Metals are a class of solid materials consisting of one or more chemical elements. They contain atoms that are arranged in a highly ordered crystalline structure.
Metals have a wide range of density, hardness, malleability and ductility. They have a certain melting point and will fuse with other metals to form alloys.
They are good conductors of heat and electricity. Some have a bright luster and are also corrosion-resistant.
Some have a relatively low melting point (i.e. they don’t melt at room temperature) and can be refined into valuable alloys. Examples include platinum and polonium.
The alchemists were fascinated with the possibility of transmuting base metals into precious metals, such as silver and gold. During the time of the Roman Empire, many coins were made from a mixture of silver and gold.
Bronze was discovered in the fifth millennium BCE and made possible harder, more durable metal objects. It was also used for making tools, weapons and armor.
Stainless steel is very popular because it is corrosion resistant and doesn’t rust. It’s also extremely strong and can be polished to a mirror finish.
Amorphous metals are a class of non-crystalline metallic glasses that have good electrical conductivity. They are produced in several ways, including vapor deposition and solid-state reaction.
They are often formed from high-entropy alloys that combine several base metals to increase their strength and durability. They are a common material for making cast metal sculptures.
They can be re-seasoned to prevent rust from forming during storage. The fatty acid in a seasoned form will react with the metal that is being cast, creating a barrier that helps prevent oxidation.