. Seventeen elements are generally classified as nonmetals; most are gases (hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon, chlorine, argon, krypton, xenon and radon); one is a liquid (bromine); and a few are solids (carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, selenium, and iodine).

As you study the periodic trends in properties and the reactivity of the elements in groups 13–18, you will learn how “cobalt blue” glass, rubies, and sapphires are made and why the US military became interested in using boron hydrides as rocket fuels but then abandoned its effort. You will also discover the source of diamonds on Earth, why silicon-based life-forms are likely to exist only in science fiction, and why most compounds with N–N bonds are potentially explosive. You will also learn why phosphorus can cause a painful and lethal condition known as “phossy jaw” and why selenium is used in photocopiers.

What are the applications of metal?

22: Chemistry of the Nonmetals

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