Metal Conduction

What Are The Main Factors That Affect the Conductivity of Metals?

The conductivity of metals is how much the specific material can transmit sound or heat. The conductivity of the metal you choose will depend on the type of project you are starting. Metals are integrated into our everyday lives, whether it be from the very conductive copper wires that power our homes to the electrical components found in our standard phones. However, have you ever wondered what factors influence the conductivity of metals? Many factors can affect conduction, like temperature, the material used, and any impurities present. This blog post will explore these main factors and why they are essential.


How Temperature Affects Conduction

Temperature is one of the main factors that affect conduction in metals. When temperature increases, the atoms move around more in the metal, making it less conductive. On the other hand, when the temperature decreases, particles become stiffer, increasing the conduction. If there is a higher conductivity, it is essential to keep an eye out for corrosion of the metals.


The Materials Used

All types of metal are made up of different materials with different conductivity levels. For example, copper, zinc, and iron are great choices if you want a highly electrically conductive material. Underground steel structures like utility piping and pipelines exposed to soil environments are vulnerable to corrosion. Knowing what metal you are using and its conductivity level is important.


Conductivity And Impurities In Metal

Any impurity in the metal can affect how much it can conduct. An impurity means there could be a dent or damage to the metal. The atoms that make up the metal will be changed, which can affect the conductivity negatively. Metal alloying, the opposite of conductivity, is when materials are added to the metal to increase its conductivity. Both of these alterations affect how much the metal can conduct. 


Contact Markham Metals Today!

Markham Metals is one of the top destinations in New England for all your metalworking needs. The conductivity of metal is important to know; we have an array of different metals, all with different conductivity. Markham Metals has everything you need if you have considered using metal in your next project. We have HR carbon steel, galvanized metal, CF carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Our experts can assist with any questions and guide you on which metal may be suitable for you. Contact us here for a free quote on your next metal project and see the difference Markham Metals can offer you!


why do metals rust

What is Metal Oxidizing?

Metal oxidation is a process that happens naturally when metal interacts with oxygen in conjunction with moisture and other agents. The metal’s function, durability, and presence can be heavily affected by oxidation. While oxidation and corrosion are similar, oxidation is focused on the exterior of the metal rather than the interior. In this blog post, we will discuss the leading causes of oxidation, the effects that oxidation can have on metal, and ways to prevent this process from happening. 

Main Causes of Metal Oxidation

Two main agents can cause metal oxidation. The first one is oxygen exposure. When a metal interacts with oxygen in the environment, some of the metallic elements in its composition turn into oxides. This means that the metal has formed a thick film over its surface, showing a rusty color. The other main cause of metal oxidation is exposure to moisture. Metal oxide, otherwise known as rust, is formed when it’s exposed to water or humidity. 

What Are The Effects of Metal Oxidation?

There are three prominent effects that metal and steel can have when it’s oxidized. The first one is the metal’s function. The function that the metal provides can be altered. Some examples of this are poor conductivity or having holes that lead to leaks. Another effect is the metal’s durability. As the thick layer of oxide forms, it can weaken the metal and cause problems in infrastructure, for example. Lastly, the presence of the metal is greatly affected. Rust is a bright orange color that can look damaged or dirty. This discoloration can alter the aesthetics of the metal.  

Tips To Prevent Metal Oxidation

There are a few ways to prevent metal oxidation. One method is galvanization. This process is so important because it provides a layer of zinc to protect the metal. Another way to prevent oxidation is to put your metal in proper storage. Keeping metal materials in a cool, dry environment is so curtail to maintaining their health and longevity. Maintenance of the metal is crucial, and you can do this by regularly cleaning your materials. Lastly, protective coatings can provide that extra layer of protection for your metal. We recommend using rubber paint to protect the metal’s chemical structure.

Metal Galvanizing with Markham Metals 

Markham Metals is here to assist you with all your metal galvanizing. Metal oxidation is a natural process; we want you to ensure your metals are maintained and well taken care of. Galvanized steel is a low-cost way to keep your materials looking brand new. To protect your metal, call Markham Metals. Contact us today here today or visit our website to learn more about our galvanized metal and what makes it so unique!

A closeup of a metal pipe that is heavily rusted and corroded at the end

What Causes Metal Corrosion?

For any metal to be used in a particular industry, it must possess a few important qualities. Superior strength and durability give way for metals like iron and aluminum to be popular for many applications. However, there’s one quality that is arguably more important than any other for metal to have – corrosion resistance! If your metal doesn’t have good corrosion resistance, it’s likely that it won’t last long in the field. In order to understand why corrosion resistance is so important, you should know what causes metal to corrode in the first place. We explain all the causes of metal corrosion below!

Defining Corrosion

In order to understand what causes metals to corrode in the first place, you should have an idea of what corrosion is. It’s a process that occurs when the atoms on a metal’s surface are all oxidized, meaning that they combine chemically with oxygen. This is why metals rust and become brittle, and neither of these traits has any use in the field.

The Main Causes Of Corrosion

The two main periodic table elements involved in metal corrosion are hydrogen and oxygen. It should go without saying that their byproducts can be a huge cause of metal corrosion! We explain the biggest causes of metal corrosion below:

  • Water Exposure: One of the biggest risks to metals out there is water – which makes perfect sense considering its chemical makeup! This is why the metals used in underwater applications, such as plumbing pipes and submarine hulls, need to have superior corrosion resistance, since they are constantly exposed to what causes it.
  • Air Exposure: While air-based corrosion takes a significantly longer time to take root, it is still a main cause of it. The dirtier a metal’s surface is, the faster it corrodes when exposed to the air. It’s impossible to prevent air exposure, but there are preventative measures for this.
  • Electricity Exposure: There’s a reason why copper is the primary metal used for electrical wiring – it boasts superior corrosion resistance! Exposure to electricity can expedite the corrosion process.

How To Prevent Corrosion

The best way to prevent metal corrosion is to use metals with superior corrosion resistance, but that may not always be a viable option. Galvanizing your metal adds an additional protective coating to its outside, giving it better resistance to corrosion and rusting. It’s an application that is best used for metals in harsher environments.

Galvanizing and More With Markham Metals

Markham Metals has the tools you need to get your metal ready for practical use in the field. We can galvanize your metal to increase its resistance to corrosion as well, making it stronger in the brutal conditions it’s placed in. To perfectly shape, form and prepare your metal for any use, give us a call today at 978-658-1121!

A closeup of liquid gallium on a wood surface.

Are Liquid Metals Usable?

When you think of the definition of metal, what comes to mind? You’ll likely think of something that is solid, hard to the touch, and incredibly strong. While these properties are all synonymous with many of the metals we know today, it doesn’t apply to every metal on the periodic table. There are a few metals out there that aren’t solid at room temperature! Regarding many of the qualities that make a metal usable in the field, does that mean that liquid metals are useless? We explain everything you need to know about liquid metals below!

What Are The Liquid Metals?

There are a few metals on the periodic table that are liquid at or near room temperature. While most metals maintain a solid state at room temperature, these are the few metals that differ from that norm:


  • Mercury
  • Francium
  • Cesium
  • Gallium
  • Rubidium
  • Copernicium
  • Flerovium


Of these metals, you’ve likely heard of Mercury the most. However, most of them are relatively unknown to the average person. For some of the metals on the list, its merely due to a lack of popularity. However, some of these metals aren’t usable at all – and they can be dangerous in close proximity!

What Liquid Metals Are Unusable?

There’s a reason why liquid metals aren’t as well known amongst most people: most of them have no practical use in the field. This isn’t for lack of trying but because some of these metals are particularly dangerous. For example, copernicium, flerovium, and francium are all radioactive metals. It should go without saying that radiation is extremely bad for humans so that crosses these off the list! In addition, both cesium and rubidium are explosively reactive, eliminating any possibility of practical use.

The Usable Liquid Metals

Mercury and Gallium are the only liquid metals that have found some practical use in the field. In the case of gallium, it’s even more restricted due to the fact that it leaves behind a residue on solid surfaces. So while not inherently dangerous, gallium’s only uses tend to be in semiconductors for electricity. Mercury has a few more uses that make it the better metal – it’s a common choice for outdoor temperature thermometers, barometers, and older battery models. However, because of mercury’s toxicity, it is slowly being phased out of use.

Solid Metal Fabrication With Markham Metals

Don’t waste your time with liquid metals! The solid metals will be best for use regardless of what industry you’re in, but you’ll need to prepare them for their tasks first. Markham Metals is the best place to make that happen – we’ll form and shape your metal to the exact specifications required! To get your metals ready for use within your industry, give us a call at 978-658-1121!