Importance of metal alloys

Understanding The Role Of Alloy Metals

All alloys have some properties added to them to make their qualities more desirable. Alloy metals have been prominent in materials engineering, offering a diverse range of properties and capabilities that are better than those of other metals. In metalworking, alloy metals play a huge role because of their unique properties. In this blog post, we will explore alloy metals, including their composition, applications, and the fusion process.

What Are Alloy Metals?

Alloy metals emerge through the fusion of two or more elements, creating a new and unique material. These elements can undergo pure metallization or a fusion of metal and non-metal constituents. As metals merge, they generate metallic material, yet the new alloy retains the traits of its source metals, which could include electrical conductivity, opacity, and luster. Alloy metals are very important in our everyday lives.

The Fusion Process

The fusion of metals in alloys opens up a whole new world of possibilities. This offers engineers a wide range of material characteristics to work with. There are many key advantages of alloy metals which include versatility and customization. To go with versatility, alloy metals can be tailored to possess specific mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties, making them highly sought after. Metal alloys can be unique and include the custom qualities you would need. For example, if you wanted to fine-tune a piece of metal to make it lighter or darker, you could.

Alloy Metal Applications

There are many ways to use metal alloys. Alloy metals such as steel and reinforced concrete alloys offer the necessary strength and durability to construct bridges, skyscrapers, and other projects. Alloy metals also play a vital role in producing electronic devices, from circuits to power transmission systems. Copper alloys, for example, are used in electrical wiring due to their strong conductivity and resistance to corrosion. Alloy metals have so many applications in our everyday lives. From smartphones to skyscrapers, alloy metals are all around us.

Contact Markham Metals Today!

If you have been wanting to do a metal project using alloy metals, Markham Metals has got you covered! We specialize in metalworking services and can help you bend, cut, form, and shape your metal into any desired product. We also carry our own in-line stock of some of the most durable metal alloys out there: steel alloys! For more information and consistent 5-star service, click here to contact us directly!

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!

 

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!

galvanized

Benefits of Galvanizing Your Steel

Corrosion of steel happens regularly during construction projects, but it is something that you can work on avoiding with the right materials and processes.  Sustainability is a significant factor when choosing materials and contractors due to enforcing regulations as well as conscious and ethical decisions to ensure buildings are as sustainable as possible. 

 Hot-dipped galvanizing is one of the most environmentally friendly finishing processes available to prevent corrosion.  It is also great for minimizing material waste and is highly sustainable.  Now, let’s go over the benefits of galvanized steel and what galvanizing is.  

What is Galvanizing?

Galvanizing is the process of applying protective zinc coating to various metals to prevent rust.  Once, the zinc has dried it acts as a sacrificial coating in order to protect the metal from blemishes.  There are different ways to galvanize your metals.  There is spray galvanize which is an organic cold galvanizing compound used to help repair and protect various metal surfaces.  Then there is hot-dipped galvanizing where the metal is dipped into a hot tank of molten zinc. 

You want to be sure that the whole surface is dunked in the molten zinc to ensure that there is a uniform coat of zinc and zinc alloy layers.  These layers will thicken as determined by the mass of the steel.  Now let’s go over the benefits of galvanizing your metals.  

Benefits of Galvanizing Steel 

There are many benefits of galvanizing structural steel.  We are going to go over 5 of the top benefits, that anyone will notice when they choose to switch to this type of process. 

Economic Benefit

Galvanizing has an overall lower cost compared to other coatings.  If you are looking to save money with your next project you will make sure that you switch over to galvanizing as soon as possible.  This can make a big impact when you plan to utilize a large quantity of steel on a project, allowing you to stay on budget.  

Durability

When it comes to coating life and performance they are easily reliable and predictable.  One of the top benefits of galvanized steel is that it is much more durable than regular steel.  The coating offers protection from corrosion.  Meaning you will be less likely to replace your materials in the future!

Less Maintenance

Galvanized steel lasts much longer than other materials and needs and needs less maintenance.  This will require less time and resources in the future, allowing you to use your time better to maintain your projects and resources.  

Long Life Expectancy

The life expectancy for most galvanized structures is typically in excess of 50 years in most rural environments and 20 to 25 years in with severe urban and coastal exposure.  This means that the applications galvanizing can be used for is numerous, which is why it has seen a boost in popularity.  

Toughest Coating

A galvanized coating has a unique metallurgical structure that gives outstanding resistance to mechanical damage during transport, erection, and service.  When compared to other coating and material options, it is much tougher for a range of construction projects.  In fact, it is one of the toughest coatings on the market today, allowing you to utilize it in difficult conditions and climates. 

Contact Markham Metals Today!

No matter if you are a project manager or looking for galvanized steel individually, Markham Metals has you covered!  Our team offers high-quality skills and knowledge to ensure the reliability and performance of the steel you use for your next project.  Contact us today for more information on our process by calling us at 978-658-1121 or by filling out a contact form on our website!

Heated metal bars.

How Heating Metals Affects It’s Properties

When heat is applied to metal their electrical and structural properties can change.  As the application of metals are varied, different environments prioritize different qualities.  There are a number of ways of heating metal which are commonly used to transform these properties.  The temperature of which the metal is heated and the rate of cooling are carefully controlled to achieve the desired outcome.   

The Effect Of Heat On Metal 

The most important ways that metals are transformed through heat:

 

  • Electrical Resistance 
  • Thermal Expansion
  • Structure 
  • Magnetism

 

Electrical Resistance 

Electrical resistance is the measure of how strongly metal impedes the passing of electrical currents.  As the electrons pass through the metal they collide with the metallic structure.  The heat acts as a boost for the electrons providing them with more speed as they move. This creates a scattering frenzy with the electrons which creates resistance.  

Thermal Expansion

Metal expands as it is exposed to heat.  Length, surface area and volume will increase at temperature.  The scientific term for this process is thermal expansion.  Now, the metal will determine the degree of expansion.  Thermal expansion occurs because the heat increases the vibration of the atoms in the metal.  Accounting for thermal expansion is essential when designing metallic structures.  One great example is household pipes as they have to be able to withstand both the expansion and contraction as the seasons change.  

Structure

Metals are composed of symmetrical structures of atoms known as allotrope.  When heat is applied it displaces the atoms from their position causing them to form a new structure.  This is known as allotropic phase transformation.  Allotropic phase transformation alters the hardness, strength, and ductility of the metal.  The most important allotropic phase transformation is conducted on iron.  

When iron is heated past 1,674 degrees Fahrenheit it is able to absorb more carbon, which is an ingredient that will increase the hardness of any steel product.  This effect is commonly used in several types of high carbon steel.  

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is a process designed to alter the properties of the metal to better suit its intended use.  The main type of heat treatments are: 

  • Annealing 
  • Normalising
  • Hardening 
  • Tampering 

 

Contact Markham Metals

Markham Metals has the facility and machinery to conduct all metal fabrication needs to fulfill your project.  We offer professional services that range from welding to bending along with a wide variety of steel products.  Contact us today for more information on our products and services.