Need to make a metal stronger and have more effective applications? Simply combine it with another element! Metal alloys have helped to expand our capabilities in the field, with many of them being the building blocks for how our society functions today. Every metal alloy has a distinct purpose as to why it was created, so what about those alloys that aren’t as widespread? What are the rarest metal alloys out there, and what are they used for? We give you some insight below!
By itself, scandium is considered to be one of the rarest metals on Earth. However, it has fairly unique properties that make it useful! When combined with the much more common element in aluminum, you get aluminum-scandium. This new metal alloy makes the aluminum much stronger, more resistant to corrosion, and harder. It’s become useful for applications in space as well as shipbuilding and nuclear energy applications. While it may be rare, it’s certainly important!
Like scandium, lutetium falls into the category of rare Earth metals. However, it’s a bit more common than you might think! Because the properties of lutetium are remarkably similar to those of silver, lutetium is used to make the silver-lutetium alloy. While it doesn’t have a ton of practical applications, it does have a purpose. Believe it or not, sometimes lutetium is more easily found than silver! The alloy is created to serve the same purpose. Your silver may be an alloy without you knowing!
Gadolinium is a curious element because of the things that it can do. By itself, it’s main use is in the medical field to help with routines such as X-ray scans. But, once a little of this silvery metal is alloyed with other metals, it can greatly improve its functionality. Even 1% of gadolinium can do wonders for iron’s workability! If you can name a property of iron, gadolinium can enhance it when the two are alloyed together. This makes it useful for applications such as building materials and home appliances.
Need a metal shaped or formed for a practical application? Check out the metalworking services that we offer at Markham Metals! We can perform a wide variety of metalworking tasks to help get your metal to the exact specifications you want. We also carry our own in-line stock of some of the most precious metal alloys out there: steel alloys! If you’re ready to construct your next metal application, click here to contact us directly!
You may not be thinking of it, but metal alloys play a lot greater of a role in our daily lives than you might think! A metal alloy refers to a metal that has been combined with one or more elements on the periodic table. They don’t just have to be combined with metals, either! The final product is truly unlike any other. Their flexibility and unique properties make them useful in a variety of areas. But, out of all the metal alloys, which one is the most useful? That question is not an easy one to answer; we break it down for you below!
A characteristic that’s widely sought after by those that use metal alloys is strength. It’s easy to see why that is; a lot of metal alloys get used in different construction projects, from high rise buildings to household appliances. For the purpose of pure strength, the strongest metal alloy out there is steel. Steel is a combination of iron and carbon, and it’s superior strength makes it useful for things like building construction and vehicle parts. However, base strength isn’t the only desirable quality in a metal alloy!
Another desirable property that’s desired by those that seek metal alloys is the ability to conduct heat. This is actually something that steel is the worst at! An alloy that’s exceptionally good at conducting heat is brass. Brass is made from copper, which is already a stellar heat conductor, and zinc. It’s used in a lot of home plumbing pipes and electrical sockets for this purpose. One of the reasons that metal alloys are created is to upgrade the best qualities of the metals used, and brass is an excellent example of this.
Corrosion resistance is widely sought after by metal alloy users. After all, you don’t want your metals to break down if you have an important use for them! One of the best metal alloys when it comes to corrosion resistance is stainless steel. Unlike regular steel, stainless steel is made with a little bit of chromium, which is exceptional for this quality. It’s used in a lot of cookware that can’t afford to corrode. So, there is no concrete answer as to which metal alloy is the most useful, but there are some that are most useful for their qualities!
If you need metal alloys for your next project, Markham Metals is the place to go! We carry a variety of in-house products of different types of steel, cut and shaped for use on your next application. We can also perform a variety of metalworking services to get it to the desired shape and size! To get started on your next project, contact us today.