Did you know that we categorise historical periods based on the metal that has been in use at the time? The Bronze Age and also the Iron Age followed the Stone Age. You may trace all of today’s advancements back to the discovery and practical application of metals. Let’s look at how essential metals like aluminium, iron, and copper are used. Let’s discuss the uses of Aluminium, Copper, Zinc and Iron.
Some of the uses of Aluminium, Copper, Zinc and Iron are:
Uses of Aluminium
Aluminium has some unique physical characteristics. It’s a soft metal that’s easy to work with. It is the metal with the second-highest malleability. In addition, it is a non-toxic metal. Consequently, aluminium is used in a wide range of domestic applications. For example, aluminium is used to make cans, foils, and culinary utensils.
Aluminium is also non-magnetic but also non-corrosive. And while it isn’t solid on its own, it forms solid alloys with copper and magnesium. These alloys are light and strong at the same time. As a result, they play a vital role in constructing planes and aeroplanes. It’s even found in satellite dishes! Aluminium is also an excellent electrical conductor. It is also far less expensive than copper. As a result, aluminium is frequently used in electric wires and other transmission lines. We use aluminium in buildings as well. However, it is highly resistant to corrosion and requires essential maintenance. The Empire State Building in New York was the first building to utilise aluminium.
Uses of Copper
Copper has the atomic number 29 and is a red-hued metal. Copper, like other metals, is an excellent heat and electrical conductor. It’s also malleable and ductile. However, its most distinguishing characteristic is its superior capacity to form alloys with other metals.
Copper has been in widespread usage since around 8000 BC when it was used to make coins and decorative items. Today, copper is mainly used in electronic devices such as computers and cellphones. Due to its excellent conductivity, copper can also be used in conductors, transformers, and other power distribution systems.
It’s also a necessary component of plumbing systems. Copper is also used in the production of automobiles. Radiators, oil coolers, as well as braking systems contain them. It is also a key component of navigation in current vehicles.
On the other hand, copper is priceless when combined with other metals to form superb alloys. For example, whenever copper and tin are mixed, we obtain bronze. Bronze has a wide range of applications. Brass, which combines copper with zinc, is yet another significant alloy.
Uses of Zinc
Zinc is a bluish metal with a silvery sheen. It’s a brittle and hard metal. It is malleable from 100° and 150° C, but it becomes rigid at higher temperatures. It has a low melting point and a low boiling point compared to other metals. Zinc is, however, a non-corrosive metal.
Zinc’s capability for galvanisation is one of its most essential properties. Other metals, such as iron, are coated with a thin layer of zinc. It helps to keep the iron from rusting. Zinc, therefore, serves as a sacrificial metal because it is a more reactive metal. Zinc combines with oxygen in the air to generate Zinc Oxide, which protects the iron. Zinc is also used to manufacture alloys with various applications, including brass and nickel silver. In addition, it is used in the production of die-casting. Zinc Sulphide (ZnS), a zinc chemical, is the primary ingredient in bright paints. In addition, it’s used in X-ray machines and on TV screens.
Uses of Iron
It is a fact that iron accounts for about 90% of the total metal processed by us. It’s a huge contradiction that even the most extensively used metal would also be the most corrosive. However, its significance stems from the fact that it produces steel’s essential alloy.
Iron, like all metals, is an excellent heat and electrical conductor. It’s also malleable and ductile. In addition, iron is a soft substance in its purest state, allowing it to be easily moulded. Pure iron, on the other hand, is far too active to be valid.
Steel production necessitates the use of iron. Steel is a carbon plus iron alloy. The composition of the individual constituents varies depending on the steel type. Each category has its own set of applications.
Carbon has a composition ranging from 0.1 to 2.1%. It has a wide range of applications. Fences, including barbed wire, are made of mild carbon steel. Medium carbon steel is also appropriate for the building. Steel with a medium carbon content is used in bridges and constructions. Although high carbon steel is fragile, wires can still be manufactured.
Along with iron, stainless steel has at least 10.5% chromium as a primary component. To prevent rusting, chromium forms a thin film on the steel. In addition, small quantities of carbon, silicon, and manganese are also present. Stainless steel is utilised in various applications, including power generation and kitchenware manufacture. In addition, it’s a crucial component of the food stores sector. It is also used to make roofs, windows, or facades.
Copper, zinc, and iron are all d-block elements, with atomic numbers of 29, 30, and 26. Aluminium has the atomic number 13 and is a p-block element. They’re all metals, but they’re all good to excellent conductors of electricity. Because of their physical and chemical qualities, they have a variety of applications in both industrial and residential sectors.