Types of Metals – Basic, Example, Applications

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Types of Metals – Basic, Example, Applications

Let’s learn about the types of metals. Metals are one of the abundant elements that are present on earth. This is one of the most prominent and essential things for humanity as it can be used for different purposes.

Whether it is the construction or manufacturing of different equipment or structures, metals are used everywhere.

It is even present in our water, which is one of the prominent presences of this material.

Types of Metals

Types of metals! Let’s start with the basics. While learning about metals, it is essential to get an understanding of the types of metal.

  • The classification can be based on different attributes such as properties, extraction methods, applications, and many more.
  • One of the best ways to classify the materials is based on periodic tables.
  • The periodic table consists of all the materials, including metals, non-metals, metalloids, etc.

Here we are providing information about types of metals based on classification under periodic tables.

types of metals properties basics
Types of metals properties basics

Before delving into the types of metal, it is essential to get a brief idea about metal.

Metal Basics

Metals are the materials that have some specific properties such as,

  • Malleability,
  • Ductility,
  • Lustrous and
  • High density etc.

In addition to that, metals are also good conductors of electricity and heat.

There are different kinds of metals available, and the periodic table consists of almost all of them.

Description of Metal Types

The classification of metals in periodic tables is in different types.

The following are the types of metal subdivision:

  • Alkali Metals
  • Alkaline Earth Metals
  • Transition Metals
  • Other Metals
metals types periodic table
Metals types periodic table

Alkali Metals

In the periodic table, the first column on the left side provides the classification of metals. These are soft metals and also highly reactive.

The basic properties of alkali metal are its softness. These can easily be cut with any material. There are some metals in this category that even melt in the palm of your hand. These metals have low melting points.

The six alkali metals are,

  • Lithium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Rubidium
  • Caesium
  • Francium
types of metals lithium sodium potassium
Types of metals lithium sodium potassium

Lithium

Properties

  • Highly reactive and forms robust hydroxide solutions.
  • It is the only alkali metal that does not form the anion in solid-state or in any solution.

Application

  • The essential use of lithium is in metallurgical processes.
  • It is used to refine some metals such as iron, nickel, copper, zinc, and their alloys.

Sodium

Properties

  • Sodium is a soft alkali metal that tarnishes when exposed to air.
  • It reacts with water vigorously.

Application

  • The prominent use of sodium is in nuclear reactors as a heat exchanger.
  • It is also used as a reagent in the chemical industry.
  • The most common and abundant sodium use is in its compound form known as sodium chloride.
  • It is added to food.

Potassium

Properties

  • The fundamental property of potassium is its rapid reaction with atmospheric oxygen. 

Application

  • The core use of this metal is in the Medical field.
  • It is specifically used as a medication to prevent and treat low blood potassium.
  • Apart from that, it is also used for industrial purposes.

Rubidium

Properties

  • This is also a soft alkali metal that reacts violently with water and ignites in the air.

Application

  • The primary application of rubidium is in photocells.
  • It acts as a vital component of photocells, which helps extract the oxygen traces from vacuum tubes.
  • It is also used for making particular kinds of glass.

Caesium

Properties

  • Caesium is an alkali metal that has core properties that makes it soft.
  • It is also very reactive to air and explosively reacts with water also. 
types of metals rubidium caesium francium
Types of metals rubidium caesium francium

Application

  • This metal is abundantly used in making special optical glasses, vacuum tubes, and also as a drilling fluid.
  • The most crucial use of caesium is in caesium clocks, which are used in GPS satellites.

Francium

Properties

  • This is one of the alkali metal that is intensely radioactive.
  • The radioactive properties make it quite useful and lethal.

Application

  • When it comes to applications, it doesn’t have that much of life, making it not apt for wide usage.

Alkaline Earth Metals

The second column of the periodic table holds six types of metals known as alkaline earth metals. These are denser and harder than alkali metals. These metals hold a prevalent position among the metals group as the applications of these are quite vivid.

The alkaline metals are as follows,

  • Beryllium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Strontium
  • Barium
  • Radium
alkaline earth metals
Alkaline earth metals

You check all types of metals in the periodic table.

The following are the brief description of those alkaline earth metals:

Beryllium

Properties

  • This is one of the highly toxic elements.
  • This alkaline earth metal is among those light metals which have high melting points.
  • These metals exist in different kinds of minerals.
  • The excellent thermal conductivity is among the foremost properties that can be used for different purposes.

Application

  • Beryllium is used widely in different prominent fields.
  • One of the areas that use this metal is the defense aerospace industry.
  • It is also used as an alloying agent.
  • Among all the applications they use in the making, some of the computer peripherals make it quite popular among all metals.

Magnesium

Properties

  • The foremost property of this metal is its chemical activeness.
  • It is among the eighth-most abundant metals. 
  • The different essential properties make it quite useful for different kinds of usage.

Application

  • It is widely used for medicinal purposes.
  • With this, one can easily cure different medical conditions such as anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, recovery after surgery, etc.

Calcium

Properties

  • Calcium is among the most abundant metals in the planet’s crust.
  • It is equipped with those efficient properties that help in different biological advancements.

Application

  • The main applications of calcium are for bones and teeth.
  • It also allows in our biological functionalities.
  • Apart from these, the abundant usage of this metal is in the food and pharmaceutical industry.

Strontium

Properties

  • This metal is present in all living organisms, so it holds those properties that make it quite vital.
  • Preferably it is located in the bones.
  • The properties of strontium and the amount of this metal defines the benefits and loss.

Application

  • The main application of strontium is to make prosthetics and provide biological support to different parts of the body.

Barium

Properties

  • The basic properties of this metal is its lightweight and low density.
  • It oxidizes with air and reacts with water.
  • It can react with almost all the non-metals that make it lethal, and it even forms poisonous compounds.

Application

  • The main application of barium is in vacuum tubes and spark plug electrodes.
  • Apart from that, it is also used as fluorescent lamps.
  • The barium compounds are also used for the manufacturing of bricks, tiles, glass, making paint, and rubber.

Radium

Properties

  • The main properties of this metal are its high reactiveness with air.
  • It is amongst the heaviest alkaline earth metal, which has radioactive properties.

Application

  • The practical use of this metal is in instrument dials, nuclear panels, self-luminous paints for watches, aircraft switches, and clocks. It is also used in medicine that helps in the treatment of cancer. 

Transition Metals

The transition metals are found in the center of the main body of the Periodic Table. They are sometimes called heavy metals and are denser than alkali or alkaline earth metals. In total, there are 38 different types of transition metals available.

Here we are providing some of the essential ones that hold specific places, like,

  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Iron
  • Mercury
  • Platinum
  • Tungsten
  • Zine etc.
transition metals type
Transition metals type

Let’s know the basic of these types of metals,

Cobalt

Properties

  • The core properties of this metal are its lustrous, brittleness, and ferromagnetic ones.
  • It remains stable in the air and doesn’t react with water.
  • This metal has magnetic properties.
  • With diluted acids, it reacts at a gradual pace.

Applications

  • It is used in different magnets and magnetic recording media.
  • It is used as a drying agent for inks and paints.
  • The primary application of this metal is for artisans who work with enamel jeweler or porcelain etc., and it has medical usage.

Copper

Properties

  • Copper has one of the prominent properties that keep it away from corrosion.
  • The alloying properties make it suitable for use in different types of alloys. 

Applications

The prominent application of copper is in different electric peripherals and pieces of equipment such as,

  • TVs, DVD players, iPods,
  • electric kettles,
  • mobiles,
  • vacuum cleaners,
  • computers,
  • cars,
  • washing machines,
  • fridges, buses,
  • electrified railways,
  • underground transport systems, or trams.

Gold

Properties

  • Gold is among the densest metals.
  • It is one of the valuable metals that holds massive importance.
  • It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal.
  • Apart from that, it is among those metals which is a good conductor of heat and electricity.

Applications

  • The foremost use of gold is in the formation of jewelry.
  • It holds a special place in the life of every human being.

Iron

Properties

  • This metal is equipped with numerous properties that make it quite incredible.
  • These properties make it metal with maximum applications.
  • It has the ferromagnetic ability, malleable, dissolvable.
  • This metal is also a good conductor of heat and electricity.

Applications

  • There are different kinds of applications of this metal.
  • It is specifically used for the manufacturing of tools and weapons.
  • Apart from these heavy structures, and construction also uses this metal.
  • Without this metal, you cannot imagine the present world.

Mercury

Properties

  • This metal has some specific properties that make it unique.
  • It is a volatile liquid.
  • This metal’s physical property is quite significant as it has very high surface tension, and it is also an excellent conductor of electricity.
  • When it comes to chemical properties, this metal is moderately active as it doesn’t react with oxygen in the air.
transition metals type tungsten
Transition metals type Mercury tungsten etc

Applications

Mercury has wide application as it is used in different measuring instruments such as,

  • float valves,
  • mercury switches,
  • thermometers,
  • barometers,
  • manometers,
  • sphygmomanometers,
  • mercury relays,
  • fluorescent lamps due to its high density.

Platinum

Properties

  • Platinum is among the valuable materials that are soft and lustrous.
  • It has high density, ductile and malleable.
  • Other than that, it also has a high boiling point and corrosion-resistant properties.
  • It is amongst the most stable metals in nature.

Applications

  • Platinum is used in Optical fibers, wires, and pacemakers.
  • It is also used as a catalyst for chemical reactions.
  • Apart from that, it is also used for making jewelry.

Tungsten

Properties

  • Tungsten is a metal that has the highest tensile strength.
  • It remains brittle at room temperature.
  • One of the primary uses of this tungsten is due to its withstanding capability to high temperature. 

Applications

  • Due to this metal’s properties, it is used in incandescent and fluorescent light bulb filaments.
  • It is among the most primary metals that are used in television tubes.

Zinc

Properties

  • Zinc is very sparkly and attains a whitish-blue color. It is comparatively harder than copper.
  • It is an essential trace element in the human body.

Applications

  • The core usage of this metal is vivid.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of roofing materials as well as in solar cells and nuclear cells.
  • Due to the core property of withstanding high temperature, it is used to make automobile tires.

Other Metals

Different other metals lie on the right side of the periodic table, either semimetals or metalloids. These are also known as post-transition metals. The core attributes of these metals are their softness and lower melting points.

When it comes to usage, these metals are equipped with core properties that make them suitable for different kinds of applications. Some of the examples of these metals are as follows:

Aluminum

Properties

  • The core properties of aluminum are its softness.
  • It is highly ductile and malleable, which makes it apt for rolling into a thin foil and can be drawn into wire.
  • It is a chemically active metal that makes it quite useful.

Applications

  • This is one of the best elements that is used in numerous alloys.
  • The effective use of aluminum is aircraft construction, food-processing equipment, building materials, refrigerators, air conditioners, cooking utensils, electrical conductors, and chemicals.

Lead

Properties

  • The core properties of this metal are its toxicity.
  • It increases solubility.
  • The poisonous effect of lead can be very lethal as it causes different diseases.
  • Apart from these, it has nuclear properties that help in different purposes. 

Applications

  • The wide usage of this metal is in the construction of batteries.
  • This is among the best uses as humankind is virtually dependent upon the batteries, which are part of everything.
  • It is also used as protective shielding around nuclear reactors, X-ray equipment, and particle accelerators.

Tin

Properties

  • Tin is among those metals with the core features of malleability, ductility, and a non-toxic approach.
  • This is also among those metals that are widely accepted for different purposes. 

Applications

  • The tin’s main applications are in piping and a constituent for iron alloys due to its non-corrosive properties.
  • The massive use of this metal is in the food industry, where it is widely used as a container for the same.

Conclusion

This excerpt is beneficial for those who want to get a holistic idea of the different metals available on earth. However, this classification is based on metals present in the periodic table, while there are other differentiating properties on which these metals can be classified.

The above excerpt specifically holds the core properties and the significant applications of these metals, which will help understand these metals.

Apart from the above types of metals, some others have massive importance, such as rare earth metals, lanthanides, and actinides.

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