Top 21 Different Types Of Metal and Their Properties | Uses

We are exposed to different types of metals every day. In this article, we are going to read to know more about the metal types, properties, and uses.

A metal is a crystalline substance with a special gloss, malleability, and opacity. It is characterized by high strength, excellent electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and ductility, and can be made into various shapes of profiles or parts, as well as various structural parts, through casting, pressure processing, welding, and other processes.

Metals exist widely in nature and are widely used in life. They are very important and the most widely used substances in modern industry.

metal alloys


Aluminum and its alloys are well-known and widely used metallic materials.

Properties: Aluminum is a silver-white light metal with low density, corrosion resistance, and oxidation resistance.

The content of aluminum in the earth’s crust is second only to oxygen and silicon, ranking third. It is the most abundant metal element in the earth’s crust and is widely used.

Uses: Aluminum has good ductility and plasticity and can be processed into aluminum plates, aluminum tubes, aluminum foils, etc., and is widely used in indoor and outdoor decoration. YIJIN Hardware offers customers aluminum machining services.

After adding magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, silicon, and other elements to aluminum to form an aluminum alloy, its chemical properties have changed, which can not only maintain the original lightweight of aluminum but also significantly improve its mechanical properties.



Steel is an alloy of iron (Fe) as its main constituent. It is manufactured through a smelting process.

Steel is the largest material group in the field of metal cutting.

Steel can be unhardened or quenched and tempered (hardness up to 400HB).

Properties: Unalloyed steels have a carbon content of less than 0.8%, only Fe, and no other alloying elements.

The carbon content of alloy steel is less than 1.7%, and alloying elements such as Ni, Cr, Mo, V, W, etc. are added.


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy material with a minimum of 11–12% chromium and has a very low carbon content (as low as 0.01% Max).

Properties: The alloys in stainless steel are mainly Ni (nickel), Mo (molybdenum), and Ti (titanium).

Uses: Stainless steel machining is widely used in the oil and gas, pipe fittings, flanges, precision parts processing, and pharmaceutical industries.

Stainless Steel

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is an iron-carbon alloy with a carbon content of less than 2.11%. Generally, it also contains a small amount of silicon, manganese, sulfur, and phosphorus.

According to the carbon content, carbon steel can be divided into low carbon steel (WC ≤ 0.25%), medium carbon steel (WC0.25%-0.6%), and high carbon steel (WC>0.6%).

Carbon Steel

Alloy Steel

On the basis of carbon steel, in order to improve the performance of the steel, one or several alloying elements are specially added to the steel during smelting to improve the strength, toughness, hardenability, weldability, and other properties of the steel.

Properties: The commonly added alloying elements in the alloy steel are Si, Mn, Cr, Ni, W, Mo, Co, V, Ti, B, etc.

Alloy steel is divided into low-alloy steel (alloying element less than 5%);

medium-alloying steel (alloying element is 5%-10%);

high-alloying steel (alloying element is greater than 10%). 

Alloy Steel


A multi-component alloy composed of other alloying elements added to ordinary brass is called brass. Brass is an alloy composed of copper and zinc. Brass composed of copper and zinc is called ordinary brass. If it is a variety of alloys composed of two or more elements, it is called special brass.

The elements often added to brass are lead, tin, aluminum, etc., which can be called lead brass, tin brass, and aluminum brass accordingly.

The purpose of adding alloying elements is mainly to improve tensile strength and improve manufacturability.


Iron is one of the most widely distributed metals on earth, and it is abundant in the earth’s crust, accounting for about 5.1% of the mass of the earth’s crust. Humans have been using iron since 5000 BC, and modern civilization has been greatly influenced by iron.

Uses: At present, iron has been widely used in electric power, machinery, transportation, and other industries, and also plays an increasingly important role in meteorological, medical, military, and other fields.

material of iron


Copper is an incredibly versatile metal. Pure copper is a transitional element and a soft metal.

The surface is red-orange with metallic luster when it is first cut, and the element is purple-red.

Properties: Copper has good corrosion resistance, excellent thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, hardness, flexibility, ductility, and unique effects after polishing.

Copper is the most commonly used material in cables and electrical and electronic components, and copper can also be used as a building material as well as for making decorations.

material of copper


Titanium is a very special metal. Titanium is very light in texture, but it is very tough and corrosion-resistant. It maintains its own color for life at room temperature. After electric current and chemical treatment, it will produce different colors. 


Magnesium is an extremely important non-ferrous metal that is lighter than aluminum and works well with other metals to form high-strength alloys.

Used: Nowadays, magnesium is the third-largest metal engineering material after steel and aluminum, and it is widely used. In the field of interior decoration, there are also many new types of magnesium decorative materials such as sanding boards and glass magnesium boards.



Chromium is a steel-gray metal, and the most common form of existence is as an alloying element in stainless steel to enhance its hardness of stainless steel.

Chrome plating processes are generally divided into three types: decorative plating, hard chrome plating, and black chrome plating.

Decorative chrome plating is usually applied as the outermost layer on top of the nickel layer, and the coating has a delicate mirror-like polishing effect. Indoors, decorative chrome plating is applied to faucets, utensils, furniture, etc.



Bronze has appeared all over the world and is a symbol of world civilization. The earliest bronzes appeared 6,000 years ago in the ancient Babylonian valley.

Under different conditions, the color of rust spots on bronzes is not nearly the same. In addition to our common turquoise, there are also some bronzes that appear black.


Zinc is a silvery-white and slightly blue metal, chemical symbol Zn, atomic number 30, relative atomic mass 65, melting point 419.5 ℃, with a strong metallic luster, relative density 7.0, melting point 230 ℃, with good physical ductility, chemical stability, and corrosion resistance, widely used in modern defense, industry and other fields.

Zinc alloys are used in automobile manufacturing and the machinery industry.

Zinc has suitable mechanical properties. The strength and hardness of zinc itself are not high, but after adding alloying elements such as aluminum and copper, its strength and hardness are greatly improved.

Therefore, the zinc-copper-titanium alloy has been widely used in hardware production.



Lead is a gray-blue soft heavy metal, soluble in nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, with good ductility and corrosion resistance, and can easily be made into alloys with other metals. Metal lead and its compounds are widely used in machinery manufacturing, shipbuilding, radiation protection, and other industries.


The physical characteristics of tungsten are very strong, especially the melting point is very high, which is the highest of all unalloyed metals.

Tungsten carbides have high hardness, wear resistance, and refractoriness. Tungsten and other alloys of molten metals (tantalum, niobium, molybdenum, rhenium) are used as thermally strong materials in aerospace and rocket technology, and in other sectors that require high thermal strength for machine parts, engines, and some instruments.



Nickel element symbol Ni, is a silver-white metal, atomic number 28, density 8.9g/cm3, melting point 1453 ℃, boiling point 2732 ℃.

Nickel has good mechanical strength and ductility, is refractory to high temperatures, and is not easily oxidized in the air.

Two-thirds of the world’s nickel is used in the stainless steel industry. Adding nickel to stainless steel can promote the formation of an austenite crystal structure, thereby improving the plasticity, weldability, and toughness of stainless steel.



Tin is a low melting point metal element with silvery-white luster. Mainly in the form of dioxide (cassiterite) and various sulfides (eg sulfur cassiterite).

Tin has a low melting point, good extensibility, easy to form alloys with many metals, and has the characteristics of non-toxicity, corrosion resistance, and beautiful appearance, so tin and its alloys are widely used in industry and people’s daily life.



Silicon is a non-metallic element, gray, metallic color, and high hardness. Metal silicon is also called crystalline silicon or industrial silicon.

Silicon metal is widely used in metallurgy, chemical industry, electronics, and other industries. In the metallurgical industry, it is mainly used as an additive for non-ferrous alloys.



Cobalt is a silver-gray shiny metal with ductility and ferromagnetism, as well as good high-temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and magnetic properties. It is widely used in aerospace, machinery manufacturing, electrical and electronics, chemistry, ceramics, and other industrial fields.

At the same time, cobalt is also one of the important raw materials for the manufacture of superalloys, cemented carbides, ceramic pigments, catalysts, and batteries.


Lithium, a silver-white metal, is very light, the lightest of all metals, and is used in the metallurgical industry.



Manganese is a gray-white, hard, brittle, and shiny black metal. Manganese behaves physically like iron but is softer than iron.

Manganese is an indispensable raw material for the iron and steel industry. Manganese is a very strong reducing agent, it can absorb all the oxygen from the molten steel, so that there is no iron oxide in the steel, and it becomes a non-porous steel ingot.

Secondly, manganese is also an excellent desulfurized, which can remove all sulfur in molten steel. Adding a small amount of manganese to steel can greatly improve the mechanical properties of steel, such as ductility, malleability, toughness, and wear resistance.

Manganese steel, ferromanganese, various alloys of manganese and copper, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, etc., and manganese compounds are extremely useful in industry. Manganese steel, ferromanganese, various alloys of manganese and copper, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, etc., and manganese compounds are extremely useful in industry.



Thank you for reading.

With this metal list, you can determine the right metal for your project.

If you want to treat the metal before using it, let a professional do the job. YIJIN Hardware can provide you with different metal processing and handling solutions.

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