Metals (And Their Common Uses)

By Ali Godden

Most elements on the periodic table are metals. There are 18 different groups that the elements are categorised into based on their characteristics and 17 of those different groups contain metals. Each group has different properties which make each metal unique for a variety of applications. As scrap metal buyers, we love learning about the different qualities of metal and seeing what newly recycled metal goes towards in the real world. Let’s take a look at some common uses that some types of metal have, shall we?

Group 11

Group 11 includes copper, silver and gold. These metals are often used for the production of jewellery and coins as they are nonreactive. This plays a massive part in why they are the perfect choice for a nice pair of earrings, a two-dollar coin or a nice bracelet – because they don’t corrode or rust easily. Gold is an interesting material as it’s rarely ever used on its own. This is because, in its pure form, gold is too soft and wouldn’t be as durable when made into jewellery. That’s why it’s predominantly combined with other alloys such as silver or platinum to strengthen it.

Group 8

Metals such as iron and stainless steel (an alloy of iron) are often used to build strong free-standing structures such as skyscrapers – in addition to vehicles like ships, cars, trains and trucks. Being as they’re a part of Group eight, they’re very strong – making them the standout choice for industrial purposes. Both of these metals can also be shaped using various metal fabrication machines to bend, cut and puncture them. Stainless steel is also a highly recyclable material that won’t lose its qualities regardless of how many times it’s been recycled – further bolstering its attractiveness for industrial applications. 

Group 13

Aluminium – which is part of Group 13 – is most commonly used in items found around the house such as aluminium foil and cooking utensils. It is also heavily used for beer kegs and in aeroplanes. Similarly to gold, aluminium is not very strong and is quite ductile in its purest form meaning it must be used as an alloy with other materials such as magnesium or copper to strengthen it. 

Like other metals, aluminium is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity meaning you can also find it being used in some wiring. If you’ve got some spare aluminium wiring lying around or in a product you don’t need – consider bringing it down to Metal Men Recycling where our scrap metal buyers can take it off your hands and ensure that it’s recycled properly.

Notable traits of certain metals

  • Copper is good for wiring and is mostly used for that application as it is considered the most conductive and cost-efficient option.
  • Tungsten is the metal with the highest melting point – 3,422 °C – so it is used for the filaments of light bulbs as it can endure the high temperatures without melting.                               
  • Lead is used to make batteries as it is highly reactive (the lead reacts with the sulfuric acid to create lead sulphate which charges the battery).  
  • Mercury is used in clinical thermometers in Australia as it has a high coefficient of expansion meaning the liquid increases in volume when the temperature is increased making it suitable to measure even the slightest change in temperature. In addition to this, mercury is one of two metals (halogen bromine being the other) that remains in liquid form at room temperature – further making it ideal for thermometers.

Metal Fun Fact

Tungsten has a very high melting point of 3,422 °C second to only Carbon with a record high melting point of 3,550 °C.

Are you looking for scrap metal buyers in Melbourne?

A fantastic way to earn some extra money on the side whilst making a positive impact on the environment is by selling your scrap metal at a place like Metal Men Recycling. As scrap metal buyers, we accept all types of scrap metal and will pay you by cheque or EFTPOS for your metal. Our services include:

By selling your scrap to Metal Men Recycling you’ll be actively making your recycling experience 100 times easier as our experts have over 50 years of combined experience.

Get in touch with our friendly team of scrap metal buyers today by calling 03 5941 6677. You may also contact us via the enquiry page on our website.

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