Different Types of Metal and Their Uses, Properties

Hello, friends in this article you will know different types of metal and their properties, uses, and much more.

Metal is an element that is used in all work of engineering.

As small as needles and as big as machines are made of metals.

Therefore, it is necessary for us to take knowledge of metals.

Metals are found in nature for free as well as in the combined state.

Platinum, gold, and silver are some of the metals found in the free state and combined state, metals are found in the form of their compounds.

What is Metal?

Those elements which form positive ions by losing electrons are called metals such as copper, iron, aluminum, sodium, etc.

Metal is any of a class of substances characterized by high electrical and thermal conductivity as well as by malleability, ductility, and high reflectivity of light. 

With a large shield area and mountains strongly intruded by igneous rocks, the continent is well endowed with metals.

Properties of Metal

There are mainly three types of properties found in metals:
  • Physical Properties
  • Mechanical Properties
  • Chemical Properties

Physical Properties

Physical properties are properties related to the texture of metals, such as their appearance, color, luster, weight, etc.

Mechanical Properties

Mechanical properties represent the intrinsic capacity of metals such as hardness, ductility, malleability, etc.

Chemical Properties

Chemical properties show the behavior of metals in various chemical reactions.

Types of Metals

Metal can be classified into three categories which are given below:
  • Ferrous Metal
  • Non-Ferrous Metal
  • Alloys

Ferrous Metal

Those metals which have iron as constituents are known as ferrous metals.

Ferrous metals have a high carbon content which generally makes them vulnerable to rust when exposed to moisture.

Most ferrous metals are magnetic which makes them very useful for motor and electrical applications.

Types of Ferrous Metal

Ferrous metal can be classified into four types:
  • Pig Iron
  • Cast Iron
  • Wrought Iron
  • Steel

Show in the figure different types of ferrous metal which are described below in detail.

types of metal
Types of Metal: Ferrous Metal

Pig Iron

It is obtained by the chemical reduction of iron ore then this impure iron is sent to a blast furnace where it melts at around 1200°c after which iron is obtained from a blast furnace which is called pig iron.

Types of Pig Iron

Pig iron is divided into three categories according to the amount of carbon and the percentage of graphite in pig iron:
  • Gray Pig Iron
  • Mottled Pig Iron
  • White Pig Iron

Gray Pig Iron

It contains 0.3% to 1% carbon and 3% graphite.

Its color is dark brown.

It is used for casting.

Mottled Pig Iron

It contains equal amounts of carbon and graphite.

Its color is brown and It is used for hard casting.

White Pig Iron

It contains 2% to 4% carbon and a very small amount of about 0.5 graphite.

Its color is somewhat white and it is used to make wrought iron.

Cast Iron

It is obtained by melting pig iron with coke and limestone in a cupola furnace.

Cast Iron contains 2% to 4% carbon, 0.8% to 3% sulfur, phosphorus from 1% to 1.5%, manganese from 0.5% to 1%, and 80% to 90% iron.

Due to its high carbon content, it is brittle and has low ductility.

It has good compressive strength but poor tensile and shear strength.

It is used for machine beds, pulleys, brackets, pipe fittings, cylinder blocks for IC engines, etc.

Types of Cast Iron

On the basis of composition, cast iron is mainly divided into five parts:
  • Gray Cast Iron
  • White Cast Iron
  • Mottled Cast Iron
  • Malleable Cast Iron
  • Ductile Cast Iron
  • Alloy Cast Iron

Gray Cast Iron

The freshly fractured surface is brown in color and is known as gray cast iron.

Gray cast iron contains 92% iron and 2% to 4% carbon. 

Other elements are present in very small amounts.

Carbon is present in the form of graphite so due to the presence of free graphite in its composition, it acts as a lubricant.

Its melting point is around 1200°C.

Its machining can be done easily.

It is considered the most suitable variety for casting works.

It is relatively less expensive and hence is used for machine parts.

It has high compressive strength and low tensile strength.

It is used for making cylinders, frames of machines, pistons, flywheels, etc.

White Cast Iron

The freshly fractured surface is white in color, it is known as white cast iron.

White cast iron contains 94% iron, 3% carbon, and 0.5% graphite.

Due to the presence of carbon in carbide form, it is extremely hard, brittle, and wear-resistant.

It cannot be machined easily.

It is used as a raw material for malleable cast iron.

It is used mainly for wear and abrasion-resistant parts such as balls for ball mills, wear-resisting pads & liners, crushing rollers, etc.

It takes less rust and cannot be cut easily.

It makes parts that can be made without machining.

Mottled Cast Iron

Mottled cast iron is a mixture of gray cast iron and white cast iron.

It contains 93.5% iron, 1.75% carbon, and 1.75% graphite. 

It is hard and brittle and rusts less in it.

Malleable Cast Iron

It is obtained by heating white cast iron at a high temperature of 1500 °C  and then cooling it slowly by a special heat treatment process annealing.

Carbon is present in cementite form.

It contains less amount of carbon and more graphite, which because of this becomes soft.

Malleable cast iron as its name suggests so is malleable caused by hammering or pressure by a machine that can be converted into a sheet.

It has good machinability.

It is tougher than grey cast iron and more resistant to bending and twisting.

It is softer, and tough than other types of cast iron and is machinable.

It is used for making parts where dimensional accuracy is required such as automobile parts, gears, door hinges, hubs for wagon wheels, etc.

Ductile Cast Iron

It is obtained by adding a small amount of magnesium or calcium to molten iron.

This causes graphite in cast iron to form nodules or spheres so it is also known as nodular cast iron.

It is ductile.

It has good wear resistance and excellent machinability.

It is used for making crankshafts, gears, pipe and pipe fittings, cylinder heads, valves, etc.

Alloy Cast Iron

Alloy cast iron is prepared by adding other metals such as nickel, chromium, molybdenum, silicon, etc. to cast iron.  

All the properties of alloy cast iron are better than normal cast iron.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is the purest form of iron.
It contains 99% pure iron and 0.25% carbon and other impurities.

Wrought iron is prepared by the puddling process.

It is a soft and pure type of iron, which is made into sheets when beaten, wires when drawn, rods, rail couplings, crane hooks, etc.


Steel is mainly a mixture of iron and carbon.  

Steel is composed of iron and carbon. The carbon content in steel can range from 0.1-1.5%, but the most widely used grades of steel contain only 0.1-0.25% carbon.

To get some special properties, other metals are also added to it.

Elements such as manganese, phosphorus, and sulfur are found in all grades of steel, but, whereas manganese provides beneficial effects, phosphorus and sulfur are deleterious to steel's strength and durability.

Types of Steel

Steel is mainly divided into the following types:
  • Carbon Steel
  • Alloy Steel

Carbon Steel

The steel whose main components are iron and carbon is called carbon steel.

It is also called plain steel.

Carbon steel is probably used for at least 80% of all components in refineries and petrochemical plants because it is inexpensive, readily available, and easily fabricated.

According to the percentage of carbon in iron, carbon steel is divided into three parts:
  • Low Carbon Steel
  • Medium Carbon Steel
  • High Carbon Steel

Low Carbon Steel

The amount of carbon in low-carbon steel ranges from 0.15% to 0.25%.

It is also called mild steel.

Due to the low carbon content, it is soft.

Parts made from it cannot be hard and tempered but they can hard case.

It is used for making nuts, bolts, sheets, wires, machine parts, rods, etc.

Medium Carbon Steel

The amount of carbon in medium carbon steel ranges from 0.25% to 0.6%.

It is harder and tougher than mild steel, and its tensile strength is also high.

Its hardening and tempering can be done.

It is used to make gears, agricultural implements, shafts, spindles, camshafts, spanners, connecting rods, etc.

High Carbon Steel

The carbon content in high-carbon steel ranges from 0.6% to 1.5%.

It is very hard, due to which it wears less.

It can be hardened.

It is used in making sharp tools, dies, punches, files, chisels, and other cutting tools.

Alloy Steel

The steel in which some special properties are obtained by adding other metals like nickel, chromium, vanadium, manganese, molybdenum, tungsten, etc is called alloy steel.

Types of Alloy Steel

Alloy steel can be divided into the following types:
  • High-Speed Steel
  • Nickel Steel
  • Nickel Cobalt Steel
  • Nickel Chromium Steel
  • Vanadium Steel
  • Manganese Steel
  • Silicon Steel
  • Cobalt Steel
  • Molybdenum Steel
  • Stainless Steel

High-Speed Steel

High-speed steel is made by adding tungsten to steel, hence it is also known as tungsten steel.

Tungsten steel is very hard and maintains its hardness even at high temperatures.

It is used in making cutting tools, drill bits, hex blades, cutters, reamers, etc.

According to the amount of tungsten, it is of three types:
  • Super High-Speed ​​Steel
  • Medium-High Speed Steel
  • Low High-Speed Steel

Super High-Speed ​​Steel

It contains 22% tungsten, chromium 4%, and vanadium up to 1%.

Medium-High Speed Steel

It contains tungsten 18%, chromium 4%, and vanadium 1%.

Low High-Speed Steel

It contains tungsten 14%, chromium 4%, and vanadium 1%.

Nickel Steel

It contains up to 4% nickel metal.

Its hardness, elastic limit, and tensile strength are high and it does not rust easily.

It is used in making rivets, pipes, axles, and parts of aircraft and engines.

Nickel Cobalt Steel

If 30% to 35% nickel and 5% cobalt are added to the steel, it is called nickel-cobalt steel.
It is also called Invar steel.

Its coefficient of expansion is very less that's why it is used as a precision instrument.

Nickel Chrome Steel

The steel in which 0.5% to 1% carbon, 0.3% to 0.8% manganese, 3% to 5% nickel, and 0.5% to 1.8% chromium are mixed is called nickel chrome steel.

This increases the elastic limit, reduces wear, and also increases hardness and tensile strength.

It is used in making cutlery, automobile parts, cutting tools, etc.

Vanadium Steel 

The steel in which 1.5% carbon, 12.5% ​​tungsten, 4.5% chromium, 5% cobalt, and 5% vanadium is added is called vanadium steel.

Due to this, its elastic limit and tensile strength increase, and the ability to tolerate strong shocks arise.

It is mostly used for making tools and cutters.

Manganese Steel

The steel in which 1.0% to 1.9% manganese, and 0.4% to 0.8% carbon are mixed is called manganese steel.

It is also called special high alloy steel.

It wears less.

It is used in making rail lines, grinders, etc.

Silicon Steel

Silicon is mixed in this steel in varying amounts from 1% to 14% according to the work.

It is heat resistant.

It does not rust.

Cobalt Steel

The steel which contains 0.5% to 1.5% high carbon and 5% to 35% cobalt is called cobalt steel.

It has more toughness, tensile strength, and magnetic properties, so it is mostly used for making permanent magnets and more sharp tools.

Molybdenum Steel

The amount of molybdenum in it is very heavy.

It contains molybdenum 4.5% to 9%, carbon 0.8 to 1.5%, chromium 4%, and vanadium 1 to 5%.

On mixing these metals in it, a lot of hardness and toughness come.

It is used to make bearings, motor vehicles, airplanes, etc.

Stainless Steel

If nickel 8%, chromium 18%, molybdenum 2%, and carbon 0.2 to 0.6% are mixed in steel, then it is called stainless steel.

Stainless steels generally contain more than 10% chromium as the main alloying element and are valued for high corrosion resistance. It does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as ordinary steel that's why it is called stainless steel.

Stainless steels have a sufficient amount of chromium present so that a passive film of chromium oxide forms which adheres to the metal surface very tightly and prevents further corrosion. 

It is very hard, tough, acid-resistant, and corrosion-resistant.

It does not rust.

It cannot be hardened.

It is often used to make household utensils, watch parts, automobile parts, cars, knives, and airplanes.

These stainless steels can be divided into three groups based on their crystalline structure:
  • Austenitic Stainless Steel
  • Ferritic Stainless Steel
  • Martensitic Stainless Steel

Austenitic Stainless Steel

It contains 18-26% chromium (Cr) and 8-22% nickel (Ni) and less than 0.8% carbon.

It is non-magnetic and non-heat-treatable.

Ferritic Stainless Steel

It contains trace amounts of nickel, 12-17% chromium, and less than 0.2% carbon, along with other alloying elements, such as molybdenum, aluminum, or titanium.

These magnetic steels cannot be hardened by heat treatment but can be strengthened by cold working.

Martensitic Stainless Steel

It contains 11-17% chromium, less than 0.4% nickel, and up to 1.2% carbon.

These are magnetic and are similar in composition to the ferritic group but contain higher carbon and lower chromium to permit hardening by heat treatment.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals are metals that do not have iron in them at all. This means that Non-ferrous metals are not attracted to a magnet and they also do not rust when exposed to moisture.

Types of Non-Ferrous Metals

  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Lead
  • Nickle
  • Mercury
  • Tin
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Antimony
  • Manganese
  • Platinum
  • Magnesium

Show in the figure different types of non-ferrous metal which are described below in detail.

types of metals
Types of Metals: Non-Ferrous Metal


Its main ores are copper pyrite, copper glans, and copper malachite.

It is a red and lustrous metal that is the best conductor of heat and electricity.

Its melting point is 1083°C and It can be forged and cast.

It is a malleable and ductile metal, that softens on heating.

It is corrosion resistant and It doesn't rust.

It is useful for making domestic utensils, boilers, electric wires, electroplating, soldering iron, coins, guns, watches, etc.

It is also used for making pipes for chemical factories and engine fire boxes, etc.


Its main ores are bauxite and cryolite.

It is a bluish-white colored metal and a good conductor of heat and electricity.

Aluminum is light in weight and the melting point of this metal is 660°C.

Its boiling point is 1800°C and  It is malleable and ductile metal

 It is very soft and weak in its pure state.

Soldering and brazing activities cannot be done on this.

Electric wires and utensils are made from it.

Due to being light, it can be used in airplanes, ships, and railways.

Aluminum powder is used for making paint. 


Zinc is a white-blue colored metal.

This metal melts at 420°C.

It is brittle and hard but softens between 100°C to 150°C.

It is used to make alloys like bronze and brass.

Zink is a good conductor of heat and electricity.

This metal melts in salt and sulfuric acid.

Granular zinc is used to make hydrogen.  

This is useful for making cells, and alloys like german silver, brass, bronze, etc.

It is also used in batteries. 


Silver is a lustrous white-colored metal whose melting point is 960°C.

Silver is the best conductor of electricity.

 It is used for making ornaments, utensils, silver coins, etc.

It is also used to make silver solder for brazing.

It is also used for electroplating.

It is useful in silver nitrate and bromide compounds in photography.


Pure gold is considered to be 24-carat.  Which contains 22 parts gold and 2 parts impurities.

Its melting point is 1063°C and It is a shiny, heavy, and soft metal of yellow color.

It is a good conductor of heat and electricity.

It is a highly ductile, malleable metal whose boiling point is about 2600°C.

It is used in making jewelry and coins.

Its coating is done on other metals.  


It is a blue-gray metal in appearance and the melting point of this metal is 326°C.

Lead is a very soft metal and can be cut with a knife.

Its tensile strength is low, but highly ductile, malleable metal.

It is used for making fuse wires, vermilion, battery plates, etc.

Lead oxide is an essential ingredient for paint.


Nickle is a lustrous metal that looks like silver.

The melting point of this metal is 1453°C.

It is used for electroplating and alloying with other metals.


Mercury is a good conductor of heat and electricity.

It is the lustrous and heaviest metal.

It freezes at 39°C.

It does not wet the vessel in which it is kept and Its melting point is 357°C.

It is useful in thermometers, barometers, pressure gauges, and mercury vapor lamps.

It is also useful in the extraction of gold and silver.

It produces ultraviolet rays that's why it is filled in the lamps.


It is a shiny metal like white silver in appearance.

This metal is soft and malleable and Its melting point is 232°C.

It becomes brittle at 200°C and can be powdered. If it is bent, it produces a sound called a tin cry.

It is used for making sheets, kitchen utensils, mirrors, etc.

Its salts are used for coloring.


It is a lustrous blue-colored metal that does not rust.

It is used to make alloy steel.


It is a white-colored metal whose melting point is 1480°C.

It is used in cutting tool alloys and tool steel.


It is a brittle metal with a bluish tint whose melting point is 635°C.

Its powder can be made and It is a cheap metal of low value.

It is used for casting and to increase the hardness and melting point of alloy metals made of lead and tin.


Tungsten is a lustrous metal similar to silver.

Its tensile strength and melting point are very high.

It is used in making electric filaments.


Its melting point is 1245°C.

It is used in ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.


It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal.

Its melting point is 1773°C and It is a very precious metal.

It is used to make science items, ornaments, thermometers, etc.


Magnesium is a fairly strong, silvery-white, lightweight metal that is one-third lighter than aluminum that slightly tarnishes when exposed to air. 

In a powder, this metal heats and ignites when exposed to moisture and burns with a white flame.

Its melting point temperature is 648°c.

Magnesium is used in fireworks. It is alloyed with other metals to make them lighter and more easily welded.


A Substance that is composed of two or more chemical elements such that metallic atoms Predominate in composition and the metallic bond Predominates is called an "alloy".

The homogeneous mixture of two or more metals, or a metal and a non-metal is called an alloy.

Generally, alloys are prepared by fusing together the different ingredients (metals) in a furnace. The alloys exhibit different properties when compared with the properties of metals in them.

Types of Alloy

Alloy can be classified into two types:
  • Ferrous Alloy
  • Non-Ferrous Alloy

Show in the figure different types of alloys which are described below in detail.

type of metal
Type of Metal: Alloy

Ferrous Alloy

Those alloys which contain iron as the main (major) constituent are called ferrous alloys.

Ferrous Alloy can be classified into the following types:
  • High-Speed Steel
  • Nickel Steel
  • Nickel Cobalt Steel
  • Nickel Chromium Steel
  • Vanadium Steel
  • Manganese Steel
  • Silicon Steel
  • Cobalt Steel
  • Molybdenum Steel
  • Stainless Steel

These all ferrous alloys are already discussed in types of alloy steel.

Non-Ferrous Alloy

Those alloys which do not contain iron as the main constituent are called non-ferrous alloys.

Non-Ferrous Alloys can be classified into the following types:
  • Nichrome
  • Dutch Metal
  • German Silver
  • Gun Metal
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Solder
  • Duralumin
  • Babbitt Metal
  • Y Alloy
  • Magnelium


It contains 60% nickel, 12% chromium, 2% manganese, and 26% iron.

It is used in making resistance coils, heating elements in stoves, electric irons, water heaters, toasters, etc.

Dutch Metal

It contains 80% copper and 20% zinc.

It is used for making cheap jewelry, musical instruments, battery caps, and flexible hoses.

German Silver

It contains 50% copper, 30% nickel, and 20% zinc.

It is used for making coins, ornaments, and decorative materials.

Gun Metal

It contains 88% copper, 10% tin, and 2 % zink.

It is used for making bearings, coins, hydraulic fittings, etc.


Copper in this metal is 60 to 80%, and zinc is 20 to 40%.

The machinability of this alloy is improved by adding a small amount of lead.

It is ductile and impact resistant.

It is used for making utensils, tubes, and sheets.


It contains 90% copper and  10% tin.

It is used for making decorative items, medals, artwork, pots, pans, etc. 


It contains tin 35% to 50%, leads 50% to 63%, and antimony in some quantity.

It is a shiny and soft metal that melts quickly.

It is used for soldering.


It contains aluminum 95%, copper 4%, magnesium 0.5%, and manganese 0.5%.

It is strong, light, and corrosion-resistant.

Airplanes are made from it.

Babbitt Metal

It contains 88% tin, 4% copper, and 8% antimony.

It is a soft and less wearable metal.

It is also used to make good-quality bearings.

Y Alloy

It is also called copper-aluminum alloy. The addition of copper to pure aluminum increases its strength and machinability.

This alloy contains 92.5% aluminum and 4% Cu 2% Ni and 1.5% Mg.

Its strength at 200° C is better than aluminum. It retains its high strength and hardness at high temperatures.

It is used for the piston cylinder head, crankcases of the IC engine, etc.

It is much used in aircraft engines.


It is made by melting the aluminum with magnesium in a vacuum and then cooling it in a vacuum or under a pressure of 100 to 200 atmospheres.

It is an alloy of aluminum, magnesium, copper, nickel, tin, etc.

Magnalium is an aluminum alloy with 5% magnesium and 95% aluminum with a small amount of Mg, Ni, sn, Fe, Mn, and Si.

It is mostly used in the aircraft and automobile industries. 

It is also used in making ornamental fixtures.

So here you have to know the different types of metals and their properties and uses. 

If you have any doubts then you are free to ask me by mail or on the contact us page.

FAQ Related to Metal

Is diamond a metal?

No, a diamond is not a metal. Diamond is a crystalline form of carbon, which means that it is made up entirely of carbon atoms arranged in a particular way. 

While some metals, such as silver or gold, can also be found in a crystalline form, diamond is not a metal but a mineral. 

Metals, on the other hand, are chemical elements that typically have high electrical conductivity, high malleability, and ductility. Examples of metals include iron, copper, aluminum, and gold.

Which metal is the maximum on Earth?

The most abundant metal on Earth by mass is aluminum. It makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust by weight, making it the third most abundant element overall after oxygen and silicon. 

Aluminum is found in various minerals such as bauxite, which is the primary source of aluminum for industrial use.

Which metal is in liquid form?

Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature and standard atmospheric pressure. 

It has a melting point of -38.83 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 356.73 degrees Celsius. 

Mercury is a dense, silvery-white metal that is commonly used in thermometers, barometers, and other scientific instruments due to its unique properties such as high thermal conductivity and low vapor pressure. 

However, mercury is also toxic and can pose a risk to human health and the environment if not handled properly. As a result, its use has become more restricted in recent years.

What is the number 1 strongest metal?

The strongest metal is considered to be tungsten, which has the highest tensile strength of any naturally occurring metal.

Thank You.

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