Seven Most Used Metals for Commercial Applications

Seven Most Used Metals for Commercial Applications

Commercial metal usage continues to grow due to demand for a wide range of commercial applications. A metal supply company is needed for commercial construction, air conditioner systems, power lines, and much more. However, each project may require a different type of metal. Here are seven of the most used metals for commercial applications.

1. Iron

Iron is the most abundant metal. About 5% of the Earth’s crust is comprised of iron. Close to 90% of all refined metal is iron.

Iron is typically combined with other elements to create new alloys, such as steel. It is often used to make alloy steels by combining iron with nickel, tungsten, manganese, vanadium, chromium, and other alloys.

Iron is also used for wrought iron products. Common examples include wrought iron chains, nails, rivets, nuts, bolts, railings, and ornamental ironworks.

2. Steel

Metal supply companies offer a large variety of steel products. Steel is one of the most used metals due to its strength. It is also available in over 3,500 different grades to suit different applications. Common types of steel include stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel.

Steel is used in the production of most vehicles, medical equipment, ships, and household appliances. Stainless steel is made from iron, chromium, and other alloys. It is resistant to corrosion, making it a common choice for metal parts that are exposed to water and moisture. 

3. Aluminium

Aluminium is another of the most used metals due to its unique characteristics. Aluminium is lightweight but durable and resistant to corrosion. It is a combination of other materials, including bauxite ore, silica, and iron oxide.

Aluminium also offers great electrical conductivity, which makes it a common choice for power lines. It also conducts heat well and is often used in heatsinks and electrical components. It is also used to make cans, kitchen utensils, and window frames.

4. Zinc

Zinc is a popular metal due to its low melting point. It melts quickly, which also makes it easy to recycle. It is a strong material that is most commonly used as a coating to protect other metals. For example, zinc may be used as a coating to shield steel from rust.

Zinc has a thin, protective layer called the patina. The patina protects the surface of the metal from the air, which decreases the risk of corrosion.

5. Bronze

Bronze was the first human-made alloy. It comes from a combination of copper and tin. As with many other popular types of metal, bronze is resistant to corrosion. It is also less likely to bend or crack and offers great electrical conductivity.

Bronze is a common material for cabinet hardware and furniture trim. As it has less iron compared to many other popular metals, bronze does not rust. However, it can develop a patina due to its copper content. You may eventually notice a greenish appearance if bronze is frequently exposed to water.

6. Copper

Copper is a relatively inexpensive metal compared to other options, which helps make it popular for a wide range of applications. It is an easy metal to work and is found in a variety of items, including pipes for plumbing, currency, and wiring.

Copper has excellent electrical conductivity properties. It is a common choice for circuit boards, electrical wires, and electronic components.

7. Gold

Gold is another good electrical conductor and is resistant to corrosion. However, the use of gold for the exchange of currencies makes it less cost-effective for most commercial applications. It is more commonly used to cover the surfaces of components in high-end products.

For example, the connectors on stereo equipment may include gold plating on the ends for increased electrical conductivity.

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BDC 303 Apr 2023