metal alloy

What Is the Most Commonly Used Metal Alloy?

Alloys have become essential in the metal industry for their use on diverse occasions. They are used in construction and in producing household materials due to their numerous properties. This article highlights alloys and the most commonly used alloys in today’s market. 

What Is an Alloy?

An alloy is a metal consisting of two or more metals or nonmetals to alter its lattice structure and offer features that are more native to itself. While metals are used, nonmetals with design skills are also included. 

There are two main types of alloys: substitutional and interstitial. In substitution alloys, the alloying compound completely replaces the occupying atom, such as brass or bronze. In contrast, in interstitial alloying, the alloys fit right into the lattice structure and possess similar features. 

Types Of Alloys

There are different types of alloys available on the commercial market for purchase. Among them are the following: 

Brass

Brass is the alloy produced when copper and zinc are combined. It is one of the popular non-ferrous alloys known for its impeccable features. Brass is non-tarnish and has little friction, which makes it easily malleable. Its malleability allows it to be used in creative production processes like pot and pan making or producing particular equipment parts. Alternative brass alloys have been combined with metals like iron, lead, and even silicon.  

Bronze

Bronze is a pioneer among other alloy variants. It paved the way for the creation of present-day alloys and became a substantial piece of civilization during the Bronze Age. Compared to other alloys, bronze is made wholly from copper and tin instead of iron. Despite its prolonged use, bronze still has a lot of relevance in the present day as it is used in producing musical instruments and electrical parts. It is highly futile, and its gold shine comes from the compound patina, where bronze is exposed to oxygen. 

Aluminium Alloy

Aluminum may be a stable metal alone; however, it is not durable for demanding applications, hence the need for an alloy. Aluminum alloy is a durable choice for many demanding applications and is also one of the most commonly used non-ferrous alloys in the construction industry. Aluminum alloys are used primarily in electrical connections, automotive external parts, and solar generation materials. 

What Is the Most Commonly Used Alloy?

Many commonly used irons include brass, steel, carbon fiber, aluminum, and zinc. However, in the industry, steel is the most widely used alloy. 

Why Is It The Most Commonly Used Alloy?

Steel is the most commonly used alloy in the construction and manufacturing industries. Being an iron alloy, steel has a negligible carbon content of about 1% and is accessible from other metal impurities, affecting its quality. Since pure iron is dense and prone to oxidative corrosion, steel is preferred for professionals looking to harness iron’s impeccability without accommodating its drawbacks. There are versatile variations of steel, including stainless steel and alloy steel. Carbon steel and tool steel. 

Contact Markham Metals For Fast Metal Delivery In New England

Alloys are more than combined metals; they are essential in every construction and manufacturing process. If you need alloy building materials, you must use your knowledge of metalwork to get the best, as good-quality metals produce good-quality structures. It would help if you chose Markham Metals, a leading supplier of alloys for over 30 years and other metal products. Contact us by calling 978-658-1121 or filling out our contact form for the best metals and alloys. 

 

Which Metal Best Conducts Electricity?

Electricity is the lifeblood of our modern world, powering everything from our homes to high-tech industries. One crucial aspect of the electrical conductivity puzzle lies in our materials. Metals, known for their excellent conductive properties, are pivotal in transmitting electric current. In this blog, we delve into the world of metals and explore which stands out as the best conductor of electricity.

The Conductivity Contenders

Metals, by nature, have free electrons that can move quickly, making them conducive to electrical conductivity. However, not all metals are created equal in this regard. The contenders for the title of the best conductor include copper, silver, and gold. These metals have long been the go-to choices for electrical wiring, thanks to their impressive conductivity ratings.

Copper: The Workhorse of Electrical Conductivity

Copper has earned its reputation as the workhorse of electrical conductivity. It boasts a combination of high conductivity, durability, and affordability, making it the most widely used metal in electrical wiring. Copper conductivity is second to none among non-precious metals. Its ability to carry electric current with minimal energy loss has made it a staple in power transmission lines, household wiring, and electronic devices.

Copper also exhibits excellent thermal conductivity, efficiently dissipating heat generated during electrical operations. This property is beneficial in high-performance electronic applications with critical heat management. Despite competition from other metals, copper maintains its dominance in electrical conductivity.

Silver and Gold

While copper takes the lead in practical applications, silver and gold showcase exceptional conductivity properties that make them intriguing options, especially in specific niche applications. Silver, in its pure form, outperforms copper in terms of conductivity. However, silver’s higher cost and susceptibility to tarnish have limited its widespread use in everyday applications.

Gold, often associated with luxury and jewelry, surprises many as a competent conductor of electricity. While gold is less practical for general electrical wiring due to its high cost, it finds applications in specialized scenarios. The electronics industry, particularly in spacecraft and satellites, values gold’s ability to resist corrosion and maintain conductivity in extreme conditions.

Choosing the Right Metal for the Job

In electrical conductivity, the choice of metal depends on the application’s specific requirements. For most everyday purposes, copper is the top choice, offering an optimal balance of conductivity, durability, and cost-effectiveness. However, silver and gold may find their niche when absolute conductivity is paramount, such as in specific high-tech and space applications.

Contact Markham Metals For Custom Metalworking In Massachusetts 

Advancements in materials science may bring forth new contenders, but for now, copper, silver, and gold remain the stars in the electrically charged performance of our modern world. Contact Markham Metals to learn more about each type of metal and get assistance choosing the suitable metal for your electricity conducting needs.

metal

Ways to Select the Best Type of Metal

When it comes to choosing the right metal for your project, a systematic approach can save you money and time and ensure the success of your endeavor. Here are three essential steps to guide you through the process:

Define Your Project Requirements 

The first step in selecting the best type of metal is clearly defining your project’s specific requirements. Consider the following factors:

  • Functionality

What role will the metal component play in your project? Is it for structural support, electrical conductivity, heat resistance, or something else entirely? Understanding its function is crucial.

  • Environmental Conditions

Will the metal be exposed to harsh weather, chemicals, or high temperatures? Different metals have varying levels of corrosion resistance and heat tolerance.

  • Strength and Durability

Assess the metal component’s load-bearing capacity and expected lifespan. Some metals, like steel, are renowned for their strength, while others may be more prone to deformation or wear.

  • Budget

Determine your budget constraints. Some metals are more expensive than others, so balancing performance with cost is essential.

Research and Compare Metals 

Once you have a clear understanding of your project requirements, research and compare different types of metals and consider these factors:

  • Material Properties

Examine various metals’ physical and chemical properties, such as tensile strength, conductivity, malleability, and corrosion resistance. Match these properties with your project’s needs.

  • Availability

Ensure that the selected metal is readily available in the required form and quantity. Some specialized metals may be challenging to source.

  • Environmental Influence

Assess the environmental impact of the metal. Is it recyclable? How energy-intensive is its production? Consider sustainability concerns.

  • Testing and Prototyping

Conduct tests or create prototypes to validate the suitability of the chosen metal for your project. This step can help uncover potential issues early in the process.

Seek Expert Advice 

While you may have gathered valuable information during your research, consulting with metallurgy, engineering, or materials science experts can provide critical insights. Here’s how experts can assist:

  • Expertise

Professionals in the field can offer expert guidance based on their extensive knowledge of materials and their real-world applications.

  • Optimization

Experts can help optimize your choice, ensuring that the selected metal aligns perfectly with your project’s performance, cost-effectiveness, and longevity goals.

  • Risk Mitigation

Professionals can identify potential risks or drawbacks associated with specific metals and suggest mitigation strategies.

Contact Markham Metals For Any Metal Services In New England

The process of selecting the best type of metal involves an evaluation of project requirements, metal comparison and expert advice. Making an informed choice is important to the success and longevity of your project. Consulting with Markham Metals is the next step! Our expert metal fabricators have many years of experience helping people pick the best metal for their projects. We are located in Wilmington, Massachusetts, but we serve all areas of New England. Contact us here today for a free quote on your next metal project. We look forward to hearing from you!

metal polishing

Comparing The Different Methods of Metal Polishing

The technique for metal surface polishing is one of the greatest ways to make pieces look good. With a polished surface finish, these components perform better and last longer. Over time, metal surfaces frequently discolor. The surfaces of such metals often become compromised by exposure to high temperatures and wear levels. A polished metal component, however, is shielded from contaminants and oxidation. Here are some of the most common polishing methods for metals in addition to their advantages and disadvantages:

Chemical Polishing

The protruding portion of a material surface is preferentially dissolved in a chemical media during this polishing surface finish. After the procedure, a smooth surface is desired. The chemical solution plus galvanic couples impact the metal surface during the chemical polishing. However, chemical polishing often results in the micro-roughness component being polished and smoothed. Additionally, the top layer of the element dissolves as a result.

Mechanical Polishing

This polishing technique relies on cutting or plastic deformation of the material’s surface. The surface is then made smooth by eliminating polished convexities. Sandpaper, flat wheels, abrasive sticks, and other materials are frequently used in mechanical polishing. Using specialized abrasive tools and pushing them on the surface of a treated workpiece is how ultra-precision polishing is done. The entire procedure rotates quickly in a polishing solution that contains abrasives. 

Electrolytic Polishing

This kind of polishing is sometimes referred to as electrolytic polishing. You could occasionally hear anodic polishing. Electrolytic and anodic polishing relate to a polished surface finish that operates similarly to chemical polishing. Protrusions on metal surfaces are dissolved using chemical solutions as part of this procedure to obtain a better surface finish. The cathode reaction does not impact electrolytic polishing, unlike chemical polishing. By polishing the metal component, extra materials are removed. Doing so smoothens the part’s troughs and micro-peaks, lessens surface roughness, and enhances surface polish.

Reasons Why Electropolishing is Better Than Mechanical Polishing

  • Because of the higher densities at high spots, burrs may be removed much more quickly. As a result, the final product has a smooth, clean surface.
  • It shrinks the material’s surface area to a tiny size. As a result, there is a general decrease in product adhesion and contaminant buildup.
  • It enhances the machined part’s appearance. Surfaces on tiny scales are cleaned and smoothed when electropolishing is done correctly.

Contact Markham Metals Today!

Markham Metals is the most trusted metal service business in the New England region. There are different metal polishing methods, each with pros and cons for the metal it is used. However, it needs considerable attention and decision-making in choosing the right metal polishing method for the metal in question. For questions on our metal polishing services or information on our products and services, call us today at 978-658-1121 or contact us directly on our site.

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!