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Metals: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Are the Different Types of Steel?
According to the World Steel Association, there are over 3,500 different grades of steel, encompassing unique physical, chemical and environmental properties. In essence, steel is composed of iron and carbon, although it is the amount of carbon, as well as the level of impurities and additional alloying elements that determines the properties of each steel grade.
Unique Properties: How Metal Conducts Electricity
Electrical conductivity in metals is a result of the movement of electrically charged particles. The atoms of metal elements are characterized by the presence of valence electrons - electrons in the outer shell of an atom that are free to move about. It is these 'free electrons' that allow metals to conduct an electric current.
Types of Corrosion
Corrosion comes in many different forms and can be classified by the cause of the chemical deterioration of a metal. Listed below are common types of corrosion.
Methods for Slowing and Stopping Corrosion
In virtually all situations, metal corrosion can be managed, slowed or even stopped by using the proper techniques. Corrosion prevention can take a number of forms depending on the circumstances of the metal being corroded. Corrosion prevention techniques can be generally classified into 6 groups:
How to Prevent and Identify Corrosion
Corrosion is the deterioration of a metal as a result of chemical reactions between it and the surrounding environment.
How to Price Scrap Metal
Article describing the steps necessary to price scrap metal properly, including tips on identification and market resources.
The 10 Biggest Copper Producers
The world's ten biggest copper producers accounted for over 85 million metric tons of copper production in 2010. The list below is based-upon output from mines according to research done by the consulting company CRU. Production figures are in thousands of metric tons.
What's Your Gold Really Worth?
With the price of gold soaring, many companies are looking for ways to get their hands on your unwanted gold. Most companies ask you to send your scrap gold pieces to them for analysis. Once they determine a value, you are then sent payment. But before you mail away your gold, you may want to determine for yourself what the melt value - the market value of the gold contained within the piece - should be.
How Malleability Varies by Metal:
What is malleability? Malleability is a physical property of metals that defines the ability to be hammered, pressed or rolled into thin sheets without breaking. In other words, it is the property of a metal to deform under compression.
Copper, The Great Conductor
Complete copper profile with physical properties, history, market information, common alloys and interesting facts.
Ductility
Definition of the material property of ductility.
Metal Profile: Brass
What is brass? Brass is a binary alloy composed of copper and zinc that has been produced for millennia and is valued for its workability, hardness, corrosion resistance and attractive appearance. The exact properties of different brasses depend on the composition of the brass alloy, particularly the copper-zinc ratio.
The 10 Biggest Steel Producers
Total crude steel production in 2010 exceeded 1.4 billion metric tonnes, up 15% from 2009. The world's ten largest steel producers accounted for approximately 25% of this production.
Definition of 'Heat Treatment'
This article describes heat treatment, the process of cooling and heating metals. Learn this definition and also common heat treatments.
What Are the General Properties of Steels?
The following table lists the properties of steels at room temperature (25°C).
The Effect of Alloying Agents on Steel Properties
Different alloying elements each have their own affect on the properties of steel. Some of the properties that can be improved through alloying include:
Free Go-Kart Plans and Designs - Page 1
Free go-cart plans and instructions. Build your own go-carts, scooters, motorbikes, all terrain vehicals.
6 Steps to Modern Steel Production:
How is steel made? Methods for manufacturing steel have evolved significantly since industrial production began in the late 19th century. Modern methods, however, are still based the same premise as the Bessemer Process, namely, how to most efficiently use oxygen to lower the carbon content in iron.
Free Metalworking Projects and Plans - Page 1
Free metalworking plans, drawings and instructions for do-it-yourself metal shop projects from your About.com Guide
Galvanic corrosion explained
Galvanic corrosion is caused by the existence of a galvanic cell - essentially two metals submersed in an electrolyte - that results in an attack on
Practical Applications of Brass
Brass's valuable properties and relative ease of production has made it one of the mostly widely used alloys. While compiling a complete list of all of brass's applications would be a colossal task, we can get an idea of the breadth of industries and the types of products in which brass is found by categorizing and summarizing some end-uses based on the grade of brass used:
Steel Applications
What is steel used for? Steel is both the most widely used and most recycled metal material on earth. From stainless and high temperature steels to flat carbon products, steel's various forms and alloys offer different properties to meet a wide range of applications. For these reasons, as well as the metal's combination of high strength and a relatively low production cost, steel is now used in countless products.
Definition of Rockwell Hardness (HRB or HRC)
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Profile: Aluminum
What is aluminum? Aluminum (also known as aluminium) is the most abundant metal element in the earth's crust. And it's a good thing too, because we use a lot of it. About 41 million tons are smelted each year and employed in a wide arrange of applications.
Definition of Proof Stress
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Quenching Explained
Description of the heat treatment process of quenching.
How to Calculate Rate of Corrosion
The rate of corrosion is the speed at which a metal deteriorates in a specific environment. The rate, or speed, is dependent upon environmental conditions as well as the type, and condition, of the metal.
304, steel, stainless, metal, 304L, corrosion
Type 304 is the most widely used austenitic stainless steel. Also known as '18-8' stainless because of its 18 percent chromium content and 8 percent nickel content, 304 stainless steel has good forming and welding properties, as well as strong corrosion resistance and...
Three Ways to Price Your Scrap Metal
Heavy Metal: scrap price bulletin scrap metal prices non ferrous metals american metals industry benchmarks
The 10 Biggest Platinum Producers
Production statistics are compiled from company annual reports and operation reports from company websites (fiscal year 2012). Refined platinum production numbers can be found beside each company's name and are indicated in ounces.
Steel History
By the 17th century, iron's properties were well understood, but increasing urbanization in Europe demanded a more versatile structural metal.
The 10 Biggest Nickel Producers
The world's ten largest refined nickel producers accounted for over 1 million metric tons of nickel in 2011. The list below was compiled based on information...
The Composition of Common Brass Alloys
The chart below summarizes the composition of a number of commonly used brass alloys:
Annealing
Description of the heat treatment process of annealing.
Definition of "Normalization"
Definition of the heat treatment process of normalization.
Copper Production
How is copper produced? Copper is typically extracted from oxide and sulfide ores that contain between 0.5 and 2.0 percent copper. The refining techniques employed by copper producers depend on the ore type, as well as other economic and environmental factors. Currently, about 80 percent of global copper production is extracted from sulfide sources.
ferritic, steel, metal, austenitic, grades,...
Ferritic steels are high chromium, magnetic stainless steels that have a low carbon content. Known for their good ductility, resistance to corrosion and stress corrosion cracking, ferritic steels are commonly used in automotive applications, kitchenware and industrial equipment.
The 10 Biggest Palladium Producers
Although total primary refined palladium output was around 6.54 million ounces, record demand for palladium autocatalysts and increased investment demand pushed the market...
What is Zinc?
Complete zinc profile with physical properties, history, market information, common alloys and interesting facts.
10 Biggest Aluminum Producers in the World
The ten largest aluminum refiners accounted for over 20 million metric tons of aluminum produced in 2011, or about half of total global output. The list below is based-upon
Definition of Gauge Length
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Profile: Nickel
What is nickel? Nickel is a strong, lustrous, silvery-white metal that was not isolated by scientists until the mid-18th century, but is now a staple of our daily lives and can be found in everything from the batteries that power our television remotes to the stainless steel that is used to make our kitchen sinks.
Metals and Commodities Prices
Current and historical metal prices, from your About.com Guide. The most comprehensive online guide for the metal industry including material buyers guides, global supplier lists, e-commerce sites, software & shareware, industry news, and metallurgical data.
Definition of Reduction of Area
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Copper Applications
From common household electrical wiring to boat propellers and photovoltaic cells, copper and its alloys are employed in a myriad of end-uses.
Definition of Elongation
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Cold Working
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
The 10 Largest Uranium Mines
The world's 10 largest producing uranium mines accounted for 29,337 tonnes of uranium (tU), or 55% of global production in 2010. Statistics provided by the World Nuclear Association.
Platinum Group Metals (PGMs)
The PGMs are the densest known metal elements. Exceptionally rare, the six metals naturally occur in the same ore bodies. They are highly durable and, due to their high value, often recycled, giving them long life cycles.
Metal Profile: Stainless Steel
The term 'stainless steel' refers to a group corrosion resistant steels that contain a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium. Once this threshold content of chromium is added...
Metal Profile: Tungsten
What is tungsten? Tungsten is a dull silver-colored metal with the highest melting point of any pure metal. Also known as wolfram, from which the element takes its symbol, W, tungsten is more resistant to fracturing than diamond and is much harder than steel.
316, steel, stainless, metal, 316L, corrosion
Type 316 steel is an austenitic chromium-nickel stainless steel that contains between two and three percent molybdenum. The molybdenum content increases corrosion resistance, improves resistance to pitting in chloride ion solutions and...
Tempering
Tempering is a heat treatment process that improves the ductility and toughness of metals. Learn more about tempering.
Oxidation
Definition of the chemical process of corrosion in metals.
What is Glencore International?
Glencore International AG (Glencore) is involved in the production, marketing and distribution of energy, agricultural and metal commodities. With its head office based in Baar, Switzerland, Glencore and its subsidiaries have operations in 30 countries and over 56,000 employees.
Definition of Solution Annealing
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
A Short History of Steel: Part II
The growth of railroads during the 19th century in both Europe and America put great pressure on the iron industry, which still struggled with inefficient production processes. Yet steel was still unproven as a structural metal and production was slow and costly. That was until 1856, when Henry Bessemer came up with a more effective way to introduce oxygen into molten iron in order to reduce the carbon content.
What are Refractory Metals?
The term 'refractory metal' is used to describe a group of metal elements that have exceptionally high melting points and are resistant to wear, corrosion and deformation.
Copper History Pt. I
Copper is considered to be one of the first metals to be used by humans. The main reason for its early discovery and use is that copper can naturally occur in relatively pure forms.
Metal Profile: Magnesium
What is magnesium? Magnesium is the lightest of all the metal elements and is primarily used in structural alloys due to its light weight, strength and corrosion resistance.
What is Austenitic Stainless Steel?
What is Austenitic Stainless Steel? Austenitic steels are non-magnetic stainless steels that contain high levels of chromium and nickel, and low levels of carbon. Known for the formability and resistance to corrosion, austenitics are the most widely used grade of stainless steel.
Top Tens: The World's Largest Metal Producers
Below are lists of the largest producers of various metals. Lists are compiled based on physical production of each metal (unless otherwise noted), and not on any commercial valuation (e.g. sales, revenues, market capitalization).
Metal Profile: Steel
What is steel? Steel, the world's foremost construction material, is an alloy of iron, containing between 0.2% and 2% carbon (by weight).
Metals & Magnetism
What are magnets? Magnets are materials that produce magnetic fields, which attract specific metals. Every magnet has a north and a south pole. Opposite poles attract, while like poles repel.
What are base metals?
The term 'base metals' commonly refers to the industrial, non-ferrous metals: copper, lead, nickel and zinc.
Metal Profile: Platinum
Platinum is a dense, stable and rare metal that is often used in jewelry for its attractive, silver-like appearance, as well as in medical, electronic and chemical applications due to its various and unique chemical and physical properties.
What is Cobalt?
What is cobalt? Cobalt is a shiny, brittle metal that is used to produce strong, corrosion and heat resistant alloys, permanent magnets and hard metals.
Metal Profile: Chromium
What is chromium? Chromium metal is most widely recognized for its use in chromium plating (which is often referred to simply as 'chrome'), but its largest use is as an ingredient in stainless steels. Both applications benefit from chromium's hardness, resistance to corrosion and ability to be polished for a lustrous appearance.
The History of Brass
Not long after the Romans had discovered how to produce brass, the alloy started to be used in coinage in areas of modern day Turkey. Brass coins soon spread throughout the Roman Empire and there is evidence that calamine brass production moved into northern Europe under Rome's authority.
Definition of Killed Steel
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Profile: Titanium
What is titanium? Titanium is a strong and lightweight refractory metal. Alloys of titanium are critical to the aerospace industry but, due to their numerous unique properties, are also used in medical, chemical and military applications, as well as in sporting goods.
stainless, steel, 200, series, austenitic,...
The 200 series is a class of austenitic stainless steels that are characterized by having a low-nickel content. They are also referred to as chrome-manganese (CrMn) stainless steel.
Strength
Definition of the material property of strength.
Metallographic Etching
Article describing the technique and purpose of metallographic etching.
Metal Profile: Tin
Tin is a soft, silvery-white metal that is very light and easy to melt. Being so soft, tin is rarely used as a pure metal.
What is Bismuth?
What is bismuth? Bismuth is a silvery and brittle metal that is frequently found in low-melt alloys. Demand for bismuth metal has grown over the past 20 years in large part due to its effective use as a substitute for lead.
Cupronickel
What is cupronickel? Cupronickel (also referred to as “cupernickel” or copper-nickel alloy) refers to a group of copper-nickel alloys that utilize iron and manganese and are used in saltwater environments due to their corrosion resistant properties.
Malleability
Definition of the material property of malleability.
Free Metalworking Projects and Plans - Page 2
Free metalworking plans, drawings and instructions for do-it-yourself metal shop projects from your About.com Guide
Definition of Welding
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Free Go-Kart Plans and Designs - Page 2
Free go-cart plans and instructions. Build your own go-carts, scooters, motorbikes, all terrain vehicals.
Definition of Critical Temperature
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
What is iron?
What is iron? Iron's use by humans dates back about 5000 years. It is the second most abundant metal element in the earth's crust and is primarily used to produce steel, one of the most important structural materials in the world.
Definition of Critical Cooling Rate
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Precipitation Hardening
Definition of the heat treatment process of precipitation hardening.
The 10 Biggest Silver Producers
The world's ten largest silver producers accounted for over 270 million ounces of the metal in 2012, or approximately 35 percent of global mine production. Beside each company name is the country where its primary operations are located and its total silver production (millions of ounces) in 2012.
What is Palladium? History and uses of a rare...
What is palladium? Palladium is a soft, rare platinum group metal (PGM) that is valued for its catalytic properties.
How are Metal Prices Determined?
Metal prices are not only important to manufacturers and end-users, but have long been used as a tool for monitoring economic and market conditions. But how do markets determine metal prices?
Metal Reference Prices
Below are a list of links to reference metal prices. Price sources include the London Metal Exchange, Johnson Matthey Base Prices for platinum group metals (PGMs), Engelhard Industrial Bullion Prices and the London Bullion Market Association.
Definition of SG Iron
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Solution Heat Treatment
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Ore
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Alloys
What are metal alloys? Alloys are metallic compounds composed of one metal and one or more metal, or non-metal, elements. Examples of common alloys include...
Free Metalworking Projects and Plans - Page 3
Free metalworking plans, drawings and instructions for do-it-yourself metal shop projects from your About.com Guide
Definition of Oxy-Acetylene Welding
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Strain
: Strain is the definition of how much a material has been stretched (or compressed) when compared to
Definition of Toughness
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Cryogenic Heat Treatment
Definition of the cryogenic heat treatment process.
Metalloids
What are metalloids? Metalloids, or semi-metals, are a group of elements that possess both properties of metals and non-metals.
Process Annealing
Definition of the heat treatment process of process annealing.
Corrosion Control Checklist
Originally produced by the UK Department of Industry on the advice of the Corrosion Education and Training Working Party, so as to guide engineers, designers and anyone working with structural metals.
Patina
'Patina' is a term that refers to the blue-green layer of corrosion that develops on the surface of copper when exposed to sulfur and oxide compounds. As copper is exposed to natural or human-induced corrosive attack, its color changes from the iridescent, golden red normally associated with copper to a deep brown and, finally, a blue-green hue.
Metals to Avoid for Body Piercing and Implants
Metals to Avoid for Body Piercing and Implants There are only a few types of metals suitable for body
Magnesium Production
A wide variety of production methods are used to refine magnesium metal depending upon the location and type of resource being used. This is due to both the fact that
metals, manganese, properties, characteristics,...
What is manganese? Manganese is a key component in the production of steel. Although classified as a minor metal, the quantity of manganese produced worldwide each year falls behind only iron, aluminum, copper and zinc.
Marketplaces for Metal
E-commerce marketplaces for metal from your About.com Guide
Free Metalworking Projects and Plans - Page 19
Free metalworking plans, drawings and instructions for do-it-yourself metal shop projects from your About.com Guide.
Learn How to Make a Steel Barrel BBQ
As far as backyard metal projects go, what could be more appropriate for a long summer day than a barrel barbecue? For myself, a great project has two qualities: It is inexpensive to make and is practical to use. A barrel barbecue is both, and can be completed easily in one day.
What Is Tin?
Complete tin profile with physical properties, history, market information, common alloys and interesting facts.
Definition of Normalising
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Copper Alloys in Marine Environments
Copper has good resistance to corrosion in marine environments and in seawater with moderate flow velocities. These properties are enhanced by alloying copper with nickel, iron, manganese, zinc, lead, beryllium and other metals.
How to Write a Metals Business Plan
Article explaining the essential components and strategies you need to write a successful business plan in the metals industry. Covers formatting, common mistakes and advanced considerations.
Toughness
Definition of the material property of toughness.
Definition of Allotropy
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Lithium Production
In order to extract lithium from brines, the salt-rich waters must first be pumped to the surface into a series of evaporation ponds where solar evaporation occurs over a number of months. Because salar brines naturally occur at high altitudes and in areas of low rainfall, solar evaporation is an ideal and cost-effective method for precipitating salts.
Definition of Ferritic Steel
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Grain Size Measurement
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Profile: Lead
What is lead? Lead is a soft, grey, lustrous metal with a high density and low melting point. Although hazardous to our health, humans have been extracting and using lead for over 6000 years
Properties and Composition of 201 Stainless
Type 201 is part of the 200 series of austenitic stainless steels. Originally developed to conserve nickel this family of stainless steels is characterized by low-nickel content. Type 201 can substitute for type 301 in many applications, but is less corrosion resistant than its counterpart, particularly...
What is Moly?
What is molybdenum? Molybdenum (often referred to as 'Moly') metal is valued as an alloying agent in structural and stainless steels because of its strength, corrosion resistance and ability to hold shape and operate at high temperatures.
Metal Profile: Silver
What is silver? Silver is a soft, lustrous metal that has a long history as a medium of exchange in coins and currency, and as a store of wealth (silver bullion). A precious metal, silver has been used in jewellery and as a decorative metal for millennia, while, more recently, it has become an important metal for electronic, industrial and medical applications.
Definition of Mechanical Properties
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
platinum, prices, metal, johnson matthey
Johnson Matthey is a major supplier of platinum and platinum group metals (PGMs). Prices indicated below are monthly averages, calculated using prices offered by all three trading locations, per troy ounce (31.1g) of platinum.
Everything to know about copper
What is copper? Copper is a ductile and malleable base metal that is valued for its high thermal and electrical conductivity. Easily identifiable because of its iridescent, golden red color, copper and its alloys, such as bronze, have been used by humans for thousands of years. Due to its effectiveness as an electrical conductor, copper is now most often found in related applications, including in the wiring for our homes and offices, and in the circuitry, connectors and components that make virtually all electronic devices function.
Monel Alloys
What are monel alloys? Monel, or nickel-copper, alloys are nickel-base alloys that contain between 29 and 33 percent copper. Such alloys exhibit a number of beneficial properties, including:
Definition of Malleability
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
posco, steel, metal, korea
Established in 1968, Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) operates two integrated steel mills in South Korea and a joint venture with U.S. Steel (USS-POSCO) in California. According to the World Steel Association, POSCO was the world’s third biggest producer of crude steel in 2010 (after ArcelorMittal and Baosteel), manufacturing over 30 million tonnes.
Company Profile: BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton is one of the world's largest mining and resource companies with roughly 100,000 employees in over 25 countries. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (as BHP Billiton Ltd.), as well as on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (as BHP Billiton Plc).
About Metals Glossary
Glossary of metal terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Hydrides
Definition of the materials known as metal hydrides.
Definition of Annealing
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of U.S.S. Gauge
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Ancient Brassmaking and Indian Zinc Production
The Zawar valley in Rajasthan appears to have been the first location to smelt zinc metal, producing the metal on an industrial scale hundreds of years before anywhere else on earth.
Metal Profile: Rhodium
What is rhodium? Rhodium is a rare platinum group metal (PGM) that is chemically stable at high temperatures, resistant to corrosion and mainly used in the production of automobile catalytic converters.
Free Metalworking Projects and Plans - Page 8
Free metalworking plans, drawings and instructions for do-it-yourself metal shop projects from your About.com Guide.
Nickel Prices 2014
The nickel prices listed below are based on the daily cash buyer contract prices settled at the LME averaged for each month.
Definition of Impact Test
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Hardness
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metals and Commodities Prices - Page 7
Current and historical metal prices, from your About.com Guide. The most comprehensive online guide for the metal industry including material buyers guides, global supplier lists, e-commerce sites, software & shareware, industry news, and metallurgical data.
Metal Profile: Scandium
What is scandium? Scandium is a lightweight, silvery metal that is produced and used in limited quantities as an alloying element and a component in halide lamps.
Metal Profile: Beryllium
What is beryllium? Beryllium is a hard and light metal that has a high melting point and unique nuclear properties, which make it vital to numerous aerospace and military applications.
Definition of Ruling Section
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
What Is Mischmetal?
Profile of mischmetal with physical properties, history, industrial information and applications.
Platinum Production
Like the platinum along the banks of the Pinto river, the metal is most often naturally occurs in placer deposits. Platinum and PGMs miners, however, usually extract the metal from sperrylite and cooperate; two platinum containing ores.
What is the London Gold Fixing?
The London gold fixing is the internationally accepted process for determining gold prices. Conducted twice daily by five fixing member banks, the...
Definition of Composite Material
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a lustrous bluish-grey metal that is primarily used to galvanize iron and steel in order to protect against...
Definition of Passivation
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Metal Profile: Iridium
Iridium is a hard, brittle and lustrous platinum group metal (PGM) that is very stable at high temperatures as well as in chemical environments.
Gold Prices 2013
The London bullion market is the preeminent, international over-the-counter market for the wholesale trading of gold and silver. Below are monthly averages of the London morning gold fix:

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