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 set of stainless steel cookware sits on a white tabletop. You can see pans, pots, kettles and plates among the group.

How Does Alloying Metal Make It Better?

Metalworking processes can accomplish a lot of things in terms of gifting metals with desirable traits. For example, galvanizing your metal can make it stronger. Polishing your metal can give it extended life and greater corrosion resistance. Forming and shaping metal can get it into the shape it needs to be in for a noteworthy application. But, how does this apply to metal alloys? Alloying a metal with another element or metal has the ability to enhance its current traits. But, what exactly does it do and how is it accomplished? We give you a crash course on alloying metal below!

Increased Corrosion Resistance

The key thing to remember about metal alloys is that the two components are combined to strengthen a certain characteristic. For example, if a metal like iron is alloyed with a metal that has increased corrosion resistance, the resulting product will have a much higher corrosion resistance! The most common example of this is stainless steel, which is the result of the aforementioned combination of iron and chromium. It helps make it useful for applications such as cookware and automotive parts.

Increased Strength

Sometimes, the pure strength of a single metal won’t be enough to be useful in applications. Another common reason for alloying metals is to increase its strength to a point where normal metals can’t reach. For example, titanium is considered one of the world’s strongest metals. When alloyed with metals like iron, however, they become durable enough to be used in heavy duty applications such as airplane parts and automotive applications. Gold and silver are usually alloyed together to make stronger and longer lasting jewelry.

Decreased Conductivity

In terms of conductivity, metals will vary on how much of it they need. Alloying metals also has the ability to decrease a property’s effectiveness. Conductivity is a prime example of this trait. Pure metals tend to have higher conductivity than metal alloys, but decreased conductivity is necessary for certain applications. For example, stainless steel is commonly used in building structures, where conductivity isn’t necessary. In fact, conductivity may actually be dangerous here, which makes it all the more important!

Metalworking at Markham Metals

Do you have a metal alloy or pure metal that you need to be fitted for a specific application? Bring it down to Markham Metals! We offer a full range of metalworking services to bend, cut, form and shape your metal into any product you wish. To increase the effectiveness of your metal and get it ready for use in the field, click here to contact us directly!

A closeup of a fireplace with a single log of wood burning inside. You can see a grate below the wood, which is made from cast iron.

How Are Metals Used In Household Items?

If you’re at home right now, take a look at the room around you. What do you see? You’ll likely see sets of furniture, home electronic devices, and household appliances. Believe it or not, there’s something that all three of these item sets have in common. They all utilize metals in order to function properly! While the uses for metals in furniture is relatively straightforward, appliances and other items are where the situation becomes more complex. But, how are metals used in household items? We’ll give you some useful examples!

Cast Iron

While cast iron is considered to be a brittle metal, it has some important uses around your home! It can be the material that your home’s gutter system is made from, and this device is essential for preventing things like water damage and foundational damage. It can also be used in stove boilers and fireplace grates, highlighting cast iron’s superior resistance to heat.


If you have a household appliance with electrical wiring, you can thank copper for allowing it to function properly! Copper’s conductivity properties make it useful for wiring applications. It also boasts a resistance to corrosion that makes it the centerpiece for household plumbing pipes.

Stainless Steel

The strength and durability of stainless steel makes it a useful tool for two wildly different applications: in the kitchen and in your car! Stainless steel is usually the primary component of a majority of household cookware, such as pans, pots, and silverware. It’s strength makes it usable for car parts, meaning that your car is likely kept together by it.


Brass isn’t useful in your home just because it looks pretty. It’s very sturdy and corrosion resistant as well! The corrosion resistance makes it a popular choice for things like doorknobs, which are likely the element of your home that is used the most. If your home is heated by a radiator, there’s a good chance that brass is the primary metal used. It can add value to your home while keeping it warm!

Metalworking Services with Markham Metals

Of course, there’s only one way to fashion these metals into the shapes, sizes and dimensions needed for these applications: the metalworking services at Markham Metals! We offer a wide variety of metalworking services that aim to get your metal into the shape it needs for everyday use. For more information and consistent 5-star service, click here to contact us directly!

A small rock of scandium on a gray surface. Scandium is one of the metals in the alloy aluminum-scandium

The Rarest Metal Alloys

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.

Metalworking at Markham Metals

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!