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Extraction of metals and Alloys.

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Introduction

YEAR 11 CHEMISTRY Extraction of metals and Alloys What is an alloy? An alloy is a mixture of metals, which may have different and improved qualities from metal elements, which make it. The percentage of elements in an alloy can be tailored to the application or purpose it is being made for. Usually an alloy is made of one metal (the base metal) with small amounts of other metals added. The other metals replace the position of the base metal in its structure. Extraction of Metals An element or a compound in nature inside the earth's crust is called a mineral. They have a percentage of metal which can be extracted. This is called a metal ore. The most common metal ores are oxides and sulphides. Sulphides are the oldest ores. Oxides are formed when photosynthesis in plants release oxygen into the air. Metal ores are an infinite resource and once they are used, they are gone. Recycling helps this. Generally half of all metal is recycled through scrap metal facilities. The Reactivity Series - (See appendix - diagram 1) A metal that is under carbon in the Reactivity Series (zinc to silver) can be extracted from its ore by heating with carbon. Carbon is used as it is easily available and it's cheap (coke and charcoal are both carbon). The metal is then reduced by the carbon. Hydrogen may be used to reduce other metals which are lower than it on the Reactivity Series. It is more expensive than carbon. ...read more.

Middle

It is put into molds called pigs, and the iron is then called cast iron or pig iron. It is very brittle and cracks easily, but it has a good resistance to corrosion compared to pure iron or steel. Cast iron is used for manhole covers and for engine blocks for petrol and diesel engines. Carbon is removed from molten cast iron by bubbling air through it. The air reacts with the carbon before it reacts with the iron because it's more reactive (the carbon). Pure iron with the carbon removed is called wrought iron. This metal is easily shaped and is used for ornamental metal work like gates. The iron in the Blast Furnace is made into steel for use in construction. Alloys containing Iron The iron alloys are steel, manganese steel and stainless steel. Steel is a fixture of iron and carbon. The percentage of carbon may vary from 0.1% to 1.5% giving steels different properties. Steel is inexpensive and strong and easily shaped. It can be used on the construction of bridges, buildings, ships and vehicles. More than half of the steel is recycled. Steel will need a protective coat, like paint or it will rust. Rusting reverses the process that happens in a Blast Furnace. Manganese steel is an alloy of iron. It's iron (84%) and manganese (15%) and carbon (1%). It is very hard and is used for railway points and dredging equipment. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron. It is iron (80%) and chromium (15%), nickel (4%) ...read more.

Conclusion

Using previous philosophy of how metals are extracted and alloyed and advancing on these techniques which include using the modern 'top-down' method that eliminates design constraints in the earlier manufacturing process. The discovery of high strength steels for new applications is a recent development. This means that the steels are stronger, tougher and even have a higher rust resistance when alloyed. New alloys of stainless steel have also been developed and the metal can now be used for new applications previously unavailable, especially in aviation. High temperature metallic materials can now be used in casting alloys in the 'wrought' processing of alloy sheet technology. Also new super-alloys are being produced that can take higher temperatures using new chemistry processes. Alloys have in recent times needed to be lighter and also retain their strength for use in modern applications. Another recent development is the production of alloys is called Al-Li, which has great corrosion prevention compounds. Researchers are now developing fatigue resistant alloys to reduce failures of components and less maintenance. Lastly, low cost methods have been found, including single hearth melt, laser deposition and casting for titanium alloying has been discovered. Appendix Diagram One Element Symbol Group Number Potassium K 1 Sodium Na 1 Lithium Li 1 Calcium Ca 2 Magnesium Mg 2 Aluminium Al 3 Carbon C 4 (Non-Metal) Zinc Zn Transition Metal Iron Fe Transition Metal Tin Sn 4 Lead Pb 4 Hydrogen H Non-Metal Copper Cu Transition Metal Silver Ag Transition Metal Gold Au Transition Metal Platinum Pt Transition Metal Diagram Two Diagram Three Diagram Four ...read more.

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