Metals & their uses 

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  • Metals & their uses
    • extracting metals
      • ores contain enough metal to make it economical to extract the metal
        • the economics of extraction may change over time
      • ores are mined & may be concentrated before the metal is extracted & purified
      • unreactive metals such as gold r found in the earth as the metal itself but most metals found as compounds that require chemical reactions to extract the metal
      • metals that are less reactive than carbon can b extracted from their oxides by reduction w carbon
      • metals that are more reactive than carbon are extracted by electrolysis of molten compounds
        • the use of large amounts of energy in the extraction of these metals makes them expensive
      • copper can b extracted from copper rich ores by heating the ores in a furnace (smelting)
        • the copper can be purified by electrolysis.
          • the supply of copper rich ores is limitied
      • new ways of extracting copper from low-grade ores are being researched to limit the environmental impact of traditional mining
        • copper can be extracted by phytomining or bioleachig
      • copper can be obtained from solutions of copper salts by electrolyis or by displacement using scrap iron
      • aliminium & titanium cant be extracted from their oxides by reduction w carbon
    • alloys
      • iron from the blast furnace contains about 96% iron
        • the impurities make it brittle so has limited uses
      • most iron is converted into steels
        • steels are alloys since they are mixtures of iron w carbon
          • some steels contain other metals
            • alloys can b designed to have properties for specific uses
              • low carbon steels are easily shaped, high-carbon steels are hard, & stainless steels resistant to erosion
      • most metals in everyday use are alloys
        • pure copper, gold, iron & aliminium are too soft for many uses & so are mixed w small amounts of similar metals to make them harder for everyday use
    • properties & uses of metals
      • the elements in the central block of the periodic table are known as transition metals
        • like other metals they are good conductors of heat & electricity & can be bent or hammered into shape
          • they are useful as structural materials & for making things that must allow heat or electricity to pass through them easily
      • copper has properties that make it useful for electrical wiring & plumbing


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