Understanding Metals: Elements, Properties, Classification, and Types

The meaning of metal – When we hear the word metal, it must be familiar to our ears, Reader. Unknowingly we can find things around us that have metal elements. This material is very commonly used and used in our daily life. However, do Reader already know what the meaning of metal is? To know more about metals, then Reader can read the explanation of this article about what metals are.

Meaning of Metal

Metal is a chemical element that is strong, sticky, hard and able to conduct electricity or heat energy. Metals also have a high melting point. In addition, metals come from metal ores and to obtain them by means of mining.

Generally, it is only done and searched for in the earth, whether it is pure or has a mixture of metals. Metal ores are found in a pure state, for example gold, silver, platinum. In addition, some are mixed with other elements such as carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, silicon, soil and sand.

The word metal itself comes from the Greek word matallon, which means that a chemical element that is ready to combine to form an ion. Then, it has a metallic bond and is considered a metal similar to the chiton that is below the electron.

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Metallic Elements

In the explanation above we already know that metal is a hard chemical element and can melt at a very high boiling point. Metal elements that are widely known include metals, non-metals, and semi-metals. Here is an explanation of the metallic elements.

1. Metal Elements

In this element, the material is very shiny and able to be a good conductor of electricity and heat. Metals will generally be solid at normal pressure and temperature unless mercury is used. Basically, metal is very easy to forge this which makes it easy to make various things.

For types of metal elements such as aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), gold (Au), barium (Ba), calcium (Ca), potassium (K), chromium (Cr), nickel (N), sodium (Na), Manganese (Mn) and Magnesium (Mg).

2. Non-Metallic Elements

In this element, metal does not have the slightest metallic properties. Most of these non-metallic elements have physical characteristics and shapes that are different from each other. Generally, non-metallic elements are in the form of gases such as oxygen. Some are liquid like bromine. In addition, when non-metallic elements are solid, the texture is brittle and hard.

For types of non-metallic elements such as Oxygen (O), Iodine (I), Silicon (Si), Neon (Ne), Nitrogen (N), Carbon (c), Chlorine (Ci), Helium (He), Hydrogen (H) , Phosphorus (P), Fluorine (F), Sulfur (S) and Bromine (Br).

3. Semi Metal Elements

There are not only metal and non-metal elements, one other element is semi-metal. This element generally still has some metallic properties known as metalloids. In this element, it usually has semi-conducting properties which cannot conduct electricity at low temperatures. However, it will be very good when it is at a higher temperature.

For the types of semi-metallic elements themselves, they consist of tellurium (Te), polonium (Po), antimony (Sb), germanium (Ge), arsenic (As), silicon (Si) and boron (B).

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Properties of Metals

According to their properties, metals are divided into two, namely metals and non-metals. The nature of metals certainly has various special features that have been fundamental except for mercury. According to the electron configuration, the nature of metals tends to give up electrons. In contrast to non-metallic properties that are more likely to capture metals.

Here are the basic properties of various types of metals such as:

1. Having Different Levels of Strength and Hardness

Each type of metal generally has a different level of hardness. Generally, the hardness can be increased by mixing other metals. Be aware that metal is known to be very strong. Just not with mercury.

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2. Easily Available to Forge

Metals are easy to shape by being forged and stretched. The presence of a valence electron makes the metal easy to move in the crystal. According to its nature, metal can be forged into thin plates and when pulled can also be bent.

3. Become a Good Electrical Conductor

Capable of being a good conductor of electricity. When a metal is electrified, its electrons will carry a valence charge throughout the metal. So that it can create an electric current in the metal.

4. Capable of Transmitting Heat

Freely moving valence electrons can cause metals to be good conductors of heat. When a type of metal, one side is heated, then the available electrons will receive heat. So that it can cause the metal to become a conductor of electricity. The more the kinetic energy increases and the faster it moves, the better it will be.

5. Shiny

All types of metals will certainly shine when exposed to light in their surface. Therefore, in this time, the nature of the metal will re-emit the light energy it gets from certain waves.

6. High Relative Density

Known for its relatively high density, a metal property that can determine or show the metal structure.

  • In type a, it shows a simple cube structure. (sc = simple cubic ).
  • Type b, shows a centered structure of the body. (bcc = body centered cubic ).
  • While type c, face centered structure. (fcc = face centered cubic ).

Classification of Metal Types

As it is known that metals also consist of many different types. For this reason, many classifications are based on physical characteristics or even basic materials. In its classification, metals are grouped in general and according to their basic material.

Grouping of Metals in General

In the general grouping of metals, they are divided into 4 groups based on their type. The following is the discussion:

1. Heavy Metals

In the heavy metal group, it is generally derived from metals as a whole. For example, metals in the form of nickel, iron, chrome, tin, copper, zinc, tin, black and white, and there are many others.

2. Light Metals

In the light metal group, it is composed of metals that are just not completely composed or it can also be said that the composing metal is light. Examples of these light metals are magnesium, aluminum, titanium, calcium, sodium, barium and potassium.

3. Refractory Metals

As for what is meant by fire-resistant metal, this type of metal is able to withstand or be able to withstand fire with a certain temperature range. Examples of these refractory metals are titanium, zirconium, tungsten, and molybdenum.

4. Precious Metals

The last is a precious metal, usually this type of metal is often used and used for jewelry or other equipment. not only that, for this type of precious metal, it usually gives quite an expensive price. Examples of these precious metals are gold, platinum, and silver.

Grouping Metals Based on Their Base Materials

The grouping of metals from the base material that composes them is divided into two groups, Generally, a type of metal is composed of iron or non-iron. See the explanation below:

1. Iron Metal (Ferrous)

A type of metal whose alloy consists of a mixture of carbon and iron. For the type of metal in the form of cast iron, wrought iron, medium and high carbon steel, mild steel and mixed carbon steel.

2. Non-Ferrous Metals (Non-Ferrous)

This type of non-ferrous metal has an alloy or mixture containing Fe. Among these metals are aluminum, copper, lead and tin.

Examples of Types of Metals and Their Functions

As explained above that metals have many types and also their groupings, then it is not surprising if metals are the elements that have the most amount on earth. But each type of metal has its own uses. The following are some types of metals that are often used in everyday life:

1. Zinc

Zinc is a metal that has a bluish white color, which comes from a sphalerite mineral. Usually, zinc is used to coat iron so that it does not easily rust or galvanize. In addition, zinc can also be used for electric batteries.

2. Copper

Copper is a metal that has special characteristics with its reddish color. In addition, this metal is very malleable. Generally, it is used to make electric cables, brass alloys, bronze, cupronickel and hot water tanks.

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3. Solder

Solder is an alloy of tin and lead. Known for its very low melting point. Usually, used to connect cables for an electronic item.

4. Mercury

Mercury is a metal that has a liquid form but is also heavy. Mercury has a silvery white color and don’t forget this mercury is a poisonous substance. Mercury is commonly used in a thermometer and some explosives.

5. Platinum

Platinum is a metal that has a silvery white color. In addition, platinum is very easy to shape. Platinum is often used to make jewelry, electronic items or can also be a catalyst.

6. Plutonium

Furthermore, there is a radioactive metal, namely plutonium, which is produced from a uranium process in a nuclear reactor. Generally, plutonium is used to make a nuclear weapon.

7. Titanium

Next is titanium, titanium is included in the type of strong metal, which has the characteristic white color and is very easy to shape. Titanium is highly resistant to corrosion. Typically titanium is used for alloys in spacecraft, bicycle frames and airplanes.

8. Tin

Tin is a soft metal, which is very easy to form and has a silvery white color. Tin is often used to gild a steel and stop a corrosion of bronze alloys.

9. Lead

Lead is a type of heavy metal that has a whitish blue color and is easy to form. For lead itself including the poisonous type. Typically, lead is used for batteries, roofing, and radiation shielding.

10. Aluminum

Aluminum has physical characteristics in the form of a silvery-white color, very light and also resistant to corrosion. This aluminum comes from a bauxite ore obtained from the electrolysis process. Aluminum is often used for electrical cables in the air, ships, airplanes, cars and bottled drinks.

11. Iron

Next is iron, this type of metal has physical characteristics in the form of a whitish ash color. Iron is produced from a process of smelting hematite ore. Iron is generally used for building and steel alloys.

12. Fertilizer

Steel is a very widely used metal and plays an important role in the industrial sector. This is because the composition of steel consists of an alloy of iron and carbon, both of which are often needed in industry.

13. Gold

Gold is a metal that includes precious metals, gold has very soft properties and has a bright yellow color. Certainly Reader already know that gold is often used for jewelry and electronic devices.

14. Potassium

Potassium is included in light metals which have physical characteristics in the form of a silvery color and are very reactive with other substances or elements. Potassium is generally used to mix chemical fertilizers and can be used to make glass.

15. Calcium

Calcium has a silvery white color and is included in metals that are very easy to form. In its own use, calcium is usually used to make high quality cement or fertilizer.

16. Magnesium

Magnesium itself belongs to the category of light metals. Magnesium has a whitish silver color and if burned will give rise to a bright white flame. Magnesium is often used for rescue flares and fireworks.

17. Chromium

This metal has a gray color and is very hard. Chromium can be used to create a shiny color. Chromium is also often used to make rust-resistant steel and can coat various other metals.

18. Cupronickel

Cupronickel is one type of alloy made of copper and nickel. Cupronickel is used and used to make coins.

19. Silver

Silver is a metal that is very easy to form and has a grayish white color. Silver is also capable of being a good conductor of heat and electricity. Silver is also often used to make jewelry and photographic equipment.

20. Bronze

Bronze comes from an alloy of copper and tin that has been around since ancient times. Bronze is known for its resistance to corrosion and is very easy to form. Bronze is usually used to make coins of low value.

21. Brass

Brass is one type of alloy, which is made of copper and zinc. Brass is usually used for decorative items, musical instruments, nails and screws.

22. Wolfram

Wolfram is a hard metal, which has a whitish gray color. Wolfram is also often used for lamp filaments, electronic items or even a sharp cutting tool.

23. Sodium

Sodium is a very reactive metal and has soft properties and a silvery white color. Sodium is often used for street lights and used in a chemical industry.

24. Uranium

Uranium is one of the metals that has a silvery white color and is included in the radioactive. Uranium itself is widely used for nuclear energy or even nuclear weapons.

25. Vanadium

Vanadium is a hard and poisonous metal. Vanadium is often used to increase the hardness of steel alloys. In addition, it is often used as a catalyst for the production of sulfuric acid.

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Well , he Reader an explanation about the meaning of metals , types, and elements and properties of metals. Hopefully all the discussions above are useful and add insight for Reader.