On our planet, and within the core, lies hundreds of thousands of natural ores and minerals that we mine to make metal. Of the vast varieties of metals found within the Earth, all can be categorized as either ferrous or nonferrous. Ferrous metals and alloys contain iron, while nonferrous contain no iron.
Aside from these umbrella categories, metals can be further broken down into more intimate classifications and descriptions, such as precious and noble metals. But have you ever heard of metals being described using color? Well, it is possible that you have come across red metals, yellow metals, and even green metals!
Continue reading to learn facts about each type of metal, including examples and common applications.
Red metal is an informal term used to denote common alloys we know as copper, bronze, and brass. You can probably see quite well that all three of these alloys have a red-like tone, thus earning them the aforementioned moniker. Red metals have several beneficial attributes, such as corrosion resistance, high conductivity, high tensile strength, ductility, and aesthetics. For this reason, they are commonly used to make musical instruments, plumbing parts, wires, marine hardware, sculptures, and more.
Also known as Muntz metal, yellow metal is named after an English businessman, George F. Muntz, who received a patent in 1832. Although they may share some of the same types of metal, red and yellow metals are much different. Yellow metals is another informal moniker used to describe a type of brass alloy that contains an average composition of 60% copper and 40% zinc. It’s most common applications is for manufacturing corrosion-resistant machinery parts.
There are actually not metals known as “green” metals, however, you may have heard of electrum, which is often called “green gold.” Wikipedia.com describes electrum as “a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, with trace amounts of copper and other metals.” An alloy is a metal that is made up of two or more metals, such as brass, which contains copper and zinc. It’s most common applications throughout history, and even now, are for jewelry, plated plaques and awards, coinage, and investments.
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