Metal Facts

Metal Facts

Metals are interesting, overlooked — and everywhere! In fact, it’s estimated that about 75% of known elements in the world are metals. Metals are used in so many ways that we see, use, and enjoy in our everyday lives, and make much of modern life possible. Read on for a collection of illuminating facts about metals.

43 Facts About Metals

  1. The most abundant element on earth is iron.
  2. Silver conducts electricity better than all the other metals.
  3. Noble metals tend to resist oxidation and corrosion in moist air compared to warm air.
  4. Two metals or a metal and a non-metal mixed together are known as an alloy.
  5. The metal with the lowest melting point is mercury.
  6. Iron is galvanized by dipping it into molten zinc. The galvanization process helps prevent rust.
  7. There were only seven known metals until the middle ages. They include bronze, iron, gold, copper, silver, lead, and mercury.
  8. More than 80 million tons, or about 69%, of all steel is recycled in North America each year.
  9. In 1883, steel was first used in skyscrapers.
  10. Steel and iron expand while heated, so the Eiffel Tower is about six inches taller in the summertime.
  11. Brass is naturally antibacterial so brass doorknobs and handrails are often used in public spaces.
  12. Nearly every kind of metal can be joined together through explosion welding.
  13. The Earth’s atmosphere puts a thin layer of oxidation between surfaces. However, in space, if two pieces of uncoated metal touch, they will be permanently stuck together.
  14. Certain combinations of metal can create a galvanic reaction. This means one metal will eat the other one.
  15. Even exposed to salts and water, pure stainless steel will not rust.
  16. Touching stainless steel removes garlic and onion odor from hands.
  17. The earliest forms of metal welding can be traced back to 3500 B.C.
  18. Sound travels fifteen times faster through steel than in the air.
  19. Of the 118 known elements on the periodic table, approximately 95 of those are metals.
  20. Up until the 1800s, pure aluminum was once considered a precious metal, even worth more than gold.
  21. Most metals have high melting points due to their strong metallic bonds.
  22. The most recycled material on earth is steel.
  23. Mercury is the only metal that is a liquid at standard room temperature due to its melting point of -37.89 °F.
  24. The highest melting point for metal is tungsten at 3422°C.
  25. The most abundant metals on Earth are iron and magnesium.
  26. Gallium is a metal that can melt in a human hand.
  27. On Venus, it snows metal.
  28. Only about 30% of metals are recycled.
  29. Water pollution can be reduced by 40% when a steel mill uses recycled metal scraps.
  30. A recycled aluminum can can save enough energy to run a TV for two hours, or a computer for three hours.
  31. Aluminium can reflect 92% of visible light and about 98% of infrared light, so extra precaution should be taken when welding this metal.
  32. Aluminum can be recycled multiple times without losing its quality.
  33. Snails can be transformed into slugs by exposing them to platinum.
  34. The United States recycles all of the tin it produces.
  35. Gold is combined with other metals to become stronger because pure gold is too soft for most applications.
  36. An iridium or osmium cube measuring 15 cm could weigh as much as an average adult.
  37. Beryllium is highly toxic — it only takes 0.25 milligrams to kill a rat.
  38. At the Earth’s core, there is enough gold to coat the Earth as 1.5 feet high.
  39. One of the most expensive elements is californium-252. It costs approximately $27 million per gram.
  40. Steel makes up 2.5% of landfill waste in Australia.
  41. It takes 75% less energy to make steel from recycled cans than from raw materials.
  42. In a single battery, about 98% of materials are recycled.
  43. For the average city bus, there are about 75,000 cans worth of steel.

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