Metals: Properties of Metals and Alloys and their Applications

Metals: Properties of Metals and Alloys and their Applications

Literature Review

Carbon steel, according to Seblin and colleagues (2003) is the most commonly used among all types of steel. The carbon steel properties mainly depend on the contained amount of carbon.  Carbon steel usually has carbon content below 1%.  Carbon steel is used in the making of kitchen appliances, car bodies, cans and structural beans (Seblin, et al, 2003).  The pure carbon steel appears in three types. These are the medium carbon steel, low carbon steel and high carbon steel.  They are named based on the content of carbon that forms those (Seblin et al, 2003).

There are the high strength and low strength alloy of steel. The high strength low alloy steels are also known as the micro alloyed steels that are designed to improve on the chemical properties. They are also designed for greater resistance from the atmospheric corrosion (ASM, international, 2001). The chemical composition of high-strength low alloy steel varies based on their composition. Iron can be alloyed with carbon steel so has to increase its hardness and strengthens its treatment with heat. Addition of carbon on steel provides it with additional strength and hardness (ASM, international, 2001).

Davis (1996) on cast irons indicates that just like steel, it comprises of a large family of alloys.  Cast irons are alloys of multi component ferrous types, which become solid with cutectic (Davis, 1996).  Cast iron is mainly made up of carbon, silicon and iron. The cast iron has a higher silicon and carbon contents compared to steel. This is because of the high level of carbon content. The cast iron structure portrays a high phase of carbon more than that in steel.  Cast iron solidifies with the thermodynamically meltable selection potential, of the cooling rate, chemical component and liquid.  The cast iron is classified into white iron and grey iron (Davis, 1996).

Cast irons and steel are the common light weight irons that are commonly used in various engineering applications. There hardness and exceptional strength and other properties make them be common used in the development of low density vessels. Other metals of low density are the beryllium, aluminum, titanium, and magnesium. The commonly used are titanium and aluminum, but, have the limitation of becoming mechanically troublesome. Beryllium, on the other hand, is highly expensive especially when used as a metal base.

The low-density metals are mainly useful in the space, rocket and aviation technology. The light weight metals are also applicable in the building of ship, automobile engineering and in other industries.  The main reason for the use of light weight alloys of metal is because it results in the reduction of fuel consumption and the mass of the exceptional (Prentice hall India & Chandra, 2004, p 133).

Davis (2004), indicates that copper alloys and copper can be welded in different solid state and fusion processes. The process of fusion welding involves the solidification of base metal, localized melting and filter metal. The method of fusion melting is commonly used in welding copper and its alloys. Other processes include resistance welding process, ultrasonic welding, friction welding, and explosion welding. Copper alloys and copper in manufacturing are mainly joined by welding. Many metals are alloyed by use of copper in order to produce different forms of copper alloys.

The common alloy elements are nickel, zinc, tin, silicon, and aluminum. Other metals and elements are alloyed in order to improve on their material characteristics. Copper and its alloys are divided into nine different categories. These are the copper-zinc alloys that contain 40% Zinc.  Second category is the high –copper allots with 5% of various alloying elements.  Third is the coppers category with 99% Cu.  The fourth category is the copper-tin alloys with 0.2% P and 10% SN. The others are the copper aluminum alloys, copper silicon alloys, copper nickel alloys, special alloys, and copper-zinc-nickel alloys (Davis, 2001).

Cobalt-base alloys were essentially used for surgical implants. The Ni-Co alloys deposits differ based on their chemical properties and their annealing behavior. Cobalt has an atomic weight of 58.93, and it is considered as a transition metal.  It has an atomic number of twenty seven. Its existence is between nickel and iron. Cobalt is less abundant compared to iron and comprises 0.0020 % in the crust of the earth.  Therefore, cobalt is a valuable and rare substance compared to other metals (Shedd, 2006). Cobalt is combined with other metals so as to produce alloys.

The cobalt content super alloys are used as parts in making gas turbine engines. Commonly used as military devices and other commercial products.  The demand of cobalt made elements has in the recent past become highly demanded due to the need for rechargeable batteries. Cobalt is used in the making of dyes, petroleum, electronics, and magnet for it has its ferromagnetic property.  The alloys of   cobalt have further been applied in the biomedical spheres, such as for dental use; neurological, cardiovascular, and orthopedic implants devices (Disegi, Kennedy, & Robert, 2001).

Nickel is also considered as a transition n metal with an atomic weight of twenty eight and a   weight of 58.69.  The appearance of nickel is golden and silver shine. It is among the abundant elements on this planet.  Nickel is mainly applied in various parts of the world especially in America and China. It is the key ingredient in the making of stainless steel, low alloys steels and cast irons. It has unique characteristics similar to those of cobalt such as heat resistance to magnetic alloys, resistant coatings ideal for corrosion resistance. Nickel is mainly used in making rechargeable batteries by combining it with cadmium (Petrucci, Harwood, Herring, & Madura, 2009).

The high silicon irons are those irons with a high level of silicon. Its maim property is that it is resistant to corrosion. The high iron silicon is commonly used in the chemical industry in making highly corrosive substances and fluid. The component of this iron depended on the availability of 14.20-14.75% of the silicon. The iron is resistant to any effect from industrial acids, nitric acid, and sulfuric acids (Kohl, 2001).


 Davis J (1996) ASM Specialty Handbook: Cast Irons. p 45
 Davis, J (2001) ASM Specialty handbook on copper and copper alloys. Asm Internal, p 277
 Seblin, B, Jahazeah, Y, Sejeebun S and Wong, K (2003) material science. Carbon steel. Retrieved from
On November 20, 2012
ASM international (2001) High-strength low-alloy Steels. Retrieved from
On November 20th 2012
Prentice Hall India and Chandra P (2004) Engineering Materials: Properties and Applications of Metals and Alloys. PHL publisher’s p, 133
Disegi, A, Kennedy, K & Robert (2001) Pillar – Cobalt-Base Alloys for Biomedical: Nickel, Cobalt, and Their Alloys
Shedd, K (2006) the United States Geological Survey 2006 Minerals Yearbook
Petrucci, Harwood, Herring, and Madura (1001) General Chemistry 9th Edition
Walter H. Kohl – Handbook of Materials and Techniques for Vacuum Device

Is this your assignment or some part of it?

We can do it for you! Click to Order!

Order Now

Translate »

You cannot copy content of this page