Uses of Metals and Alloys
Properties of Metals
Metals are often shiny, malleable, ductile and have a range of melting points. They also conduct electricity.
They can conduct electricity because some of their electrons are free to move through the metal . We say they are delocalised electrons.
Most of the elements in the Periodic Table are metals. Some are extremely reactive, whereas other barely react at all. However, sometimes a pure metal just isn't quite suited for a job. So we can melt two or more metals together, let them solidify and form an Alloy.
An alloy is a mixture of metals. The have superior properties to the pure metals they are made from. They might be stronger, lighter or better at conducting electricity or heat than pure metals.
The table below shows some examples of common alloys:-
The videos below give more information on two alloys; Bronze and Steel, and then an example of alloy use in Veterinary Medicine:-
Bronze : The first Alloy
Steel : How is it made ?
Extraction of Metals
Some precious metals are like Gold can be found uncombined in the environment. This is because they are very unreactive.
Most Metals are found in the environment in the form of ores; rocks made out of metal compounds.
In order to extract the metal for the surrounding material, two methods can be used :-
Heating ( ometimes with a reducing agent).