Iron from a blast furnace contains about 96% iron, the impurites make it brittle and it has few uses.
Most iron is converted into steels. Steels are alloys since they are mixtures are iron with carbon.
Some steels contain other metals.
Alloys can be designed to have properties for specific uses. Low-Carbon steels are easily shaped, high-carbon steels are hard, and stainless steels are resistant to corrosion.
Most metals in everyday use are alloys. Pure copper, gold, iron and aluminium are too soft for everday use so are mixed with small amounts of other metals to make them harder.
In the centre of the periodic table are transition metals.
Like other metals they are good conductors or heat and electricity and can be bent or hammered into shape.
They are useful as structural materials.
Copper has properties that make it useful for electrical wiring and plumbing.
- as it is a good conductor of electricity.
- can be bent but is hard enough to be used to make pipes and tanks.
- does not react with water.
Low-density and resistance to corrosion make aluminium and titanium useful metals.