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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.
How to Price Scrap Metal
Article describing the steps necessary to price scrap metal properly, including tips on identification and market resources.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Definition of 'Heat Treatment'
This article describes heat treatment, the process of cooling and heating metals. Learn this definition and also common heat treatments.
Ductility
Definition of the material property of ductility.
Copper, The Great Conductor
Complete copper profile with physical properties, history, market information, common alloys and interesting facts.
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.
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
Definition of Proof Stress
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
What Are the General Properties of Steels?
The following table lists the properties of steels at room temperature (25°C).
Free Go-Kart Plans and Designs - Page 1
Free go-cart plans and instructions. Build your own go-carts, scooters, motorbikes, all terrain vehicals.
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.
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
Definition of Rockwell Hardness (HRB or HRC)
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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:
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.
Rare Earth Metals
Information on the rare earth metals, their markets and a list of their common applications.
The Composition of Common Brass Alloys
The chart below summarizes the composition of a number of commonly used brass alloys:
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.
Annealing
Description of the heat treatment process of annealing.
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:
Quenching Explained
Description of the heat treatment process of quenching.
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.
What is Zinc?
Complete zinc profile with physical properties, history, market information, common alloys and interesting facts.
Steel History
By the 17th century, iron's properties were well understood, but increasing urbanization in Europe demanded a more versatile structural metal.
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.
Three Ways to Price Your Scrap Metal
Heavy Metal: scrap price bulletin scrap metal prices non ferrous metals american metals industry benchmarks
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
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.
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...
Definition of Cold Working
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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...
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...
Oxidation
Definition of the chemical process of corrosion in metals.
Definition of "Normalization"
Definition of the heat treatment process of normalization.
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.
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...
Definition of Solution Annealing
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Tempering
Tempering is a heat treatment process that improves the ductility and toughness of metals. Learn more about tempering.
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 are base metals?
The term 'base metals' commonly refers to the industrial, non-ferrous metals: copper, lead, nickel and zinc.
Definition of Elongation
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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: 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.
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.
Process Annealing
Definition of the heat treatment process of process annealing.
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?
Definition of Gauge Length
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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.
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.
Definition of Welding
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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).
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.
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.
Definition of Solution Heat Treatment
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Strength
Definition of the material property of strength.
Metallographic Etching
Article describing the technique and purpose of metallographic etching.
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.
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 Critical Temperature
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...
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.
Toughness
Definition of the material property of toughness.
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...
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.
Precipitation Hardening
Definition of the heat treatment process of precipitation hardening.
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.
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.
What are rare earth elements?
Until fairly recently, the lanthanide - or rare earth - elements (REEs) were a little known group of industrial metals. Locked away at the bottom of the periodic table, REEs were often overlooked, perhaps due in part to their limited uses and difficult to pronounce names.
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.
Malleability
Definition of the material property of malleability.
Definition of SG Iron
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.
Free Go-Kart Plans and Designs - Page 2
Free go-cart plans and instructions. Build your own go-carts, scooters, motorbikes, all terrain vehicals.
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.
Strain
: Strain is the definition of how much a material has been stretched (or compressed) when compared to
What Is Tin?
Complete tin profile with physical properties, history, market information, common alloys and interesting facts.
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.
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.
Definition of Critical Cooling Rate
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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
What Is Mischmetal?
Profile of mischmetal with physical properties, history, industrial information and applications.
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
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.
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.
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.
Definition of U.S.S. Gauge
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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...
Cryogenic Heat Treatment
Definition of the cryogenic heat treatment process.
Definition of Fatigue
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.
What are Minor Metals?
What are minor metals? The term 'minor metals' is used to describe about 40 elemental metals that are normally produced as by-products and not traded on any major exchanges.
The Top 10 Zinc Producers 2013
According to the International Lead & Zinc Study Group, refined zinc production reached 12.8 million tonnes (or about 28 million pounds) in 2013. The ten largest...
The 10 Biggest Steel Producers 2013
Total crude steel production in 2013 exceeded 1.6 billion metric tonnes, up 3.5 percent from 2012. Statistics below are collected by the World Steel Association and...
Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium
The Beijing National Stadium - more often referred to as the Bird's Nest stadium - took five years to complete and was constructed using 42,000 tons of steel, making it the largest steel structure in the world. Measuring 330 meters long, 220 meters wide and 69.2 meters tall, the design of the Bird's Nest stadium design is based on 24 trussed columns, weighing 1000 tons each.
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.
Definition of Reduction of Area
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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).
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.
The LBMA Gold Price Explained
On March 20, 2015 the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Gold Price will replace the London Gold Fix as the standard for determining daily gold prices.
Silver Prices 2014
Below are monthly averages of the London morning silver fix:
The 10 Biggest Tin Producers 2013
The list below was compiled by the international tin industry association ITRI. Beside each company name is the country where its primary operations are located and its total tin production (tonnes) in 2013.
Definition of Oxy-Acetylene Welding
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Zinc in the 20th Century
As steel production grew and moved across the Atlantic, demand for zinc also soared. Rich zinc ore deposits were discovered in the 1840s and 1850s in New Jersey, Arkansas and...
What is zinc?
Zinc is a lustrous bluish-grey metal that is primarily used to galvanize iron and steel in order to protect against...
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.
Definition of Heat Number
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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.
Europe (Finally) Learns to Smelt Zinc
Over 500 years after metallic zinc distillation first began in India, and 150 years after the Chinese developed a method to smelt the grey metal, zinc distillation finally found its way to Europe...
Ruthenium Prices 2014
Prices indicated below are monthly averages, calculated using prices offered by all three trading locations, per troy ounce (31.1g) of ruthenium.
Definition of Toughness
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Springback
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Definition of Normalising
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.
What is Calamine Brass?
Calamine brass is a term used to describe brass produced via a cementation process using a zinc oxide ore, such as smithsonite (also known as calamine), copper and...
Definition of Malleability
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
About Metals Glossary
Glossary of metal terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Molycorp Minerals
Profile of Molycorp Minerals with history, product information and more.
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 Cold Drawing
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
The 10 Biggest Silver Producers 2013
The world's ten largest silver producers accounted for over 290 million ounces of the metal in 2013, or just over 35 percent of global mine production. The list below...
Early Chinese Zinc Smelting
The first documentation of metallic zinc production in China can be attributed to Song Ying Xing who published a book entitled Tian Gong Kai Wu (The Opening of Natural Materials) in 1637, which outlined...
Definition of Grain Size Measurement
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
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.
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.
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.
Cobalt Prices 2014
The cobalt prices listed below are based on the daily cash buyer contract prices settled at the LME averaged for each month.
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
Definition of Hardenability
Glossary of metal industry terminology and definitions from your About.com Guide.
Molybdenum Prices 2014
The molybdenum prices listed below are based on the daily cash buyer contract prices settled at the LME averaged for each month.
Metal Profile: Mercury
What is mercury? Mercury, or 'quicksilver' as it is otherwise known, is a dense, toxic metal element that exists in liquid form at room temperature. Produced and studied for millennia, mercury's use has steadily declined since the 1980s as a result of greater attention to the negative health impacts that it has on humans and the environment.
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

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