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Metals

PEW 106

Platinum
Platinum is a beautiful silvery-white metal, when pure, and is malleable and ductile. It has a coefficient of expansion almost equal to that of soda-lime-silica glass, and is therefore used to make sealed electrodes in glass systems. The metal does not oxidise in air. It is insoluble in hydrochloric and nitric acid, but dissolves when they are mixed as aqua regia, forming chloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6), an important compound. It is corroded by halogens, cyanides, sulphur and alkalis. Hydrogen and oxygen gas mixtures explode in the presence of platinum wire.

Gold
Gold is usually alloyed in jewellery to give it more strength, and the term carat describes the amount of gold present (24 carats is pure gold). It is estimated that all the gold in the world, so far refined, could be placed in a single cube 60 ft. on a side. It is metallic, with a yellow colour when in a mass, but when finely divided it may be black, ruby, or purple.
It is the most malleable and ductile metal; 1 ounce (28 g) of gold can be beaten out to 300 square feet. It is a soft metal and is usually alloyed to give it more strength. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and is unaffected by air and most reagents.

Graphite (form of carbon)


Carbon is found free in nature in three allotropic forms: amorphous, graphite, and diamond. A fourth form, known as "white" carbon, is now thought to exist. Ceraphite is one of the softest known materials while diamond is one of the hardest. Graphite exists in two forms: alpha and beta. These have identical physical properties, except for their crystal structure. Naturally occurring graphites are reported to contain as much as 30% of the rhombohedral (beta) form, whereas synthetic materials contain only the alpha form. The hexagonal alpha type can be converted to the beta by mechanical treatment, and the beta form reverts to the alpha on heating it above 1000C.

Titanium
Titanium minerals are quite common. The metal has a low density, good strength, is easily fabricated, and has excellent corrosion resistance. The metal burns in air and is the only element that burns in nitrogen. It is marvellous in fireworks.

Silver
Silver is somewhat rare and expensive, although not as expensive as gold. Pure silver has a brilliant white metallic lustre. It is a little harder than gold and is very ductile and malleable. Pure silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals, and possesses the lowest contact resistance. Silver iodide, AgI, is (or was?) used for causing clouds to produce rain. Silver is stable in pure air and water, but tarnishes when exposed to ozone, hydrogen sulphide, or air containing sulphur. It occurs in ores including argentite, lead, leadzinc, copper and gold found in Mexico, Peru, and the USA.

Nickel
Nickel is found as a constituent in most meteorites and often serves as one of the criteria for distinguishing a meteorite from other minerals. Iron meteorites, or siderites, may contain iron alloyed with from 5 to nearly 20% nickel. The USA 5-cent coin (whose nickname is "nickel") contains just 25% nickel. Nickel is a silvery white metal that takes on a high polish. It is hard, malleable, ductile, somewhat ferromagnetic, and a fair conductor of heat and electricity.

Molybdenum
Molybdenum is a silvery-white, hard, transition metal. Scheele discovered it in 1778. It was often confused with graphite and lead ore. Molybdenum is used in alloys, electrodes and catalysts. The World War 2 German artillery piece called "Big Bertha" contains molybdenum as an essential component of its steel.
valuable alloying agent (contributes to the hardenability and toughness of quenched and tempered steels). Almost all ultra-high strength steels contain molybdenum in amounts from 0.25 to 8%

Chromium
Chromium is steel-gray, lustrous, hard, metallic, and takes a high polish. Its compounds are toxic. It is found as chromite ore. Siberian red lead (crocoite, PrCrO4) is a chromium ore prized as a red pigment for oil paints. Used to harden steel, to manufacture stainless steel, and to form alloys Used in plating to produce a hard, beautiful surface and to prevent corrosion.

INCONEL 600
Alloy 600 is a nickel-chromium alloy designed for use from cryogenic to elevated temperatures in the range of 2000 deg F(1093 deg C). The high nickel content of the alloy enables it to retain considerable resistance under reducing conditions and makes it resistant to corrosion by a number of organic and inorganic compounds. The nickel content gives it excellent resistance to chlorideion stress-corrosion cracking and also provides excellent resistance to alkaline solutions.

MONEL 400
A Nickel-Copper alloy, resistant to sea water and steam at high temperatures as well as to salt and caustic solutions. Alloy 400 is a nickel-copper alloy with excellent corrosion resistance in a wide variety of media. The alloy is characterized by good general corrosion resistance, good weldability and moderate to high strength. The alloy has been used in a variety of applications. It has excellent resistance to rapidly flowing brackish water or seawater. It is particularly resistant to hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids when they are de-aerated. The alloy is slightly magnetic at room temperature. The alloy is widely used in the chemical, oil and marine industries.

Copper
Copper is one of the most important metals. Copper is reddish with a bright metallic lustre. It is malleable, ductile, and a good conductor of heat and electricity (second only to silver in electrical conductivity). Its alloys, brass and bronze, are very important. The most important compounds are the oxide and the sulphate, (blue vitriol).

Tin
Ordinary tin is a silvery-white metal, is malleable, somewhat ductile, and has a highly crystalline structure. Due to the breaking of these crystals, a "tin cry" is heard when a bar is bent. The element has two allotropic forms. On warming, grey, or a-tin, with a cubic structure, changes at 13.2C into white, or b-tin, the ordinary form of the metal. White tin has a tetragonal structure. When tin is cooled below 13.2C, it changes slowly from white to grey. This change is affected by impurities such as aluminium and zinc, and can be prevented by small additions of antimony or bismuth. Used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion or other chemical action (tin cans are made from tin coated steel)

Lead
Lead is a bluish-white lustrous metal. It is very soft, highly malleable, ductile, and a relatively poor conductor of electricity. It is very resistant to corrosion but tarnishes upon exposure to air. Lead pipes bearing the insignia of Roman emperors, used as drains from the baths, are still in service. Alloys include pewter and solder. Tetraethyl lead (PbEt4) is still used in some grades of petrol (gasoline) but is being phased out on environmental grounds.

Aluminum
Pure aluminium is a silvery-white metal with many desirable characteristics. It is light, nontoxic (as the metal), nonmagnetic and nonsparking. It is somewhat decorative. It is easily formed, machined, and cast. Pure aluminium is soft and lacks strength, but alloys with small amounts of copper, magnesium, silicon, manganese, and other elements have very useful properties. Aluminium is an abundant element in the earth's crust, but it is not found free in nature. The Bayer process is used to refine aluminium from bauxite, an aluminium ore.

Cadmium
Cadmium is a soft, bluish-white metal and is easily cut with a knife. It is similar in many respects to zinc. Interestingly, aa characteristic cadmium "scream" is heard on bending a cadmium bar (such as that illustrated above). Cadmium and its compounds are highly toxic. Silver solder, which contains cadmium, should be handled with care. Rather like zinc, cadmium is used to a small extent as coatings (often achieved by electroplating) to protect metals such as iron. Its use is restricted because of environmental concerns. Cadmium is a component of NiCd batteries.

Zinc
Zinc is a bluish-white, lustrous metal. It is brittle at ambient temperatures but is malleable at 100 to 150C. It is a reasonable conductor of electricity, and burns in air at high red heat with evolution of white clouds of the oxide.
A large proportion of all zinc, perhaps more than a third, is used used to galvanize metals such as iron so as to prevent corrosion. Typically this involves dipping the object to be coated in molten zinc for a short time but electroplating or paining methods are also used.

Magnesium
Magnesium is a grayish-white, fairly tough metal. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the earth's crust although not found in it's elemental form. Magnesium tarnishes slightly in air, and finely divided magnesium readily ignites upon heating in air and burns with a dazzling white flame. Normally magnesium is coated with a layer of oxide, MgO, that protects magnesium from air and water. it is lighter than aluminium, and is used in alloys used for aircraft, car engine casings,