different types of metals

10 Different Types of Metals: Everything You Want to Know

There are over eighty different types of metals, with around 95 of the 118 periodic table elements being metals. Despite the various everyday uses for metals, many are considered non-renewable resources. In this article, we discuss ten different kinds of metals. Keep reading for everything you want to know.

What Are Metals?


Metals are elements classified by their magnetism, atomic structure, and iron content. As categorized in the periodic table, metals are either Alkali, Alkaline-Earth, or Transition metals, with those in the same group exhibiting similar chemical properties.

Metals containing iron are “ferrous metals” and have magnetic properties, while “non-ferrous metals” have no iron content. Additionally, ferromagnetic metals show a powerful magnetic attraction, paramagnetic metals exhibit weak magnetic interactions, and diamagnetic metals repel magnets.

10 Different Types of Metals

1) Aluminum


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Aluminum is a durable, light, silvery-white metal key to producing engineering materials. The 13th element on the periodic table, it’s the most widespread metal and the third most prevalent chemical element on Earth.

While pure aluminum does not occur in nature, it can bond with almost every other type of metal. Although it is paramagnetic, it is a robust and corrosion-resistant metal, excellent for conducting electricity. Manufacturers often use aluminum in electronics such as cellphones and computers, as well as vehicles.

2) Cadmium


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Another silvery-white metal, cadmium, is soft and typically found in complex oxides rather than as a pure metal. Cadmium is toxic to microorganisms, plants, and animals and can negatively affect human bones and kidneys. Most commonly used in electroplating, cadmium is often a by-product of mining.

3) Chromium


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A chemical element in group 6, chromium, is a hard, steel-gray metal often found in combination with other elements in the Earth’s crust. It is most popularly used for its ability to strengthen other metals and provide corrosion resistance. Chromium alloys are often found in cutlery and oil tubing.

4) Copper


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Copper is a reddish, ductile metal found in group 11 of the periodic table. It has many uses and appears combined in several minerals. A fantastic conductor of heat and electricity, copper, adopts a free metallic state in nature. The electrical industry uses the most copper as it’s highly beneficial in brass and nickel silver alloys.

5) Iron


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The most abundant of all metals, iron is a brittle yet hard metal crucial to the survival of all organisms. In plants, iron helps create chlorophyll, while in humans, it works as a protein in the blood that aids with oxygen distribution. Outside of the body, iron is often combined with carbon and nickel to make steel. Civil engineering, manufacturing, and stainless steel kitchen cutlery usually employ iron.

6) Lead


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A soft silvery-white metal from group 14, lead is ductile, dense, and highly malleable. It’s also durable, corrosion-resistant, and a poor conductor of electricity. Additionally, lead is scarce and rarely found in nature. Interestingly, lead is one of the oldest metals used by the Romans and in biblical accounts.

Today, manufacturers use lead in storage batteries and ammunition. It is essential to be careful with lead because exposure can lead to cumulative poisoning.

7) Nickel


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Strong and corrosion-resistant, nickel is a malleable and ductile silvery-white staple metal. A transition metal and the 5th most abundant element on Earth, Nickel is used in more than 300,000 various goods. However, its most common uses include stainless steel, batteries, and permanent magnets. It’s also commonly found in tubing, rods, sheets, and wires.

8) Tin


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Tin, atomic number 50, is a metal often used to prevent corrosion. However, it is relatively rare and usually alloyed with other metals.

For example, pewter is chiefly tin, and tin is combined with other elements to make a bronze alloy of copper. When mixed with niobium, the alloy creates a highly conductive metal commonly employed in wiring.

Historically manufacturers used tin to make “tin cans.” However, most “tin cans” are now made with aluminum.

9) Zinc


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Zinc is an abundant, blue-white, brittle metal found in the Earth’s crust. Base metal and somewhat conductive with tensile strength, zinc provides both biological and industrial uses. Like iron, it is critical for life on Earth, necessary for mitosis and proper cell growth in healthy organisms. In the industrial field, manufacturers often use zinc to galvanize steel.

10) A Combination of Metals


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Most everyday metal items are alloys, a combination of metals rather than a metal in its pure form. Alloys are so common that most of our previous metal sections mention at least one alloy. Generally, alloys are preferable because they heighten the desired properties of a given metal.

Therefore, alloying metals can increase properties such as strength, durability, corrosion resistance. Typically, metals are combined by melting them down, mixing them, and finally cooling and solidifying at room temperature.

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