Importance of Metals

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A metal is defined as an opaque shiny element which possesses properties such as malleability and ductility. Malleable meaning that they can be hammered into shapes and ductile meaning they can be drawn into wires. They are also very strong and posses high tensile strength and are good conductors of heat and electricity. Metals are shiny, and also have high densities. Metals are a very important and significant part of chemistry. However, their importance is not just limited to chemistry; they are also used in our daily lives. We may not realize this but without metals; we would not be able to continue with our daily routines as metals play an important role. Metals are used in the making of household conveniences like ovens, dishes, cutlery etc. they are also used in transportation such as cars, buses, trucks, trains. Computers and electronic devices are also made up of metals. Electrical power production and distribution, even most of the construction is made out of steel which is an alloy; a mixture of metals such as iron and carbon. And it is because of the specific properties of metals, which allow them to be used in the making of such objects.

Although we see metals almost everywhere we go, metals are not found easily. In fact, most of the metals are present in the earth’s crust but when found in the earth these are often mixed with other substances. The rocks in the earth’s crust are a mixture of substances, these rocks from which a metal can be extracted from is known as an ore. The method used to extract metals from ores depends on the reactivity of that metal. Some unreactive metals can even be found in the native state, like gold. On the other hand, most metals are too reactive to exist on their own like aluminium, which has to be extracted using a method called electrolysis. And some moderately reactive metals that are in the middle of the reactivity series can be extracted using reduction of oxides like iron. Gold is not found in a mixture or...
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