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 November 6, 2023

2023 Report: 100 Facts About Metals

Metals are integral to our world's framework, enabling the construction of our buildings to the operation of our devices. They are elemental substances that conduct heat and electricity, often characterized by their shiny appearance and solid state at room temperature—except for mercury, which is liquid.

Metals' combination of strength, malleability, and ductility makes them invaluable across industries, from construction and medicine to technology and transportation. Understanding metals' properties allows us to harness them in ways that fuel progress and innovation. This knowledge of facts about metals leads us to a deeper exploration of individual metals, revealing a world of intriguing facts and applications.

What is Metal?

Metals are elemental substances characterized by specific properties like electrical and thermal conductivity. They are solid at room temperature, except for mercury, and have a luster due to free-moving electrons. Metals' strength, malleability, and ductility make them vital across industries, shaping civilization's progress. They form alloys with tailored properties, essential for diverse applications.

20 Facts About Aluminum

1. Aluminum has the chemical symbol Al and atomic number 13.

2. It's characterized by its silvery-white color, softness, non-magnetism, and ductility.

3. Rarely found in its pure form in nature, aluminum's presence is usually bound with other elements.

4. The metal melts at 660.3 °C and boils at 2,470 °C.

5. Aluminum composes 8% of the Earth's crust, making it the most abundant metal therein.

6. Hans Oersted discovered aluminum in 1825.

7. It reflects 92% of visible light and is about one-third as dense and stiff as steel.

8. Bauxite is the principal aluminum ore.

9. It is the most utilized metal that lacks iron content.

10. China leads the world in aluminum production.

11. Historically, aluminum was more valuable than gold and silver in the 19th century.

12. Commercial use of aluminum has spanned about 150 years.

13. Aluminum can be recycled with 73% of aluminum cans being recycled.

14. Toxic to gilled animals, aluminum must be managed carefully in ecosystems.

15. Recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum.

16. It plays a role in aerospace design, including NASA's Orion spacecraft.

17. Remarkably, nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.

18. The industry's carbon footprint has decreased by nearly 40% since 1995.

19. Non-toxic to humans, aluminum is also non-reactive when it forms a thin protective oxide layer.

20. It doesn't rust, making it a durable material for a variety of applications.

20 Facts About Stainless Steel

1. Fundamentals: Stainless steel is an alloy composed mainly of iron, carbon, and a minimum of 10.5% chromium; other elements like nickel, nitrogen, manganese, molybdenum, and magnesium are also present.

2. Discovery: Harry Brearley in the UK discovered 'rustless steel' in 1913 while experimenting to prevent gun barrel erosion.

3. Recyclability: Stainless steel is often lauded for its green credentials, being 100% recyclable and having almost 100 grades available.

4. Applications: This alloy finds applications in cutlery, construction, big industries, security bars, plumbing, and aircraft due to its environment-friendly and low-maintenance nature.

5. Chemical Resistance: Chromium oxide forms on stainless steel when exposed to oxygen, granting a protective layer that renews itself, providing high resistance to acids, sulfur, salts, moisture, carbon dioxide, and alkaline compounds.

6. Medical and Food Industry Use: Austenitic 316 Grade stainless steel is used for surgical instruments, while grades 304 L and 316 L are prevalent in pharmaceutical applications due to their easy-to-clean and corrosion-resistant nature.

7. Artistic and Architectural Preference: Stainless steel has been used in architecture since the 1920s and is chosen by many architects for landscape design because of its aesthetic appeal and corrosion resistance.

8. Material Properties: It’s favored for its durability, high strength, elasticity, low maintenance, and ability to be recycled multiple times without environmental harm.

9. Everyday Items: Stainless steel is the material of choice for many everyday items such as kitchen sinks, refrigerators, cutlery, and even supports in high-fashion clothing.

10. Grade 304: The most common grade of stainless steel, used domestically and available in various finishes from highly polished to brushed or raw textures.

11. Corrosion Resistance: Some stainless steel grades can resist highly concentrated acids, while others are limited to lower concentrations, making it ideal for chemical industry applications.

12. Non-staining Myths: While it’s termed stainless, the metal can indeed stain and rust if the protective oxide film is not maintained.

13. Deodorizing Properties: A piece of stainless steel can neutralize odors on your hands, such as those from chopping garlic or onions.

14. Ductility and Malleability: Stainless steel can be drawn into very thin wires, demonstrating its ductility and ease of manipulation.

15. Oxidation Colors: Passing an electrical pulse through stainless steel wire can cause it to exhibit yellow and blue hues due to oxidation.

16. Fashion and Function: High-fashion designers sometimes incorporate stainless steel wiring in their clothing for structural or decorative purposes.

17. Industry Revolution: Stainless steel's advent has revolutionized modern industries, with its applications ranging from transportation and construction to medical tools.

18. Surgical Milestone: The first stainless steel surgical implants were created in 1926, marking a significant advance in medical technology.

19. Architectural Innovation: Since its introduction to architecture in the 1920s, stainless steel has been a material of choice for its aesthetic and functional qualities.

20. Environmental Impact: The stainless steel industry has made efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

20 Facts About Brass

1. Brass is a copper-zinc alloy with variable proportions of copper and zinc to obtain different mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties.

2. Its origins are unknown, but it has been known to humans since prehistoric times.

3. Brass was used for sesterces coins because it was more durable than precious metals such as gold or silver.

4. Over time, brass became increasingly popular for other applications due to its strength and corrosion resistance.

5. It is similar to bronze, another copper-based alloy, but with tin instead of zinc.

6. When ancient Asians melted a rudimentary form of brass from zinc-rich copper ores, they discovered brass.

7. The Greeks and Romans began melting calamine ore, which contains copper and zinc, some 2000 years ago.

8. Brass was largely employed by ancient Romans in containers, dress armor, jewelry, and brooches.

9. Almost all brass alloys are now recycled to some extent.

10. It is non-ferromagnetic, making it easily separable from ferrous materials in recycling processes.

11. The tuba is a brass-family wind instrument, amplifying sound by directing vibrating air through its metal.

12. Brass instruments like the French horn and the trumpet were among the first in the brass family, used in orchestras from the early 1700s.

13. Calamine brass, the earliest known form of brass, dates back to the Neolithic period.

14. To clean brass, a mixture of vinegar, salt, and flour can be applied and then rinsed with cold water.

15. Brass instruments have been used in military operations and religious ceremonies for thousands of years.

16. These instruments are crucial in the evolution of music across the globe.

17. Brass is utilized in instruments because it is stronger than copper but not as hard as steel, making it easily moldable.

18. While saxophones are made of brass, they do not belong to the brass instrument family.

19. Brass was historically used to produce a variety of household objects due to its flexibility compared to bronze.

20. Engraved brass plates were used in Europe to commemorate the deceased from the 13th to the 17th centuries.

20 Facts About Silver

1. Historical Discovery: Silver was among the first five metals discovered by humans, along with gold, copper, lead, and iron, dating back to around 4000 BC.

2. Physical Properties: It's the most electrically conductive element, even outperforming copper and gold, and it's the best thermal conductor of all metals.

3. Reflectivity: Silver has the highest reflectivity of any metal, making it ideal for manufacturing mirrors, telescopes, and microscopes.

4. Ancient Currency: From around 700 BC, silver has been used in coinage and as money throughout various civilizations.

5. Ductility: An ounce of silver can be drawn into a wire 8,000 feet long, and a single grain can be pressed into a sheet 150 times thinner than typical paper.

6. Global Presence: The top silver producers are Mexico, Peru, and China, but it’s found in many parts of the world, including Canada, Russia, and Australia.

7. Alloys and Currency: Sterling silver, an alloy containing 92.5% silver, originated in England, and the terms for money in several languages derive from silver.

8. Culinary Use: Due to its antimicrobial properties, silver has been used in culinary settings and for food decorations.

9. Medical Applications: Silver's germicidal properties have made it a staple for medical tools and equipment.

10. Industrial Efficiency: The efficiency of silver mining and recycling has increased over the years, with global production rising significantly.

11. Sterling Origins: The term "sterling" evolved from the silver pennies struck by the Normans in the 11th century.

12. Cultural Value: In various cultures, silver has historically been linked to the moon and femininity due to its luminous quality.

13. Mythology and Lore: Silver bullets are said to be the only way to kill werewolves, a legend based on silver's historical use as a medicinal element.

14. Non-Toxic Nature: Silver is not toxic to humans, and some of its salts are used in medications, although silver itself should not be consumed in large quantities.

15. Abundance: Despite being precious, approximately 20 billion ounces of silver are currently in use worldwide.

16. Linguistic Heritage: The word "silver" has been part of the English language since before the 12th century.

17. Early Economic Impact: In ancient Egypt and medieval Europe, silver was sometimes more valuable than gold.

18. Supernova Creation: Silver is created when stars explode into supernovas, making it quite literally a celestial material.

19. U.S. Currency: The Coinage Act of 1792 established silver coins as currency in the U.S., including the silver dollar and smaller denominations.

20. Symbolism: The Lone Ranger used silver bullets to represent justice, law, and order, although in reality, silver bullets would be less effective than lead for actual use.

20 Facts About Gold

1. The 49ers are named after the 1849 Gold Rush miners.

2. Gold and copper were the first metals discovered by humans around 5000 B.C..

3. The U.S. dollar was once pegged to gold, at a rate of $35 per troy ounce.

4. The world’s largest gold reserve is in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

5. The concept of a "troy ounce" originated in Troyes, France.

6. Alchemy, the medieval science of converting base metals into gold, dates back to 300 B.C..

7. The fiat currency system replaced the gold standard most governments adhered to.

8. Producing an ounce of gold requires extensive resources including water, electricity, and chemicals.

9. The first recorded gold discovery in the U.S. was a 17-pound nugget in North Carolina.

10. Ancient Egyptians considered gold the skin or flesh of the gods.

11. Franklin Roosevelt prohibited U.S. citizens from hoarding gold in 1933.

12. Gold is used in medicine to tag proteins and identify their function in treating diseases.

13. The purity of gold is measured in carats, a term that originates from the carob seed.

14. 98% of the Earth's gold can be traced back to meteorites.

15. Gold is created through supernovae and neutron star collisions, high-energy cosmic events.

16. Gold's ductility allows it to be stretched into wires 60 miles long from just an ounce.

17. Gold leaf is so malleable it can become translucent when beaten into thin sheets.

18. More steel is produced in an hour than all the gold mined throughout history.

19. India's housewives hold more gold than the reserves of the International Monetary Fund.

20. Gold is found in e-waste; more can be extracted from a ton of computer parts than from 17 tons of gold.

Conclusion

Through this exploration, we gain a greater appreciation for these elements and alloys that are not only foundational to various fields of engineering and technology but also to the economic and cultural practices that define human society.

Unlock Your Project's Potential with Foshan Awisdom Metal

At Foshan Awisdom Metal, we pride ourselves on our years of expertise in supplying the Philippine market with premium building material accessories products. Our commitment extends beyond just offering high-quality items. We specialize in customization to meet your specific project needs. 

With the convenience of DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) services, we ensure a seamless delivery right to your doorstep. We invite dealers and engineers to discover the difference that comes with choosing Foshan Awisdom Metal. Start transforming your spaces today by requesting a quote.

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