Metals are one of the most useful and versatile materials on the planet. These naturally occurring minerals can be extracted, melted, mixed, hardened, tempered – all to create an item that helps us in some way. From aluminum cans to platinum jewelry, metals are all around us. Especially in the world of technology and industry, metals are commonly used for their malleability and strength. And when it comes to durability, there are a few front-runners. Below are the top strongest and most durable metals that are widely used today.
Tungsten is an impressive mineral. As a pure metal that is not mixed with other metals to increase hardness, it has the highest tensile strength of any metal. Tensile strength refers to how much force the metal can handle before it begins to change shape or give in to the pressure. If that weren’t enough, it also has the highest melting point of any pure metal. In fact, the only other element that has a higher melting point is carbon. The only downside is that tungsten is fairly dense (which is why it’s so strong), but that makes it pretty hard to work with. However, it is still used widely in electrical work and is often added to steel to create a strong alloy.
While not a pure metal, steel still ranks quite high in terms of strength. The basic alloy is usually created by combining iron and carbon; however, scientists are always looking for ways to increase the strength and often experiment with other metals added to the mixture. Steel has been used by humans for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the Renaissance period (around 1300-1700s) that it became more widely understood and experimented upon.
One version of steel that is incredibly popular is stainless steel. So what makes it stainless? None other than chromium. Chromium is one of the most durable metals in existence because it ranks so highly on the Mohs scale, a determiner of hardness. In this case, hardness means how scratch-resistant the material is. Diamonds are the hardest material; chromium is the hardest metal. Its scratch-resistance makes it perfect to add to steel alloys, and it is also commonly used in chrome plating for a durable and shiny finish on fittings and fixtures for the home.
Another strong natural metal, titanium is a low-density mineral that is quite malleable and easy to work with at a high melting point. Because it has such a low density, it is much lighter than steel while having a similar strength. Adding titanium to an alloy will increase the strength massively. In modern use, it is used in everything from pens to planes and from skyscrapers to spaceships.
Still wondering about which type of metal will work best for your next job? We offer a large and diverse steel & aluminum inventory coupled with an extensive array of in house metal processing equipment that allows us to service customers on an unparalleled level. For questions or information on our products and services call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.