Chemistry-Metals and their uses

Metal and their uses

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Metals and their uses

Extracting metals

  • Metals are usually found in the Earth's crust. They are often combined chemically with other elements such as oxygen
  • An ore contains enough metal to make it worth extracting the metal
  • The method we use to extract a metal depends on its reactivity
  • Unreactive metal are found in the Earth as the metal
  • The oxides of metal less reactive than carbon can be reduced using carbon
  • A reduction reaction takes place as carbon removes the oxygen from the oxide to produce the metal. This method is used commercially if possible
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Metals and their uses

Iron and steels

  • Iron oxide is reduced in a blast furnance to make iron 
  • Iron from the blast furnance is too brittle for many uses
  • Most iron is converted into alloys called steels
  • Steels contain carefully controlled quantities of carbon and other elements
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Metals and their uses

Aluminium and titanium

  • Aluminium and titanium resist corrosion. They also have low densities compared with other strong metals
  • Aluminium and titanium cannot be extracted from their oxides using carbons
  • Aluminium and titanium are expensive because extracting them involves many stages and requires large amounts of energy
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Metals and their uses

Extracting copper

  • Most copper is extracted from copper-rich ores by smelting
  • Copper can be purified by electrolysis
  • Bioleaching and phytomining are new ways to extract copper from low-grades ores
  • Copper can be obtained from solutions of copper salts by displacement or electrolysis
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Metals and their uses

Useful metals

  • The transition metals are found in the central block of the periodic table
  • Transistion metals have properties that make them useful for building and making things
  • Most of the metals we use are alloys
  • Copper is a very good conductor of heat and does not react with water. It can be bent but it is hard enough to keep its shape
  • Most of the metals we use are not pure elements
  • Pure iron, copper, gold and aluminium are soft and easily bent. They are often mixed with other elements to make alloys that are harder so that they keep their shape
  • Iron is made into steel
  • Gold used for jewellery is usually an alloy
  • Most of the aluminium used for buildings and aircrafts is alloyed
  • Copper alloys include bronze and brass
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Metals and their uses

Metallic issues

  • There are social, economic and environmental issues associated with exploiting metal ores
  • Recycling saves energy and limited resources
  • There are drawbacks as well as benefits from the use of metalsin sturctures
  • Advantages of using metals in constructions:
  • They are strong
  • They can be bent into shape
  • They can be made into flexible wires
  • They are good electrical conductors
  • Drawbacks of using metals in consturctions:
  • Obtaining metals from ores causes pollution and uses up limited resources
  • Metals are more expensive than other materials such as concrete
  • Iron and steel can rust
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