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Metals & Alloys

Find information about the chemistry of metals and alloys, including compositions, mechanical properties, reactions, chemical properties, uses, and mining.
  1. Alloys (31)
  2. Metals Projects (16)

Metal Facts Sheet
Most of the elements in the periodic table are metals. You use metals every day, but how much do you actually know about them? Here is a list of facts about metals.

Metal Trivia Quiz
Test how much you know about metals with this fun multiple choice metal trivia quiz.

Metals List
Most elements are metals. This group includes the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, basic metals, and rare earth elements.

Alloys List
This is an alphabetical list of alloys grouped according to the base metal of the alloy.

Metal Crystals Photo Gallery
Did you know metals could grow as crystals? Some of these crystals are exceedingly beautiful and some can be grown at home or in a standard chemistry lab. This is a collection of photos of metal crystals, with links to instructions for growing metal crystals.

Why Are Transition Metals Called Transition Metals?
Have you ever wondered where the transition elements got their name? It's not like they are a transition between nonmetals and metals or between one type of metal and another. Here's a look at the reason for the name.

Noble Metals
You may have heard certain metals called noble metals. Here is a look at what the noble metals are, which metals are included and the properties of the noble metals.

Precious Metals
Some metals are considered to be precious metals. Here's a look at what makes a metal precious plus a list of the precious metals.

Why Is Mercury a Liquid?
Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature. Here's a look at what makes mercury different from other metals.

Metal Quiz
Test your knowledge of the metals with this ten question quiz. Links about different metals are provided to help you find the answers.

Alkali Metals
Find out what distinguishes the alkali metals from other metals. Common characteristics are clearly identified.

Alkaline Earth Metals
The alkaline earths or alkaline earth metals possess properties that distinguish them from other metals. Learn more about this group of elements.

Carbon Steel Phase Diagram
This is an iron-carbon phase diagram for carbon steel which shows the condition under which the phases are stable.

Chemistry Fun with Pennies
Use pennies, nails, and a few simple household ingredients to explore some of the interesting properties of metals. Clean the pennies chemically, make verdigris, and plate the nails with copper.

Copper Plating Christmas Ornament
Copper plate a holiday decoration as a Christmas ornament or for other decorative uses.

Element Photos
You probably know what elemental carbon looks like (think diamond or graphite), but you might not know what indium or cadmium look like. Here's a collection of photographs of the elements to help you out.

Gold Alloys
None of the gold used in jewelry is pure gold. Some gold isn't even 'gold'-colored (e.g., white gold). The different colors are due to the presence of other metals alloyed with the gold. This table gives common compositions of the different colors of gold.

Gold and Silver Pennies
Take copper-colored pennies and turn then silver, then make them gold. This is an easy chemistry project that uses common laboratory chemicals.

Hollow Penny Project
This is an easy chemistry project that uses common materials. You take a post-1982 penny, score the copper surface to expose the zinc interior, react the zinc with acid, and are left with a hollow copper penny.

How Does Stainless Steel Remove Odors?
Have you heard about the kitchen tip in which you rub your fingers across the blade of a stainless steel knife to remove odors from onions, garlic, and fish? You have now! Learn about the chemistry behind this interesting bit of cooking magic.

How to Dispose of Mercury
Mercury is an extremely toxic metal that is found in fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers, and other household items. If you break a thermometer or a mercury-containing bulb, it's important to dispose of the mercury properly so that you don't accidentally poison yourself or contaminate the area with mercury.

How to Make Liquid Magnets - Synthesize Ferrofluid
Make your own ferrofluid, or liquid magnet, which can be used with a magnet to change the liquid's density and to form spikes and other amazing shapes.

Lanthanides and Actinides - The Rare Earths
Learn about the properties of the rare earth metals. This 3-part article includes an overview of the rare earths and separate sections for the lanthanide series and actinide series.

Metal Activity Series
The activity series of metals is an empirical tool used to predict products and reactivity of metals with water and acids in replacement reactions and ore extraction.

Metal Jewelry Stamps & Marks
Jewelry made from precious metals often is stamped with a mark to indicate the chemical composition of the metal. These stamps or engravings are called quality marks. Here's a look at what different quality marks signify. Gold, silver, vermeil, platinum, and palladium are included.

Metallic Character
Learn what is meant by the metallic character of an element and how metallic character changes as you move across a period or down a group in the periodic table.

Metalloids or Semimetals
Get information about the characteristics of the semimetals. Links are provided for other types of elements.

Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is a popular metal for jewelry, silverware and decorations. Here is a look at the chemical composition of sterling silver.

The Metals
Learn about the group chemistry of metals, including their common properties and locations on the Periodic Table.

Thermite Reaction
The thermite reaction is a highly exothermic reaction in which metal essentially burns. The thermite reaction has practical applications, such as for welding, plus it makes for a memorable chemistry demonstration. Here's how you can perform the thermite reaction, safely.

What Is a Heavy Metal?
Find out what a heavy metal is and get examples of heavy metals.

What Is Tin Cry?
Learn about tin cry. Find out what tin cry is and why it occurs. Also, here is a demo in which you can make tin cry repeatedly.

Tin Crystal Growing Instructions
It's easy to grow crystals of tin metal using a simple replacement reaction. You can see the crystals in an hour or so, or leave them overnight for more/larger crystals.

What Is Tin Pest?
Here is a look at what tin pest is, what causes and tin pest, and some historical significance of the phenomenon.

Transition Metals
Get information about the properties of the transition elements, also called the transition metals.

What Are Olympic Medals Made Of?
What do you think Olympic medals are made of? Are the gold medals really gold? They used to be solid gold, but now Olympic gold medals are made from something else. Here's a look at the metal composition of Olympic medals and how the medals have changed over time.

What Is the Nobel Prize Medal Made Of?
The Nobel Prize medal looks like gold, but what is it really made of? Here's the answer to this common question about the composition of the Nobel Prize medal.

What Makes Lead Poisonous?
You probably know that lead is toxic, but do you know what makes it poisonous? Here's an explanation of what lead does in your body that makes it such a health hazard.

White Gold
White gold is a popular metal for jewelry. Have you ever wondered what white gold is made of? Here's a look at the chemical composition of white gold and some of the properties of white gold.

White Gold Isn't White
Did you know all white gold is plated with another metal to make it the shiny white color that it is? Here's a look at what white gold is plated with and why it is plated in the first place.

Why is Stainless Steel Stainless?
Learn about the chemistry of stainless steel. This article also includes descriptions of the different types of stainless steels, comments on passivation, and numerous links to sites offering related information.

Composition of Gold Alloys
None of the gold used in jewelry is pure gold. Some gold isn't even 'gold'-colored (e.g., white gold). The different colors are due to the presence of other metals alloyed with the gold. This table gives common compositions of the different colors of gold.

Deciphering Precious Metal Quality Marks
Fu T'sang Treasures presents this page, which lists and defines quality marks for precious metals. Gold, silver, vermeil, platinum, and palladium are included.

Metals & Alloys Used in Piercings and Body Jewelry
A metal that makes a great necklace could cause serious problems in your belly button! Learn about the metals and alloys that can (and can't) be safely used to make body jewelry.

This is a comprehensive About.com website devoted to... you guessed it! Metals! The metallurgy and supplier sections are especially relevant to inorganic chemistry.

Short History of Metals and Metallurgy
Introduction to some metallic elements and their properties. From Alan W. Cramb, Carnegie Mellon University.

What Is the Lightest Metal?
You may think of metals as heavy or dense. This is true of most metals, but there are some that are lighter than water and even some that are nearly as light as air. Here's a look at the world's lightest metal.

How Much Is an Olympic Gold Medal Worth?
The Olympic gold medal is extremely valuable, both in terms of its precious metal value and its historic value. Here's a look at how much the Olympic gold medal is worth today.

List of Noble Metals
Here is a list of noble metals, which are metals that resist oxidation and corrosion.

Chart of Noble Metals and Precious Metals
This chart shows the noble metals and precious metals.

Alloy Facts Quiz
Test how much you know about metal alloys with this fun multiple choice facts quiz.

Damascus Steel
Learn what Damascus steel is and how it is made.

Learn about what steel is, how it is made, and about the metal's properties.

Learn about the composition, properties, uses, and history of electrum or green gold.

10 Metal Facts
Get 10 interesting and useful facts about metals.

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